It was great to connect with Maya Kamaty, a dazzling singer and band leader from the La Reunion, a small Island near Madagaskar. After an amazing show at New York’s Sub Rosa we got to sit down with her and learn more about Maloya music. This will broadcast on
Oct 2nd at 11pm.
Four time winner of the ‘Music of the Indian Ocean’ prize, Maya Kamaty wins hearts with her island blues melodies and halting ternary rhythm of Reunion Island Maloya. Despite being cradled by the stories told by her mother, and the music and poetry sung by her father Gilbert Pounia and his band Ziskakan, she did not take to music as her calling until she left her homeland of Reunion Island to study in France.
Distanced from Creole culture, she sought out her roots and explored her identity through music. While her music is grounded in maloya, she transcends its boundaries to create her own intimate folk style of music by blending it with French chanson, Indian, and African influences. Making Reunion Island maloya music her own, Maya Kamaty is breaking down barriers as one of the few popular female singers what is a traditionally music sung by males. Accompanied by traditional instruments such as kayamb and rouler, and driven by an intense passion for mixing cultures, Maya Kamaty (a name formed by combining two names, her own, and that of a woman standing marginal and intense) has the most promising voice of her generation.