Multi-award-winning Madagascar singer/songwriter, Donné Roberts, now based in Toronto, has unveiled his joyful new global music single, “Seheno”.
A key track from Roberts’ third solo album, Oya, released last August, “Seheno” is a celebration of life and neighbourly love flowing along to a multi-cultural rhythm. Written and sung in Roberts’ first language, Malagasy, there’s a global, but widely shared human experience that he is conveying.
“‘Seheno’ is about regular life in the big city where some people may find it stressful and that can create a feeling of being lost in the daily rush,” explains the winner of two JUNO Awards and nominee for three more. “However, there is always a way and nice people around who are supportive to others everywhere you go.
“It’s all good, and life is beautiful.”
Much like Madagascar music is infused with African, Austronesian, Arabic, and European influences, Donné Roberts’ music is a delicious mélange of international sonic flavours — an innate feat certainly evident in “Seheno” and its beautiful interplay between marimba, Latin acoustic guitar, and layered vocal harmonies.
Donné Roberts’ own life and artistry has certainly been globally influenced. Born in Madagascar and raised and educated in the USSR (Russia), he speaks Malagasy, Russian, French and English. Roberts’ varied artistic background includes touring as a backup vocalist for Swedish pop titans Ace of Base and becoming the first black VJ for MTV Russia. After emigrating to Canada, he has recorded and released three albums, Rhythm Was Born (2006), Internation (2011) and Oya (2021) and has collaborated on recordings with African Guitar Summit, Okavango African Orchestra, Amanda Martinez, Sultans of String, leading to his 2 JUNO wins and 3 nominations. His growing success caught the attention of CBC Radio, who asked him to compose the theme song for their popular morning show Fresh Air.
Variety is the spice of Roberts’ music with experimentation and collaboration two of the major hallmarks of his compositions. He loves to hear how other musicians might interpret his songs and add their own personalities to them.
“I like to experiment with the sound of my guitar, make it sound like a mandolin, a kora, or like an organ in reggae,” he says, adding, “I love to collaborate with my bandmates and learn different things from them. I like to hear different approaches to my songs.”
Check out “Seheno” below, and stay up to date with Donné via his socials.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.