DANYEL WARO
REUNION ISLAND, 5 musicians
Womex Award 2010



Banned for a long time, Maloya (the musical style mixing African, Madagascan and Indian origins) was adopted in the 70s by the movements for independence before truly re-emerging in the 80s. Danyel Waro is one of the main protagonists of this renaissance. Through his music, he has awakened an awareness of their cultural heritage's importance with many of his compatriots from the Reunion Islands (lost in wanderings through jazz, zouk and reggae). For example, the musician René Lacaille willingly explains that it was while attending Danyel Waro's concert at the French festival "Printemps de Bourges" that he was brutally thrown back in touch with his roots.
At over fifty years of age, he has left jazz to take up the music of his childhood once again. And he is not the only person who has retrieved a sense of pride in his origins thanks to Danyel's music.
A man of commitment and integrity, Danyel Waro does not dissolve in warm water. He does not appreciate triteness ("The sega became easy listening music"), preferring an almost rough-edged straight to the point attitude. His rare recordings are only of the music he loves, the rest of the time he spends growing his crops. "I don't want any promotion", he explained in an interview in 1992. "Promotion of Maloya, why not ? but not through me. People here don't understand where I'm coming from, they think I should have lots of money for singing, but I'm not interested in that : my work is making instruments". He chooses his words with the same attention, the same love of things well-done with which he puts the finishing touches to his kayams, roulérs and pikérs (traditional percussion instruments), while the Creole language flies away on the drums denouncing the new forms of dependency still tying the islands to metropolitan France. Ever the rebel (he spent two years in prison rather than serve the French flag), Danyel Waro is a man who fights against social injustice and defends his culture. A free man, and an angry man.







Danyel Waro