Filed under: Seychelles
The Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 930 miles east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius and Réunion to the south, Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest, and the Suvadives of the Maldives to the northeast. Seychelles has the smallest population of any state in Africa.
While Austronesian seafarers or Arab traders may have been the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles, the first recorded sighting of them took place in 1502, by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The first recorded landing and first written account was by the crew of the English East Indiaman Ascension in 1609. As a transit point for trading between Africa and Asia, they were occasionally used by pirates.
Formerly a colony of both Britain and France, The Seychelles has developed a distinct kind of music – incorporating multiple influences, including English Contredanse, Polka and Mazurka, French folk and pop, Sega from Mauritius and Réunion, Taarab, Soukous, Moutya and other pan-African genres of and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music. A complex form of percussion music called Contombley is popular, along with combinations of Sega and Reggae called Seggae as well as combinations of Moutya and Reggae called Mouggae and Montea which is a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan Benga.
As for John Wirtz and Les Boys, there is not a whole lot of information available. They were both included on the Buda Musique compilation Music From the Seychelles – but not together. There’s one song by John Wirtz, and another by Pye (also known as Georgie Romain) & Les Boys. I have also seen Souvenir of Seychelles: The Best of John Wirtz and His New Les Boys on Ray’s Music Room. If you any information about the band, please contact me.
Catalog number TCE 1008 on Tam’s Cinema of Mahé, Seychelles. No release date listed.