Music stirs many an emotion within us, which is why it’s power is so immense and immeasurable, and most probably why so many of us connect with it on sooo many levels! Today’s song has overwhelmed me with enchantment and wonder! It’s truly beautiful!!
Georges Nilecam, better known as Eugène Mona, was a singer and flutist from Martinique. His all-too-short life on this planet ended when he was just 48 after an apparent altercation with a neighbour, which brought on a stroke. The most random of endings to a life that was full of music and creativity.
Son of musician, he was a leading artist in West Indian music and a songwriter who received great praise for his work from writers such as Patrick Chamoiseau (author of novels, tales, essays, theorist of Creole) and Raphaël Confiant (a writer of French expression and Creole). As a child he won a Creole singing competition at the age of 15 and made several appearances at the cinema (sometimes as an actor, as in Rue Cases-Nègres by Euzhan Palcy ), but also as a composer. His songs contained powerful Creole literary content and his voice, well, his voice contained the mighty capacity to deliver this power with intense feeling and expression!
He was also nicknamed “the standing Negro” or “poto mitan” and described himself as a Creole artist, claiming African and European heritages, but also as an Indian artist – from which he introduced (in particular) Tamil sounds into his explosive rhythms.
He released several albums from the mid-1970’s, right through to the late 1980’s, but today’s absolute pearl comes from his self-titled debut album, which was issued in 1975. Fau Da Ou Lévé is stunning from start to finish! You only have to press play once and, (hopefully) like me, you will be spellbound! His vocals possesses an enormity akin to the likes Shirley Bassey (no idea why he makes me think of her) but when he really gets going, his voice erupts, but I love the softness and control he has too, it’s glorious!! What else can I say? Check out this beauty and see what you think?
At the end of 2006, a tribute album titled Léritaj Mona was released in memory of Eugène Mona, which included many West Indian singers and at the end of 2011, the cover album Léritaj Mona – vol.2 was released in memory of his work. Many West Indian singers took part in this celebration of his life. In 2013, the college of the Marie district in the commune of Marigot in Martinique was officially inaugurated college Eugène Mona! This artist was greatly revered and I can see why!