The rhythm from Reunion Island

The rhythm from Reunion Island

A native of Reunion Island in France, singer Maya Kamaty finds rhythm and notes in everything around her.

Her music and lyrics stem from everyday experiences and that is precisely why you find a story embedded in her albums. She draws her inspiration from her father who is a musician and mother, a storyteller.

She uses the stories of her mother to make music and sings with her father. While her first album, 'Santie Papang' had ballad sounds, her second one blends traditional creole language with electronic-inspired sounds.

Maya, who is currently touring the country, talks to Nina C George about her journey as a musician.

Your music blends the traditional maloya instrument with modern influences. Tell us about it?

For me, Maloya is evolving everyday and we still sing in Creole and use the traditional sound,
rhythm and instruments. I draw inspiration from all the new things that come my way. So I try to keep evolving each day.

What inspires you to make music?

My music is based on everyday life. My values,

the things that I see and confront find place in my lyrics. Relationships between people and our relation to the environment also flows through my songs.

How important are the lyrics to you?

I sing in creole and it is important for me to keep it that way because it is a huge part of who I am. My parents fought for the valorisation of the Creole language and that heritage runs in my family. The language helps me curate a lot of images and play with the rhythm of the words to express an emotion.

Where are you most creative?

It is definitely in my cultural cafe based in the south of Reunion Island called 'Le Zinzin'. It is a family restaurant in front of the ocean and it gives me calmth and offers new experiences.

What is the best track that you have worked on so far?

All my new tracks are challenging. My band and I worked hard to put these new music pieces together. It will be really difficult to pick out a particular piece of work. But my song 'Trakase' is difficult for me to perform because it talks about you being old and what you could have done when you were younger. Performing this song is an intense experience for me.

Where are you performing at the moment and how does it feel?

I am currently here to perform at 'IndiEarth XChange stage'. This is a good initiative and I find it to be the perfect platform for people to share their music, culture and experiences.

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