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Razia: Akory
This CD was donated by Cumbancha.
We thank them for their generous support of RootsWorld.

Akory, the new album from Madagascar's Razia Said, explores the political and environmental challenges facing her native land. Akory, which means "What Now?" in the Malagasy language, was produced on four continents over the last four years and sees Razia diving even more deeply into her Malagasy roots.

Listen to a sampler of the album:

Razia was joined on Akory by some of the leading names of Malagasy music, including guitar virtuoso D�Gary, legendary accordionist Regis Gizavo, valiha phenom Rajery, and nimble-fingered guitarist Teta. Razia presented rhythms from the four corners of Madagascar, including showcase performances on traditional instruments such as marovany (a wooden box zither), valiha (a zither made of a bamboo tube and plucked metal strings) and lukanga (a three stringed fiddle).

Recording for Akory started in May 2011 in the renowned Studio Mars in Antanarivo with ace Malagasy engineer and producer Bivy. Razia arrived from New York with twelve new songs and began working with her friend and internationally acclaimed valiha master Rajery to adapt them into Malagasy musical forms. Razia was keen to work with as many Malagasy legends as she could on this album( as she thinks that Malagasy music disserves to be better known and therefor exposed to the world). The super group she put together made up of Bivy (guitar), Do (drums), Johnny (bass), Daniel (marovany), Teta (guitar), and Petit (percussion) worked solidly for days, rehearsing intensively in the studio. The magic soon came together as the intricate 6/8 rhythms took shape and transformed the original songs into an urgent, passionate wave of sound. Razia was then joined in the studio by her regular guitar player Charles Kely, drummer Jimmy, Rajery himself on valiha, Surgi on lukanga, and the guitarist D�Gary who co-wrote the song "Gny Lalagna (The Way)" with Razia.

Razia took the tracks to Paris where the stellar accordionist Regis Gizavo and violinist Francois Michaud added further layers. Engineer Nir Graff, producer Jamie Ambler and Malagasy bass player, singer and vocal coach David Rajaonary supervised further recordings in New York, including 4 tracks with drummer Harvey Wirht, bassist Michael Olatuja and percussionist Samuel Torres. Godfrey Diamond mixed the album in Brooklyn and the album was mastered by the famous Leon Zervos at Studios 301 in Australia.

With work on the album having taken place in Madagascar, Paris, New York and Australia, Akory is a truly international effort. While Razia confronts some difficult topics on Akory, the closing track offers a positive message of hope that love will save the day in the end. While the album does not pretend to answer the question raised by its title, it argues that we can change our current path and work together towards a more positive future. Cumbancha will release Akory in Europe in November 2014 and the rest of the world in February 2015.

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