Cecile Doo-KingueCecile Doo-Kingue
Album: Anybody Listening Pt.1: Monologues
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

I often feel there is not enough socially engaged music around. This is, I realise, an extremely ill-informed thought, in the sense that there are wordsmiths, artists, poets, singers and dancers in every corner of the world and many are singing, dancing, acting about an issue they care about.

But it's a world away from the iconic protest songs of John Lennon, Dylan, Joan Baez and Bob Marley. With the passion and angst of traditional Hip Hop paired with the universal listening of folky afro-blues and addictive finger-picking rhythm, Cecile Doo-Kingue brings that somewhat lost genre back with smoke and fire.

Of Cameroon descent, Cecile Doo-Kingue was born and raised in New York, but has since lived in France, the USA and is now a proud Montreal dweller. Perhaps it is all these diverse cultures, which account for her captivating presence and her drive for universalism and equality.

Anybody Listening Pt.1: Monologues is this award winning artist's third album. It is also the first in a trilogy of socially engaged messages exploring life, blues & identity.

Opening with the unsettling bluntness of Make Me, which is an unapologetic statement of sexuality, focussing on the gender inequality of women. Here she adopts the almost sarcastic passivity of women or how men think women feel: "Make me your bitch baby and **** the devil out of me". From this the music transcends to the groove and jazz of Little Bit, which encompasses a prosperity and love for life.

Home, commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Company shows a desire for equality - campaigning for universalism - everywhere should be everyone's home. It is a song in which you could quote any number of lines to pair against a feature documenting some form of racial injustice. It is the type of music you want to shove in UKIP supporters faces making them listen.

"I pledged allegiance to the human race, to me it's worth more than a flag or a place."

The idea of bringing everyone together regardless of race, religion, gender and upbringing is hyper -focused on Home. We must take people for what is inside their soul not the kind of facts and figures of their person, which can be filled out on a yes/no survey sheet.

Cecile Doo-Kingue's acoustic vocals are addictively seductive inviting you into her bedroom studio where the whole album was so intimately performed and recorded. This only adds to the sensuality of the album, whereby all attention is focused on the vocal performance and the messages and themes conveyed within each track.

Every track addresses prejudice in all forms condemning racial bias and violence as seen in Six Letters and Third World Child. Bloodstained Vodka is a protest song about the western superpower's ignorance to Vladimir Putin's homophobia and complete disregard for human rights in the name of profit.

Six-minute title and closing track, Anybody Listening, is both a tribute to the injustice of loneliness "living in a house full of people everyone is estranged as estranged can be" and a call out for people to pay attention to the injustice we are surrounded by and to take action.

If like me you often feel bruised by the worlds injustice, and yet contented and in awe of life at the same time, then Cecile Doo-Kingue's soul emitting and powerful music should be a must for the collection.

Leah Parker-Turnock