Queen Ifrica (JAM)

A blessed marriage between rhythms and message

An iconic image of a Rastafarian involves a thick mass of dreadlocks. A thin face is lightly bearded, and the slender figure wears a red-yellow-green knitted cap. If sounds are added to the image, they are the ones by Bob Marley. Add in a Jamaican flag, an aesthetically decayed street view, a lion's mane and a hemp leaf. This image is fixed and unquestionable, yet feels wrong somehow. And only very rarely the main figure is that of a woman.

What could be more refreshing, then, than to find an independent and creative female reggae artist! Queen Ifrica, raised in a Rastafarian community next door to Montego Bay's holiday resort, has not only a great voice and a sensitive ear for rhythm, but also a lot to say. Evils of society, tender emotions and the occasional light side of life are all present in her songs, and her themes may embrace the Rastafarian culture, media criticism and the ill-being youth as easily as the convivial world of herb smoking. The resulting composition is colourful and certainly not less rough than life itself.

The message is surrounded by music, the music has the rhythm in its heart. Queen Ifrica respects the boundary between reggae and dancehall, but can effortlessly cross it if need be. And when the music comes straight from the soul, it is easy for the audience to feel it speaking just for them. The touch of this luminous, self-sufficient and captivating queen will certainly be one of the highlights of this year's Ilosaarirock Festival. The Rento Stage will provide an appropriate framework, but the leading role can, without question, be left to the artist herself. The Finnish summer is hardly so warm it wouldn't benefit from one Jamaican sun shining brightly on the people.


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Queen Ifrica