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Max Rambhojan album cover.

Here's Some 1980s Gwo-Ka & Zouk Music From Max Rambhojan

A re-issue of the massive hits from Guadeloupe.

Max Rambhojan's big record, "Tou't Jou Pa Min'm," reached its highest popularity during the 1986 World Cup, when its music video often played during half-time breaks on TV stations in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

The highly-infectious song showcased a style known as 'Zouk Chiré,' an energetic and high-tempo version of Zouk music influenced by Guadeloupe's carnival drum bands.

Much more than a Zouk artist though, Rambhojan is a known as a master of Gwo-Ka, the Guadelopean folk music (and the names of the hand drums it's played with) which originated during the transatlantic slave trade in the 17th century.

Labels Secousse and Hot Mule Records are now reissuing four gems from Max Rambhojan's catalog, which we're premiering here today.


Max Rambhojan and his car. Image courtesy of Secousse.

"I was born in 1955 at Petit Bourg, Guadeloupe," Max Rambhojan writes to OkayAfrica. "I've been a Gwo-Ka musician all my life, I started as a kid with the legendary Guy Conquête who was hanging out all the time at my grandmother's house to try and seduce my auntie. He's the one who encouraged me to learn music."

"Later on I made 2 solo albums in 1985 and 1992 with the help of my friend and bandleader King Klero. This is where those 4 songs come from. In 1986, local TV channel RFO was playing 'Tou't Jou Pa Min'm' on repeat during half time breaks during the Football world cup. That's when I started being taken seriously as an artist. Those songs are still broadcasted to this day all over the French West Indies, and sometimes people tell me they heard them in nightclubs in France too."

"I still play the Gwo-Ka most week-ends in Guadeloupe, and I also host a radio show on Media Tropical Guadeloupe, 88.1FM. I hope you enjoy this music!"

Max Rambjhojan is available for pre-order and out February 18 from Secousse and Hot Mule Records.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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