Massilia Sound System is a French reggae group that has been active since 1984. The group is known for blending reggae, dub, and Marseille culture to create a unique sound that has captivated audiences for over three decades. One of their most popular albums is “Qu’elle Est Bleue,” released in 1997.
The Origin of Massilia Sound System
Massilia Sound System was formed in Marseille, France in 1984. The group initially consisted of seven members: Tatou, Gari, Moussu T, Blu, Jo Corbeau, Lux B, and Kader. They were inspired by the reggae and punk scenes in the UK and wanted to create their own blend of music that reflected their Marseille roots.
The name “Massilia” comes from the ancient Greek name for Marseille, while “Sound System” refers to the Jamaican sound system culture that played a crucial role in the development of reggae music.
The Marseille Sound
Massilia Sound System has always been proud of their Marseille roots and have incorporated the city’s culture into their music. Their music is a reflection of the multicultural and multilingual city, with lyrics in French, Occitan, and Arabic. They often sing about the struggles and joys of life in Marseille, addressing issues such as immigration, poverty, and racism.
Qu’elle Est Bleue
“Qu’elle Est Bleue” is one of Massilia Sound System’s most popular albums. The title translates to “how blue it is” and is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea, which surrounds Marseille. The album features a mix of reggae, dub, and Marseille-inspired sounds.
The album’s opening track, “Au Marché du Soleil,” sets the tone for the rest of the album, with a catchy reggae beat and lyrics that celebrate Marseille’s markets and street vendors. Other standout tracks include “Le Petit Train,” which tells the story of a train ride through Marseille, and “Le Roi des Cons,” a scathing critique of French politics.
The Legacy of Massilia Sound System
Massilia Sound System has had a significant impact on French music and culture. They have inspired generations of artists with their unique blend of reggae, dub, and Marseille sounds. Their music is beloved by fans around the world, and they have toured extensively throughout Europe and beyond.
The group continues to release music and perform live, with a dedicated fan base that spans generations. They remain committed to their Marseille roots and have used their platform to advocate for social and political change in France.
Massilia Sound System’s “Qu’elle Est Bleue” is a testament to the group’s unique blend of reggae, dub, and Marseille culture. The album has become a classic of French music and continues to inspire artists today. Massilia Sound System’s legacy extends beyond their music, as they have used their platform to advocate for social and political change in France. Their dedication to Marseille culture and their commitment to their fans have made them one of the most beloved groups in French music history.