An Evening Of Maloya Music In Kolkata


Kolkata: Music enthusiasts in the city on Tuesday grooved to the tunes of new generation Maloya musicians from the Reunion Island, a French overseas territory, situated in the Indian Ocean.

In a bid to regale the Kolkatans with the quintessence of the Maloya art form, French language school in the city, Alliance FranAaise du Bengale, organised an evening of music with two prominent bands from the island, who performed for three hours at a rooftop venue at Kolkata’s iconic Park Street.

The Maloya music is traditionally a mixture of poetry and slam, rock, reggae, jazz and dance. Maya Kamaty, the daughter of Gilbert Pounia of renowned Maloya band Ziskakan opened the evening followed by Mounawar, a musician born in Anjouan, who derives his influence from Indian Ocean Afro and funk music.

The teenagers present at the venue danced to the rhythmic beats of Kamaty’s band while part of audience also sang along some of her famous numbers. Mounawar’s music was more philosophical in nature while his lyrics carried a sense of revolt against the disrespect shown by men to each other and to their planet.

“It is my fourth time in India and every time I feel amazed by how the audience reacts and loves our music though not many of them understand the language. I feel a special connection with this country as I am my father’s ancestors were from India. Also I grew up listening to a lot of Indian classical music like Ravi Shankar from my childhood,” Kamaty told IANS in the sidelines of the concert.

The two groups have already performed in Chennai earlier this month and would also travel to cities like New Delhi, Pondicherry and Pune.