Music of Afro-Malagasy slaves

A living culture

A trip to Réunion gives you the chance to discover local art in all its forms.

By the early decades of settlement of the island, the people, from different backgrounds, had to invent a language to communicate. The base was then French, spoken by the colonist. Practiced daily by the large majority of the population, Reunion Creole is still evolving. It is however understood by the French newcomer ... provided you listen well!

The music based on this colourful language is heard on the radio, or on television. Creole is now taught in college and high school (on option) and at the University. It is yet rarely written and its spelling is subject of much debate between those who advocate a writing close to French, and those who prefer a more phonetic Creole.
Creole inspires many artists and authors, whereas the tradition of storytelling and poetry knows an interesting revival. The most widely read Reunion novelists publish, however, essentially in French.
In French or Creole, publication for children is growing. A Reunion’s comic is known for its quality on one side and  the first adventures of Tintin and Asterix were recently translated into Creole!
Reunion music is based on two original styles, with deep roots: maloya and Sega. Maloya looks like a ternary blues.

Music of Afro-Malagasy slaves, it has long perpetuated in secret. Today, this music is appropriated and enriched by everyone and it is sometimes married with other rhythms: rock, reggae. It can be assimilated to the moring, traditional battle dance that came out of the shadow. More European by its rhythms and instruments, the Sega is the dance of all the festivities.
Reunion Island counts nowadays hundreds of bands and a large discography. The notoriety of some artists has even transcended the boundaries of the island: Danyel Waro, Davy Sicard, Salem Tradition, Granmoun Lele, Meddy Gerville Ziskakan, Baster, René Lacaille, Nathalie Natiembé, Zong, Pat'Jaune.
A stay on Reunion Island provides an opportunity to discover the local artistic expression in all its forms: dance, theater, visual arts, that are also extremely rich.