Born in Côte d’Ivoire to Malian parents under the name Seïdou Dembélé, Dakka is a child of exile, an artist obliged to bend to the vagaries of history and of his own history to sustain his art. Young Seïdou developed a passion for music at a very early age, but not just any style. There is little doubt that reggae is at the centre of his passions. He began playing music in secret, growing up in a strict Muslim family in which this artistic career was simply not an option. He stuck to it, even if this meant being seen as a delinquent. Meanwhile, he learned to work leather and opened his first shoe repair shop in Abidjan in 1998. He began his career with his friend Gounga. The two comrades played a colourful reggae, mixed with Mandinka sounds and beats. In 2002, the group was about to being out its first album when the entire country was hit by an armed conflict. Forced into exile, the two musicians headed for Mali. That was where they met then African star reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly, an Ivorian who emigrated to Mali. He encouraged them to persevere despite the obstacles that sprang up along their path. Then Dakka met Julie, a Canadian then working in Mali. They decided to settle in Montréal and opened the Dakissa shoe repair shop. Dakka set out then on a new solo musical career. Nearly a year after his arrival, he met guitarist Jérémie Coulombe and surrounded himself with confirmed musicians from the world of reggae from the group The Rootsteppers. Dakka and the six musicians teamed up to create new pieces. They worked hard during 2010 and 2011. The following year, Dakka recorded a four-track demo album with Sophie Petre and Caterina Servedio in the chorus and with the participation of Aboulaye Koné and Mohammed N’Diaye. Dakka’s Mandinka reggae is inspired by his African experience and dwells on the grandeur and decadence of the modern world. The singer seeks to convey a message of peace and, like his models Alpha Blondy, Ismael Isaac, Koko Dembélé and Tiken Jah Fakoly, he vehemently denounces social injustice, poverty and corruption. Today more than ever, he regards music as a fight to be led on the way to a better world. In his piece “Kana Kassi,” he exhorts parents and young people leading a precarious existence not to give up and to keep their heads high despite their difficulties, an approach he transmits through music. But music has not caused him to abandon his work as a shoemaker, a trade that lacks new blood and that he is proud to practise. He who shined shoes in Abidjan starting at age 9 also draws inspiration from this work and the encounters it produces. In 2015, he took part in the Syli d’Or of world music, a competition in which he was a semi-finalist and won the special mention of the jury. He also took part in the 12th edition of the Syli d’or in 2018.