Jonathan & Johan Camillot, St Louis / Reunion, 2021

What is maloya? Is it an exotic „heritage” videoclip from the southern islands? Kind of pure, traditional experience for those who prefer idealistic visions over reality? Perhaps it is a vehicle for creole social and political excuses? What kind of filter do you intend to apply?

There are so many different maloyas. The one presented today is very simple and straight forward. Its current. Its relevant. Its servis kabare maloya – music that facilitate sacred ceremonies all over Reunion island. Once you are in you quickly understand why one has to master all of the maloya intruments – not just one. It is not possible for average human being to sing or play one instrument from dusk till dawn. The music doesnt stop for a second. It has a certain function that has not much to do with entertainment. Sacred ceremonies, myriad of religious and magic practices are in fact a day to day reality on the island. You do not notice it straight away. If you stay here longer perhaps you start to wonder why locals keep wide berth of the bulky plastic bag left on the crossroads or you become slightly worried when a tourist friend gets excited about finding a skull of a bull wrapped in clothes on the spotless, sandy beach.

Servis kabare is a family secret. There is so many beliefs and religions - it all has to happen in small scale. Although you see the same charismatic tradition bearers quite often – each one of servis is unique. Malgache, Mayotte, Comore, Indian and African influences in astonishing blend – kreol speciality. Most of the songs are not for publishing. Should I publish it or not? What will be a good reason to justify it, is it really needed ? Subject of many conversations with my reunionese friends. I do not have clear answers but for some reason I receive tons of support from this people.

Jonathan and Johan Camillot – two brothers dedicated to carry on a cultural mission inherited from their grandfather Gramoun Bebe. They keep it strong and alive. Jonathan teach moringue - unique indian ocean version of capoeira. They are both into servis kabare culture, both heavily invested in community life of Saint Louis area. One hot and dry afternoon at Balans Coco we recorded a song that is often heard during sacred ceremonies. Strong but delicate exchange between the two brothers had been a pleasure to register and I hope will be a pleasure to listen. Enjoy! GAYAR MALOYA!
Francois van Coke
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