UK Songstress Tanika Tells Mr. Officer: It's Getting Too Deep
An artist's position in society is one often debated. What, if any, is their responsibility to reflect the conditions of their community? Chinese artist Ai Weiwei believes," If my art has nothing to do with people's pain and sorrow, what is 'art' for?" Though, some would counter their art offers refuge from day to day drudgery.
With Tanika's new song Mr. Officer it is safe to assume that she agrees with Weiwei.
In an interview with Fader she expressed "frustrations at seeing police brutality and gang violence both at home and in America going largely un-documented by the music community". She poured those frustrations into her song Mr. Officer. She explained, "as much as the song was inspired by Ferguson, London's been experiencing some shit too. It's real."
The music video is a tribute to the American Mike Brown and British Mark Duggan. Depending on your location, you may or may not have heard of Duggan but likely heard about the six days London and other UK cities erupted in riots. The riots, which resulted in 3,000 arrests, began as protests against the murder of the unarmed Duggan.
Tanika's song touches on derelict communities, drug abuse, police brutality, and racial profiling. Unfortunately, issues much of the black and brown community across the globe can relate too. Though the song tackles issues the aforementioned issues, Tanika doesn't see herself as political. She describes it as "personal" and you can hear the mourning and weariness in her voice. Take a listen.