Zily | Debut EP and exclusive What The France playlist!
An artist from the village of Tsingoni in Mayotte, where you can find France’s oldest active mosque, Zily is a politically engaged young woman. A feature of Mayotte’s artistic scene from the age of 20, she carries with her the values and traditions of the island in her music and her personality: mutual support, solidarity and sharing. Zily is also a woman of multiple cultures, born of a Malagasy father and a French mother originally from Mayotte. She recently launched her own label, Yeka Music, surrounding herself with a team of professionals to support her new musical project. A vocal signature – ’Yeka baba!’’- affirms the identity of Yeka Music as a powerful statement: “witness the power and the potential of Mayotte’s music.”
It is on the island that Zily developed her musical career, as well as building the image of a strong, ambitious, enterprising woman, in her artistic projects as well as in her personal life. Today, Zily is renowned in the Maorais community, whether in Mayotte, Réunion or in France. She is the very image of a modern woman who is also faithful to her roots and her origins. Since 2020, Zily has guided her career according to two principles: demonstrating that you can make a living from music and promoting the image of Mayotte to a wide audience, while staying true to her musical vision.
Having worked on her new project for several months, Zily returned in June 2021 with the video for ‘Tsika‘, which has since been viewed over 2,189,000 times on YouTube. The choice of this track to kick-start this new era of Zily’s career can be seen as an allegory of the new turn that she has taken. ‘Tsika’, which means ‘I was’ in Shimaore and ‘together’ in Kibosy, is the tale of a joyful, carefree childhood. It’s the story of a young girl who lives in total harmony with the world around her, and also an account of the contrast between an childhood where one could be happy with very little, and the material abundance of the present.
The track also carries a universal message, inviting children and young people to take hold of and learn to make the most of what they have around them.
Watch the video for ‘Tsika’:
Having tackled the theme of childhood, it’s on the subsequent single that she invited us to discover another aspect of her island: women. ‘Amani‘, which means ‘peace’, is an allegory for powerful, combative, resilient women. It recounts a story from Mayotte and, through it, tells the story of all of its women. Singing ‘Amani’, Zily represents all of the women who fight daily for a better life, for themselves or for others. The video has had over 1,750,000 views on YouTube.
Then on 8th March, on International Women’s Day and to accompany the release of her debut EP, Imani na amani (which means ‘faith and peace’) she shared the video for ‘Zaina‘, which is a homage to her mother. The video has had more than 715,000 views on YouTube. The EP features nine tracks which blend traditional and modern sounds, and affirms the musical identity that Zily wants to present to Mayotte, the region of the Indian Ocean, East Africa, France, and to the rest of the world.
Zily has done us the honour of compiling a What The France playlist featuring some of her ‘Made in France’ favourites like Reed Blowz, Youbbee, Bodo et Baré, Komo, Mikidache et M’Toro Chamou, Baco, Bo Houss, Saina Manotte, Admiral T and Kassav, Staco & Kitoko, Désiré, Diorellia, Skinny, Lima Wild, Fanny J, Goulam, Meiitod, Lokygramme, Kueena, Pix’L et Anouchka, Terrell Elymoor, Ali M’Benchezi and Annice et Zedcee.