Orchestra of Samples:
Maya Kamaty (Réunion Island)

Each month we dip into the fascinating blog of ethno-sampling mavericks Addictive TV and their global music project Orchestra of Samples.

Recording and sampling musicians around the world, creating extraordinary new music, this post is from a recording session on the Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.


Back in 2012, in early June, we were performing at the Sakifo Festival on the small Indian Ocean island of Reunion, the French overseas territory which sits between Madagascar and Mauritius, just off the coast of Mozambique and South Africa. We got to taste real creole food, music and culture and had the chance to record a couple of artists, particularly Maya Kamaty.

From a very young age, Maya was a backing singer in her father’s band Ziskakan – who were actually formed in 1979, six years before she was born – and still one of the most famous groups on the island.  Her own music is a mixture of modern folk and traditional Maloya sounds, Réunion’s traditional song form – so she’ll often sings in creole. 

Mayola music itself dates back to the times of the slavery and was banned up until the 1980’s because of its strong association with creole culture and its usually politically oriented themes.  As well as singing, Maya also plays the traditional kayamb, which we recorded with her – it’s a shaker made from sugar cane stems and filled with seeds, which is shaken horizontally with both hands. 

Back in 2012, when we recorded this session, Maya was working on her first album and has since gone on to win a number of awards, gaining a lot of international recognition and has now recorded three albums.

We’ve sampled Maya for a few tracks in our Orchestra of Samples project, the video below is our track “Hangman”, where she appears around 2 minutes 29 seconds.

This track is also on our 2017 album Orchestra of Samples. https://open.spotify.com/track/5aK14x21gJGsXsET5j6IKL

For more info about Orchestra of Samples and Maya Kamaty, check out: https://www.orchestraofsamples.com/reunion/


© Addictive TV 2023 / Orchestra of Samples
Photos © Francoise Lamy



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