Walking us through the stunning Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, is GЯEG, an affiliate of the Parisian label, Boukan Records and member of The Bakery, a Mauritian collective of DJs, street artists. Just 18 years old, having begun DJing at the ripe age of 13, Greg is a new-gen talent pushing forward the underground scene in Mauritius, but pays great homage to the long standing heritage and wealth of music of Mauritius, in the dreamy and captivating 100% Mauritian mix he made for us, blending the Island’s Jazz, Dancehall, Sega and reggae in between!
Have a listen of the mix whilst getting to know more about the island and the burgeoning Mauritius underground scene through Greg’s answers below.
Favourite place to buy records (old and/or new)?
I used to buy records in a shop in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis. It was a record shop until the late eighties but nowadays a watchmaker occupies the place. Nevertheless, they still have some vinyls left. You’ll find mostly disco and Indian stuff but somehow, I managed to find Ice Cube records once haha. But vinyl stay hard to find on the island, it’s better to deal with people that don’t want their records anymore.
Favourite live music venue?
Probably the French Institute of Mauritius.
Best soundsystem ?
The best soundsystem I experienced as a DJ and also as part of a crowd was the VOID acoustic owned by the FourAces crew.
Best party in the city?
The parties in Mauritius are becoming better and better and especially outdoor parties. We can’t talk about outdoor parties without mentioning FourAces which are in my opinion the ones who truly bring topnotch artists at least every two or three months. Most of these parties take place at L’embrasure or at The Green Village, in the west coast of Mauritius.
The media called La Isla Social Club, also organizes parties where the aim is to promote art and culture in Mauritius. The concept is that they invite a Live band, a visual artist and a DJ in a unique place.
There is the Primative Ö which organizes very cool annual parties. For the first one, they booked the French philosopher and producer Jacques and this year they booked Dekmantel’s artist, Fatima Yamaha.
Describe Mauritius in three words.
Multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and beautiful.
Best view of the city?
One of the best views is at the top of Le Morne mountain, the hike takes like 3hrs but it’s definitely worth the time and effort!
Best spot for a picnic?
I would say any beach of the island haha.
Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?
I love to go fishing in the north coast, basically I walk and I fish from “Trou aux biches” to “Mont Choisy”. It’s approximately 3km and a good way to recover after a party.
What is a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner in Mauritius?
A typical breakfast would be bread filled with butter, cheddar and Gato Piment which is a small ball made of flour and chili. For lunch, I’d recommend Farata and Dholl Puri which are a kind of salt flat pancake that we eat with different curries. As for dinner, fried noodle accompanied with shrimps and sausages are always a good idea.
Favourite cafes? Favourite restaurants? Favourite bars?
The Market Restaurant & Deli (Curepipe)
La Terrasse (Curepipe)
Henessy Park Hotel (Ebène)
Kenzi Bar (Flic en Flac)
Enso Restaurant & Bar (La Gaulette)
Labourdonnais Waterfront (Port Louis)
La Table du Chateau (Mapou)
Roti Aka Vinoda (Flic en Flac)
Jeanno Burgers (Flic en Flac)
Dalon (Grand Baie)
Ti Kouloir (Grand Baie)
Mystic (Mont Choisy)
Ah Youn (Flic en Flac)
Big Willy’s (Tamarin)
Star Deg (Port Louis)
Le Petit Journal (Curepipe)
What are the best local dishes or street food in Mauritius and where to eat them?
One more time I will say Gato Piment but you need to taste Samousas amongst other fried foods. It’s also a must to eat fishballs or meatballs etc that come in a broth. Peoples actually eat this ball’s broth after a party or when they’re drunk haha. All of these can be found almost everywhere, if you look carefully, you will see people standing in a line in front of small food truck.
Best place to experience something unique to Mauritius?
Any Outdoor Party!
What iconic building(s) in your city should one go take a look at and why?
Yeah for sure, Aapravasi Ghat in Port Louis. It was an Immigrant Depot where Indian indentured labourers passed through before they were transported to plantations during the British empire. Now, it has been converted into a museum that you can visit if you want to understand more and see the remains of the building.
If we had to buy one local thing from your city to take back, what would it be?
A local rum bottle.
What do you associate most strongly with Mauritius?
Good food ahaha.
First thing you miss after leaving Mauritius?
Certainly, my family.
Where are the most beautiful spots in Mauritius?
Rent a car and take any costal road!
Best place to see another medium of art other than music?
If you go for a walk in Port Louis, just look up and you’ll see some tags that were made on buildings during Porlwi Festival.
Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?
I think the best way to chat and meet new people is to go out, to go to parties and interesting events.
Is there any activity you must do when visiting Mauritius?
Go to the Curious Corner of Chamarel, the name says it all.
What’s the best and worst thing about living in Mauritius?
The best thing is that we live without any stress compared to Europe where people don’t take time to enjoy life. And the worse things might be politics, taking wrong decisions and destroying the nature.
Who’s doing good things for Mauritius music right now, who you’d like to shout out?
Are there any interesting organisations/charities/NGOs/projects involving music based or happening in Mauritius?
Nou Le Morne Festival is organised at the Morne Village in the West coast. The aim is to showcase the natural and cultural heritage of this region. All the profits are donated to the NGO, ADM: Action Development Le Morne, so they can finance their social project for the village: Vision Le morne.
What are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Mauritius right now?
As up DJs, I have to mention Cream Cracker, my mentor, the pioneer of Deep House in Mauritius and a vinyl addicted person haha. I also have to speak about Matsonic, who is one of the best selectors and I think, the owner of the biggest record collection of the Island. I also need to mention Avneesh whose technical abilities’ behind the decks always amaze me. There is also LP who plays mostly commercial music but with some dancehall peak time. When he’s playing it’s, believe me, it’s hard to stop dancing;
If we talk about coming DJs, I should say the next generation. I would be obliged to talk about Enzo Vln who is the co-founder of the Primative Ö, who did very nice set at their annual party. I would also talk about Alexi M who amazed me the last time I heard him. He was doing the warm up of Exos and he did a bad boy set with a lot of bass infused music.
There are not a lot of producers out there, but I follow the Babani Soundsystem crew who are doing a blend of local music with Electronic ones, RAin who has been making progressive house music for some years now and I also follow Ken zo who is more into psy-trance and psy-tech music as he calls it.
As a local band, I really love the Thomas Brothers that blend jazz into local music and I also really like The Prophecy who is maybe the most famous band at the moment on the island.
Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?
Basically, it’s a Selecta, of well-known and less known artists. All the music used in the mix was taken from some of my vinyl but also from my dad CD’s collection, from my mate Avneesh of Babani Soundsystem and also from the artists. The mix is a selection of Jazz, to Dancehall with some Sega and reggae in between!
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of show dates, releases or any upcoming projects that we should look out for?
I’m currently working on my first EP that should come out in early 2019. For the time being, I have a single that we did with Cream Cracker, that is coming out soon on the Parisian label Boukan Records. We are also working on a project called Kartel Future Sound Systema, which is composed of three DJs, as always my mate Cream Cracker, LP, and myself, and one MC, Natty Gong. This project is more focused on dancehall and afro music.
Menwar – Melodie La mer
Kaya – Ras Kouyon
Michel Legris – Elida
Thomas Brothers – Zistwar
Claudio – Bonom Sinoi (Frankie Francis Edit)
Thomas Brothers – A Nou Al Zoué
George Jean Louis – Afro Mauricien
Menwar – Labolision Lesklavaz
Jean Claude – Mademoiselle
Thomas Brothers – Zenfan Natirel
Sellam Renney – Souloulou ft Linley Marthe
Rafiki – Kraz Tabou
The Prophecy – So Much To Come
Natty Gong – Welkom Dan Moris
Kan – Enn Losean Vivab
The Prophecy – Natty Grandi
Ayef – Plaigner (Babani Soundsystem)
Patyatann – Narasimha
Woreka – Ti Bato (Babani Soundsystem)
Danyel Waro – Flo (Babani Rework)
DJ Ash Ley – OFFbeat Tarraxo
Nicolius – Senta (RIP)
Madrik & Dopeman – Afro Kirikou
Natty Gong ft Manna’C – Pié Dan Lo
Master Topher – Tourne Vanessa
Soul Faya – MVD