Jaojoby – Mila Anao

Eusèbe Jaojoby is a composer and singer from Madagascar. He is widely known as the “King of Salegy,” a musical style he helped popularize in the 1970s. Salegy is the emblematic rhythm of the Malagasy High Plateaux. It originated from traditional acoustic roots in northwestern Madagascar around Mahajanga and Antsiranana in the 1950s. The contemporary, electrified form of salegy features funky, energetic beats surrounded by ringing guitars, call and response vocals, real or synthesized accordion and a driving rhythm section with heavy bass. These polyrhythmic grooves are rapid and usually clock in at nearly 300 beats per minute. This incredible music can be heard at night clubs, cabarets, parties and dance floors across Madagascar.

Jaojoby’s latest release, Mila Anao, which translates to “In Need of You,” was finally released in the U.S. this past week on Buda Musique. The record includes Jaojoby’s sons Lucas, Jackson and Anderson, respectively on guitar, bass and vocals. This family of musicians effortlessly blends traditional African music with Western soul and rhythm and blues. Mila Anao is a fantastic set of joyful songs which will get you dancing in a hurry. Check out an amazing live video featuring “Somaiko Somainao” and a bit of “Tsy Zanaka Mpanarivo” below.

Jaojoby will be at Le Poisson Rouge for the Wake Up Madagascar tour along with Razia Said, Charles Kelly, and Saramba on July 21st. Their mission is to put an end to the illegal logging of rainforests in Madagascar. Through the power of music, the artists hope to draw support to the cause. Watch Something’s Moving in the Forest, a video which explains the situation and features performances from the artists.

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