Claudio Veeraragoo was one of the biggest stars in Mauritius’ séga music boom of the 1960s and 1970s. He struck gold when he mixed the traditional sounds of Mauritian séga—which was forged out of a blend of creole riddles (“sirandanes”), percussion from the ravanne goat skin drum, triangle and maravanne—with South Asian qawwali and Bollywood styles.
Veeraragoo left his mark on Mauritius and the globe with séga hits like 1966 “Nou Manz Nou Larak,” his breakthrough cassette single “Bhaï Aboo” and, later, “Bonom Chinois.” His songs were covered by French star Maxime Leforestier and Bollywood singer Shaan, and he still continues to draw huge crowds today.
Two of his hits are featured in Soul Sok Séga, an extensive 20-track compilation from Strut Records that takes a look at the pinnacle of séga music in Mauritius from 1973 to 1979.
Soul Sok Séga is compiled by DJs La Basse Tropicale and includes lengthy sleeve notes from Mauritian artistic director and producer Percy Yip Tong. It also features tracks from séga artists Ti L’Afrique, Michel Legris, John Kenneth Nelson, Jean-Claude Gaspard, Coulouce and more.
Hear our premiere of Claudio Veeraragoo’s “Bonom Chinois” below and order the album here.
Soul Sok Séga Tracklist
1. TI L’AFRIQUE – SOUL SOCK SÉGA
2. JEAN-CLAUDE – MADEMOISELLE
3. GEORGIE JOE – ELIZA
4. JOHN KENNETH NELSON – MANUEL BITOR
5. MARIE JOSÉE & ROGER CLENCY – LA VIE EN BADINAGE
6. CLAUDIO – BONOM CHINOIS
7. LES STARDUST – SÉGA LENOIR
8. COULOUCE – L’AMOUR ARTIFICIEL (SOUL SÉGA)
9. CLAUDIO – BHAÏ ABOO
10. CHRISTOPHE – MO PARRAIN
11. CYRIL LABONNE – POP SOUL SÉGA
12. HAROLD BERTY – MONE LASSER DIRE TOI
13. MICHEL LEGRIS – ELIDA
14. CATHERINE VELIENNE – MO MARI FINI ALLÉ
15. JEAN-CLAUDE – SÉGA SOUVAL
16. RAMONE – NOUVEAU VENU DANS L’ENDROIT
17. JOHN KENNETH NELSON – Z’ENFANT MISÈRE
18. GEORGES JEAN LOUIS – AFRO MAURICIEN
19. YOYO – COCO MAMZELLE
20. CHRISTIAN TOSSÉ – MADAME ZEAN