It’s his big comeback. In the summer of 2020, rapper Jul had created a surprise by inviting, on his compilation 13’Organized, which brings together several Marseille artists, Keny Arkana, then disappeared from the radar. The only woman present in the midst of fifty rappers, she rediscovered, the time of a verse, the verve of her 20 years, that of her emblematic pieces, I come from the fire, I quit or Hey asshole, story of her adolescence in the homes where she had been placed when she was 11 years old.

Since 2017, Keny Arkana announced the publication of a final album, which she had already titled The Exodus, but nothing came. She had taken refuge in her neighborhood in Marseille, between Noailles and the Cours Julien, was recording her music at home, when she received the call from Jul. In order not to keep her audience waiting, this July 9, 2021, she finally released twelve new songs, very rap and in a line still protesting.

Read the story: Reunited for an album, Marseille rap lines up behind Jul

“This thing”, as she calls it, she titled it Before the Exodus, because the long awaited album, The Exodus, will be “More colorful, more tango, more flamenco, more song” : “When Jul gave the tracklisting of his compilation on his networks in June 2021, she said during an interview in Paris, I was surprised at how people reacted. I did not know that there were so many waiting for me and who even thought that I had stopped the music, while I was recording a lot of songs. ” The artist explains that she did not want to release her album either The Exodus, because he was not very ” coherent “ with his current life: “I’ve been confined to my neighborhood for two years. I moved more in the rest of my life than in the last two years. “

“Uncomfortable with notoriety”

Of Argentine origin, Keny Arkana, 38, scarf tied to his forehead like a pirate, has indeed already traveled through Latin America, a few European ZADs (areas to be defended) and self-managed places in France and Africa. To leave “, as she says, has always been her mode of survival when her surroundings or fame suffocated her too much. She raps it in her song True word, taken from this disc: They don’t understand that I ran away from the spotlight / That I preferred the sector to glory. “ Notoriety is not something that puts me at ease, she emphasizes. When I started, it was the start of the internet, from cameras to phones. My first steps were not a great time in my life. After each record, I burned out and, therefore, I locked myself in the mode: “It’s okay, the music, I’m quitting.” I did something else for a year or two, then I kept writing songs, and I kept coming back. I have a really checkered career. “

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