© Rijasolo


Album 'Taholy' 2009
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Line up

  • Dô (drums, percussions, vocal)
  • Johnny (bass, vocal)
  • Mbossa (guitars, vocal)
  • Theo Rakotovao (vocal, guitars)


Mikea is what is described as an author, composer, and performer. He has chosen to orient himself towards a simple, both personal and universal aesthetic, carried by the trio of guitar, bass and percussion, a trio over which the voice can freely unfold and directly lead the listener to the topic. But the modulations of the voice, its tone, its flights and the language will endlessly remind us that we are in Madagascar. And Mikea's country also appears in the colours, sounds and rhythms of the guitar. Here and there, the light notes of a flute can be heard, reminiscent of the Sodina during certain rituals. Or the throaty voices that lift the solos and make one think of traditional chants.
"Beko", the traditional music sung by several voices, also inhabits Mikea's singing. This tradition has found a new function and singers like Mikea have shaped a social song based on this time-honoured style.

We immediately understand this artful alchemy between a faintly perceptible past, a set of traditions accessible only to the initiated and a willingness to build the subject in an internationally perceptible form so that a statement entrusted to the song is passed. Mikea sings about loneliness, poverty, traditional values, the earth, the despicable power of money, exile and homesickness, treason and theft, justice, family and of course, love, but also deforestation and environmental problems. It is a kind of love song, soaring from the voice of a singer who has made the right choice to allow a profoundly subtle although apparently obvious music to speak. Without any pretence or heavily audible production, as can be heard on so many contemporary albums, Mikea sings because singing is something vital, fundamental. He sings to speak of his own: a song with a moral like an old ballad, or a blues from the deep bayous, like gospel, like an African proverb...
Etienne Bours

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