Outside of a small set of savvy listeners and Mauritian locals, traditional sega music (sometimes called “the blues of the Indian Ocean”) is a relatively new discovery. Our Soul Sok Sega collection provides an overview of one of the peak creative eras for the music in the 1970s. For further context, producer Percy Yip Tong and musician Menwar have graciously run through a brief history of the music as well as the instruments and rhythms that make up the foundation of the style. Menwar also performs an exclusive acoustic version of his ’70s rarity ‘Sega Lenoir’ recorded as Les Stardust.
Claudio Veeraragoo is one of the biggest stars of séga music of the 60s and 70s. His stroke of genius was to marry séga rhythms with qawwali and Bollywood styles. He scored his debut hit, ‘Nou Manz Nou Larak’, in 1966, playing the accordion, and broke through as a major star with his cassette release, ‘Bhaï Aboo’ which exploded across the island upon its release. His songs were subsequently covered by French star Maxime Leforestier and Bollywood singer Shaan. Claudio has since brought séga to the four corners of the globe and, of all of the ‘70s artists, has remained one of Mauritius’ biggest live draws. Today, his son Michael, a drummer and producer, manages his father’s activities via their own production house, Kabana Music.
“Bonom Chinois” is a gem from the Soul Sok Sega compilation, whic documents the heyday of séga music in Mauritius between 1973 and 1979. The album is compiled by La Reunion-based DJs La Basse Tropicale with extensive sleeve notes by Mauritian cultural authority, Percy Yip Tong. Soul Sok Sega is released 22nd January 2016.