Music doesn’t always make headlines in Mauritius, but it occupies a predominant place in Mauritian media. Newspapers, radios and TV channels cover topics dedicated to artists and guarantee their visibility.
Mauritian media covers music and music news. More emphasis is now placed on local music and events, but until the mid-1990s, media covered mainly international music. Mauritian music is now well covered by magazines, newspapers, on the radio waves and TV as well as on online media.
Although local music does not systematically make the headlines, whole pages and broadcast time is allocated to local music.
Until the liberalization of airwaves in Mauritius, the national TV channel, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), offered musical programming. Different shows enabled artists and groups to showcase their talents. It was also one of the main reasons that motivated them to produce videoclips that were regularly broadcasted on the MBC channels. Today, local music is fundamental to the creole channel Senn Kreol.
Singers & radio hosts
It is a tradition for the MBC to receive local artists in its studios in Réduit, showcasing old and new talents for recorded sessions. Known artists are also interviewed at home and invited to talk-shows. The oriental channels of the MBC remain as active with shows carried out in collaboration with musicians and singers.
The MBC radio stations as well as the three private radio stations, namely Radio Plus, Radio One and Top FM, also have slots devoted exclusively to local music. These programs focus exclusively on local music and news related to music. Broadcasted on weekends or in the evenings, several of these shows are hosted by artists themselves, such as Bruno Raya, Ludovic Lamarque known as Mr Love, Mary Jane Gaspard and Sandra Mayotte.
Scope is the leading music magazine in Mauritius. Created in 1988, the weekly magazine of Le Mauricien Limitée press group, has been providing a platform to promote arts and culture in Mauritius for nearly 30 years. The magazine has featured most of the local artists and groups.
To make the cover of this magazine, which is distributed across the country, gives a serious boost to artists. Some of the local artists featured on the cover of Scope in 2016 were the blues man Tritonik, the ragga singers Otentikk Street Brothers, the jazz band Clarisse Sisters, the world music singers Hans Nayna and band Patyatann, the sega singer Désiré François, the seggae band Otentik Groove, amongst others.
Scope focuses on famous artists like Linzy Bacbotte-Raya and Désiré François, as well as emerging artists like Flashback and Patyatann. It launched the careers of Cassiya, Otentikk Street Brothers, Kaya, Mr Love & System R, Alain Ramanisum, Caroline Jodun to name but a few. In the late 1980s, it helped Ti Frère, father of the sega, record his CD with the collaboration of Radio France International.
Other newspapers devote their first pages to general news, politics, economy, etc., but music remains present in the inside pages.
Concerts, shows, album releases and other events are covered by the main daily newspapers: Le Mauricien, L’Express and le Défi. Almost all of these publications systematically advertise small and big concerts for free. The same principle is observed by the weekend newspapers Week End, 5-Plus, and Le Défi Samedi, which are among the most distributed publications on the island.
Most of these publications are also present on the Web, taking local music beyond the borders of Mauritius. Recently launched online platforms like IONEWS also promote local music while 5-Plus regularly streams videos filmed in their studios.
In addition to offering free visibility to local artists and music, the Mauritian press also supports several projects as partners. Almost all the concerts and shows benefit from the sponsorship of Scope, 5-Plus, Le Défi or L’Express, in the form of advertising and promotion.
In Mauritius, the media participates actively in raising public awareness on intellectual property. Articles covering music piracy and calls for the intervention of the authorities are regularly published.
Le Mauricien: www.lemauricien.com
L’express : http://www.lexpress.mu/
Le Défi : http://defimedia.info/
MBC (Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation) : http://mbc.intnet.mu/