Désiré François and Cassiya: 30 years of bringing people together

  • Dalone Dobout
Published on 2022-11-18 at 07:36
Years go by and we still can't get enough of Cassiya, regardless of generations. Désiré François and the group Cassiya are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. 30 years of sega and fighting for justice through their lyrics and their music.

One cannot quite talk about the local music scene without mentioning Désiré François and the emblematic group Cassiya. Désiré François has a one of a kind voice and his kindness, humility and accessibility are next to none. His latest single "Zanfan Losean" was released last September. The artist talks about the suffering of the Chagossian people, a cause that had always been important to him since the early years of his career with Cassiya in the 90s. In fact, the song "Diego" was included on the album "Racine La Vie" in 1996 and is one of his most popular songs yet.

Born in Cassis, in the suburbs of Port-Louis, Désiré François, now 59, performed for the first time on stage in Cité Vallijee. He was then only 18. The artist performed "Séparation", which he wrote. With friends and music enthusiasts from the neighborhood, he forms Cassiya. The first album was already underway when Désiré Francois participated in the singing competition Star Show where he reached the final but did not win. He did not even finish among the first three.

Far from being put off, Cassiya released its first album in 1993: "Séparation". An immediate success. Concerts and gigs start filling up. Everyone wants to see Cassiya live. Until today, Cassiya concerts are often sold out.

Cassiya quickly became the most popular group on the island. The songs of our difficult colonial past and our enslaved ancestors with songs like "Le Morne" and "Rèv nou zanset". Cassiya's hits have touched the hearts of the Mauritian public and still today they cross generations and borders, as well as the gap between rich and poor with "Ici kot nou été" and "Travayer".

Over the years, Cassiya has become one of the, if not the most popular group of the country's music history. Although the group parted ways, the spirit of Cassiya remains.

More recently, Désiré François has conquered the hearts of Mauritians with his songs "Angelina" and "Di pain griyé". Two songs voted Record of the Year on the radio. The single "Sa pa zot traka", a duet with the singer Lin (who passed away shortly before the release of the song), is a cry from the heart, imploring more consideration for those at the bottom of the ladder. A rare political stance taken by Désiré François.

To mark their 30th birthday, several Cassiya concerts are scheduled to happen in the coming weeks across the island. Désiré François is also working on another single that should be out by the end of the year. Not to mention a duet with the group The Prophecy. We can't wait...