Artists from the Indian Ocean Region – IOMMA Showcases

The 2nd Indian Ocean Music Market (IOMMA) held in La Reunion during 28th – 31st May 2012 was a coming together of Indian Ocean countries to develop music markets and opportunities for artists and professionals of the region – and to know each other. EarthSync (India) is one of seven partners from seven Indian Ocean countries that has made a commitment to share knowledge, address challenges, and work together to build music markets that support artists of the region.

IOMMA 2012 offered a rich mix of showcases – from traditional Maloya to electronica, a treasure trove of sounds, rhythms and styles that can only be born out of an equally rich mix of cultures, ancestries, and influences.


Musical sobriety, omnipresent rhythms and an interpretation rich in emotion. Iza’s new album is permeated by the striking ‘slave blues’ of Maloya yet still delivers a truly personal expression. This singer from Reunion fearlessly and audaciously takes the responsibility of carrying on the glorious Maloya tradition. Evidence of a maturity which has grown patiently over time. Website


Bholoja TM (Mbongiseni Ngubane) is originally from a Kingdom of South Africa, Swaziland. And Bholoja’s style of music? Swazi soul, which covers several genres, including African pop and traditional African. But what is certain is that his music is part of a social narrative, speaking to the very conscience of the listener. His greatest inspirations are the Swazi traditions and way of life. Website

Susheela Raman

Over the years, the London-based Indian-born Susheela Raman has revealed herself to be one of the most creative artists of her generation. Gifted with a fabulous voice and a striking stage presence, she wins over audiences with her own compositions and interpretations of traditional Indian music, which represents the foundation of her musical culture. Website

Gren Sémé

Always looking for new sounds, Grèn Sémé vary their music on the theme of the confluence of cultures and generations. Enriched by the experience and personality of each musician, the group ably combines the island’s traditional percussion with more electronic touches to come up with a ‘evolutionary Maloya’, with poetic and committed lyrics for our time. Myspace

Ben Sharpa

Considered one of the most accomplished songwriters of the African continent, Ben Sharpa has devoted his life to his art, undertaking an epic musical journey characterized by an unwavering self-confidence which has enabled him to cheat death itself. Ben’s music communicates theme of social consciousness, politics, conspiracy theories and the fight for survival. Myspace


The group, originally from Reunion, is a reflection of their music, the fruits of a subtle blend. With a style which is both personal and worldly, Toguna flirt with sounds from Ben Harper and John Butler without ever really imitating them. With this characteristic and irresistible groove, the members of Toguna have created their own musical environment and defined their artistic colors to hold claims to a world where reggae dances with rock, soul and funk. Website

JF Gang

JF GANG is a truly complete artist and a self-taught player of many instruments. His music is universal, far from traditional commercial formats. After his first album ‘Roots’, which was very successful, JF GANG is back with ‘Un Homme’, in which he confronts us with ourselves, our doubts, our certainties and our weaknesses. The simplicity of his lyrics, his melody and his emotions bring a revival: a rare authenticity, distinct emotions, a groove and tremendous on-stage presence. Website

Christine Salem

One of Maloya’s rare female voices, and a strong and charismatic personality. Accompanied by her favourite instrument, the kayanm, Christine Salem’s deep voice projects Creole, Malagasy, Comorean or Swahili songs which are carried along by a gutsy Maloya, subtly mixing Indian Ocean music with African rhythms. Lanboursir is the fruit of her  journey retracing the footsteps of her ancestors in the Comoros and Madagascar.  Myspace

Am 444

A duo based in Shanghai, AM444 brings together the Amsterdam producer Jay.Soul and the Chinese singer ChaCha, whose multi-faceted voice adapts as well to trip-hop and dub as to purely electro ambiances. Website

Bo Houss

Bo Houss, who combines tradition and modernity, opens a new door to the music of Mayotte. Local styles such as ‘m’godro’ are often compound, and have been integrated into Hip-hop music in the Mahorais language for the first time, where they are adapted or even rearranged with digital tools giving the groove and urban sound that characterizes his music. Website

Bongeziwe Mabandla

Bongeziwe Mabandla has created an Afro-folk sound like no other, mixed with a soulful voice when he sings in Xhosa and sometimes in English. Bongeziwe’s sound has a rhythmic base foundation, while fusing elements of traditional Xhosa music and genres such as Soul, Hip-Hop and Dub. Website


Beware of the phenomenon! Recently arrived from Brisbane, this group led by the energetic aboriginal singer D-Kazman proposes a fusion of high bass content and swaying brass to which you can’t help but dance. No holds barred for this joyous musical troop which swings happily from dub to dancehall and from R’n’B to drum’n’bass, unleashing enthusiasm at every stage appearance. Myspace

Jeff Lang

Jeff Lang offers us his topography of the heart and soul: powerful folk with softer notes here, stronger notes there, inspired as much by rock as by desert blues. And that guitar! The type which makes you nostalgic for places you’ve never even been to. He knows just how to take us on a journey without us ever getting lost. Website

Liz Ogumbo

Speaking in Luo, Swahili, English and French, her soul is Kenyan and her life experiences have shaped this African girl into a musical instrument of universal soul. Her music is an invitation to explore contemporary expression of African music through neo-jazz sounds, neo-soul energy and the soul of reggae ‘riddims’, riding high on powerful lyrics. Website

Meddy Gerville

Meddy Gerville is a pianist, songwriter and performer. His music is a unique blend of jazz and Maloya. He has worked with several internationally-renowned artists who remain in awe at the rhythmic and melodic strength that his music exudes. Website


With MIKEA, we see the emergence of local initiatives of the Malagasy
urban music scene. When Théo Rakotovao, their founder and leader, first appeared on stage in Tananarive, from the very first notes, everyone present realized that a new voice had made a majestic entrance onto the music scene of Madagascar. Myspace


His music is representative of the Indian Ocean by his compound rhythm ‘M’godro’. As a songwriter and performer, he gets his influences from Indian Ocean Afro, funk, Afro-beat… Through his lyrics, he communicates messages denouncing political failings of his country and the everyday injustices that his people endure, faced with the politics in place. Myspace

Nathalie Natiembé

Creole poetry, a subtle blend of genres and experiments: Nathalie Natiembé redefines the codes of Maloya. Nathalie’s magnificent voice appears to have found the perfect niche to reach its full potential, a musical setting where Maloya, electronic rock and trance collide harmoniously. On stage the singer is accompanied by the rhythm section of Meï Teï Shô and by Yann Costa. Myspace

Ti Fock

Ti-Fock, ‘the Reunionese magician of rhyme and rhythm’, is the uncontested leader of electro Maloya. He is back on the scene to reveal to us his music tinged with traditional Maloya, a jazzy-electro ambiance fused with a certain Jakomaron. Even today, Ti-Fock is an innovative, unclassifiable and must-see musician on the Reunionese music scene. Myspace


To the sound of a swirling and outrageous guitar and thundering percussion, Tritonik shares both his pride at being Mauritian and the inequalities of his island. Along the way he erases the picture-postcard illusion while still evoking hope of peace and unity. A trio singing their country’s blues in their native language. Website

For more information: IOMMA Showcases


IndiEarth is an online B2B platform that connects India’s non-mainstream independent Musicians and Filmmakers to worldwide Media. The platform features a blog, offers value-added services and wider opportunity networks through its partnerships. IndiEarth is an EarthSync Initiative.

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