Ti’kaniki is a Lyon-based collective, about half of whom come from Réunion Island and the other half from various backgrounds in mainland France.
They all share a passion for maloya, the traditional music of Réunion, which has its roots in the island’s complex and often painful history linked to the slave trade. For a long time, maloya was confined to underground gatherings where slaves sang of their longing for freedom, and it was even banned by the French authorities.
Since the 1970s, maloya has become more of a symbol of national identity and in 2009, it was placed on Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Ti’kaniki is part of a new wave of musicians working to take music long considered as simply regional to a more universal audience.
Here, they share with us excerpts from their superb concert at Opéra Underground in March 2019.