Artist Profiles: Maalesh

Maalesh

Maalesh and his four musicians hail from the archipelago of the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Born Othman Mohamed Elyas in Moroni of a Comorian father and Ugandan mother, he has been playing music since the age of twelve. Maalesh is blessed with a soulful voice and also plays electric-acoustic guitar and percussion.

His music resonates with a blend of African, Asian and Arab influences. Using many languages including Comorian, French, Arabic and Swahili, many of his songs plea for tolerance, freedom and respect for cultural diversity.

Maalesh had a highly successful show at the 1995 MASA festival (African Market of the Performing Arts) and was the winner of the “Decouverte RFI Afrique” prize the same year. The group went on to win the 2001 Grand Prix International at the Festival Visa Francophone in Villefranche de Rouergue in France. They have toured extensively throughout Europe and the Indian Ocean.

In 2007 Maalesh was awarded the Prix Musiques de L’Ocean Indien Award as best music group from the Indian Ocean.

Discography:

Wassi Wassi (2000)
Nawambé ‎(2007)
Yelela ‎(Marabi Productions, 2008)
Ntsobwe (2012)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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