November 2018 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA IN REUNION ISLAND
Indian classical music fascinates me: Reunion’s Maya Kamaty

Maya Kamaty, a prominent Maloya ...

By Milinda Ghosh Roy
  • Ms Milinda Ghosh Roy

Maya Kamaty, a prominent Maloya musician and singer of Indian origin from Reunion Island, the French overseas territory, thinks good music can transcend all geographical barriers and says she is deeply inspired by Indian classical music and fascinated by the traditional instruments used here. In a freewheeling interview with IANS, Kamaty, four-time winner of the Music of the Indian Ocean prize, talked about her love for the native Creole language, the changing scene in world music and how she feels engrossed by the flavour of traditional Indian music.

“I listen to a lot traditional music from India. I love the way it sounds, I love the instruments and the vocals. In fact, I used to wake up to the compositions of Ravi Shankar every day. My music has a deep influence of Indian classical. I am, in fact, a fifth generation Indian. So, of course, Indian culture is very much a part of me,” said Kamaty who performed in Kolkata with fellow Maloya musicians as part of a tour under the auspices of Alliance Francaise. Maloya is one of the two major music genres of Reunion, usually sung in Creole—accompanied by percussion and a musical bow. “They (Indian artists) influence me a lot but I feel like I want to do more. I want to explore more classical music from India. But it seems to be complex as I do not understand all the Hindi or Tamil songs,” she said.