Mahaleo has left a deep and lasting mark on the history of Malagasy song. Deep, because there will now be a “before Mahaleo” and an “after Mahaleo”. Lasting, because, although it is almost impossible to make a living from music in Madagascar, the Mahaleo — who have always refused to leave their island—are still with us…

The Mahaleo group has given us richly poetic texts that are simple and popular, with a strong social content and a concern for humanity and the environment (severely threatened by desertification). Their music is enchanting, with sumptuous melodies and warm voices — in solo or together— that evoke all kinds of emotion, from nostalgia to revolt… an irresistible cocktail, songs of protest from the Indian Ocean, or the Beatles revisited by Dylan or Yupangui... Malagasy style.

Fred Hidalgo “CHORUS, Les Cahiers de la Chanson n20” Summer 1997

 
 
 
Dama
 
Dadah
 
Bekoto
 
Raoul

Songwriter, Guitar & Vocals, Harmonica, Kabosy

Sociologist and farmer.
He has served two terms as an independent member of the Malagasy parliament.

music - archive

 

Songwriter, Guitar & Vocals

Surgeon
His doctoral thesis
was about the use
of fishing line in surgery.

music - archive

 

Songwriter, Vocals, Traditional end-blown flute, Piano & Guitar

Sociologist, specialised in the defence of farmers’ rights. He was at primary school with Dadah and Dama.

music - archive

 

Songwriter, Guitar, Violin
& Vocals

He is Dama’s elder brother.
A general practitioner and farmer, he studied medicine
in Romania. He passed away on september 3, 2010, at the age of 59 in Tamatave, Madagascar.

music - archive


 
 
Nono
Fafa
Charle

Bass player
& Arranger for the group

Head of department
at Antsirabe Hospital
He is Dadah’s elder brother and studied his specialisation in surgery in  Lausanne.

archive

Vocals & Guitar

Sociologist
Modestly, Fafa says he is “just a voice”, in fact it is one of the most beautiful voices on the Malagasy scene. He also sings with Feo Gasy. Like Charle, he joined Mahaleo for performances at the Antsirabe high-school fetes.

archive

Drums & Percussion

Sociologist
After a dozen different jobs,
he now runs an NGO for rural and peri-urban development.
He joined the group when he was at Antsirabe high-school.

archive

 

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