Artist Profiles: Monika Njava

Monika Njava – Photo by Bir Images

Percussionist and vocalist Monika Njava grew up on the island of Madagascar in the southwest port of Morondava.

Celebrated across Madagascar as a national diva, Monika Njava was a lead singer in the award-winning group Njava, recording two critically acclaimed albums for EMI’s Hemispheres label.

She has recorded with best-selling act Deep Forest and continues to tour with the band. In 2012 she released a solo world pop album, Haizina, with musicians from three continents.

Always exploring new musical territory, in 2014 she recorded Island Jazz with bass virtuoso Linley Marthe. Island Jazz mixes traditional Malagasy music and contemporary jazz.

Monika sings in several Malagasy dialects. She draws on folktales and everyday village life for her lyrics. She also addresses contemporary themes affecting her country, such as corruption, environmental devastation, and the empowerment of women.

She is a member of the highly-respected supergroup Toko Telo. Her colleagues are two of Madagascar’s finest musicians: D’Gary and Régis Gizavo.

Discography:

From South Madagascar, with Njava (Sushi Records, 1997)
Vetse , with Njava (EMI Hemisphere, 1999)
Source, with Njava (EMI Hemisphere, 2001)
Haizina ( Anio Records, 2012)
Island Jazz ( Anio Records, 2014)
Toy Raha Toy, with Toko Telo (Anio Records, 2017)
Diavola, with Toko Telo (Anio Records, 2018)

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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