In the world of music where genres often blend and cultures converge, Matjé emerges as a beacon of authenticity and advocacy.
His latest work, “Mitsio,” is not just a song; it’s a powerful narrative woven into melody, highlighting the pressing issue of land rights and cultural preservation. Born in the port town of Saint-Malo, Matjé, whose artist name signifies “to write” in Creole, beautifully combines his deep-rooted passion for language and storytelling with his music.
Matjé’s life, enriched by extensive travels to places like Brazil, the West Indies, Madagascar, Cape Verde, and Reunion, is vividly reflected in his songs. Each track is a tapestry of diverse cultural influences, echoing his commitment to sharing these experiences through his unique blend of French songs with World music, imbued with Afro-Latin flavours.
The song “Mitsio” was born out of a significant event in Madagascar in 2020, where the proposed purchase of Nosy Mitsio island by a foreign investor threatened local villagers with eviction.
This situation led to the formation of the Mitsio collective and the “Tsarajoro” civil association, initiatives supported by Matjé’s friends in the Vazalala organisation. Although the land purchase project was eventually abandoned, the continued interest in Mitsio’s land from various parties underscored a global problem of land expropriation.
Matjé’s collaboration with Malagasy reggae artist Bi.Ba, who personally resonated with the song’s theme due to his family’s land in Majunga facing similar threats, added a deeper layer of authenticity and urgency to “Mitsio.”
In August 2022, Matjé’s visit to Mitsio, alongside the Vazalala organisation, to meet the villagers and film the music video for “Mitsio,” was a testament to his dedication to using his art as a tool for social change and community connection.
“Mitsio” stands out not just for its poignant message but also for its rich musicality. Matjé’s soulful voice, combined with Bi.Ba’s reggae influence creates a powerful and emotive anthem. The song’s production quality maintains a delicate balance between traditional sounds and modern influences, making it accessible yet profound.
In today’s music landscape, Matjé is more than just a musician; he is a storyteller, an advocate, and a connector of cultures.
His commitment to using music as a platform for social advocacy is both commendable and necessary. “Mitsio” is a rallying cry for land rights, a call to preserve cultural heritage, and a shining example of how music can be a force for positive change in the world.