Sega Music

In the mid 1700's, travellers in the Western Indian Ocean told of slaves singing and dancing in an almost hypnotic state. Their passion for music using instruments not known to the travellers and the soft, melodic love songs made an impact on all visitors who were fortunate enough to hear them. They had all witnessed the origins of the black shega music, or as it is now known; the sega. "They had all heard the music born of African souls soothed in their lost homelands on rapid drumbeats and pounding rhythms. African souls now caught in an island's fragrance and soft beauty. From this unison came the sega".

The new instruments they had heard included the bobre; a long wooden bow, arched by a string over a large hollow fruit - the Moutia; similar to a Irish hand drum with an animal skin stretched over a large round wooden frame, and the Maravane; a calabasse filled with small stones or seeds. Although these instruments are not so commonly used today their modern equivalents are. Sonny is a pioneer as one of the first people to electrify the sound and to make it internationally popular.

A bonus for Sonny is his being bi-lingual - other performers have found it hard to set the catchy Sega six-four and six-eight timings to English words, and even Sonny will admit it has taken years to master. The key factor to Sega music is not just the instant foot tapping beat; the original folk music lyrics about the people, their actions and offerings of guidance or reassurance, are what keeps the music alive.

British band UB40 are still held in high regard with contributions over the last 20 years to the Jamaican music popularity, their highly successful hit of 'Kingston town' in 1989 brought to most of Europe and America the reborn 'folk song'.

Sonny is doing the same with Sega music!

Does Seychelles Seggae music own its roots to cultural imperialism, a product of Creolisation and globalisation?

Derrick (Decker) Young-Khon used to work as a radio DJ both with SBC Radio and Paradise FM back in Seychelles. During his time in radio broadcasting he interviewed Sonny a couple of times and still classes Sonny as one of the best Seychellois artists. On his daily Drive Show when he was on the AM radio service he made sure that a Sonny track was featured on his playlist everyday.

Derrik's favorite Sonny Morgan song is 'Respect of The People' which he considers the best reggae tune ever to be recorded by a Seychellois artist both in its rhythm and lyrics! Occasionally he plays Sonny stuff on the University's radio in Birmingham, UK and has had some good reviews, certainly amongst UK's Afro-Caribbean listeners. Derrik researched the reggae influence on the Seychelles and some of his thoughts are reproduced below:

Jamaicans made up of half the total numbers of immigrants that came to the UK, during 1950's and early 1960's. With them they brought their Jamaican music culture which was always going to have a massive effect on how black dance music culture will shaped itself in UK. Without reggae culture, there would be no So Solid Crew, Misteeq or Ms Dynamite. Massive Attack would not have packed the same baseline punch. Punk bands would not sound the way they do. Without Reggae and its culture, it's unlikely that the UK dance music scene would have developed in the way that it has.

Reggae has had a great influence on all popular music. The majority of the hip-hop community for example would agree that reggae has had some influence on what they have accomplished, especially in the last ten years. The roots of that were in Jamaica with the original DJs, who were rapping and toasting before the American rappers. The art of ‘MC’ing’ for example owes its roots to the ‘Sound System’. My dissertation however will leave the UK scene but will focus on the arrival of reggae music in my homeland the Seychelles and how it has developed to incorporate and fit itself comfortably into our traditional popular culture the ‘Sega’ and changed it to form what is now call the ‘Seggae’.

At the end of my investigation I should be able to understand how reggae reached our shores, how it has managed to infiltrate itself into the Seychelles mainstream and its role and importance in our popular culture.

Does the arrival of Reggae has something to do with cultural and colonial imperialism or globalisation? Is Seggae a product of ‘Creolisation’? Is it a cultural hybridity? “New Traditions” music is a combination of “new” and “traditional” musical elements combined, is this the case for Seggae? Any art that crosses cultural boundaries risks being watered down in order to reach a mass audience, is this the case for Seggae?

Music Links

RIC'S VINTAGE GUITARS AUSTRALIA - Into your guitars? Well musician Richard Zand-Vliet has been playing keyboards and guitar since he was 8 years old (also can be heard on Sonny's 2nd album a few years later!!!!) and is willing to not only share his experience, but has an interesting collection which highlights the mystique of older instruments for sale. The collection includes Gibson, Fender, Martin, Guild, Gretsch, Dobro, National, Regal, Kay, Epiphone, Rickenbacker, Rics, Ricks, Rickenbacher, Patrick Eggle, Mosrite, Valco, Ovation, Benedetto, Donmo, Jaslight, D'Angelico, D'Aquisto, Stromberg, Vox, Hofner, Ibanez, Tony Zemaitis, Salvador, L-OO, ES-335, ES-355, Stratocaster, Nocaster, Broadcaster, Telecaster, Emberg, Les Paul, Burns, Heritage, Hank Marvin, Harmony, Hagstrom, Framus, Eko, Maton, Alver, Ibis, Resonator Guitars, Archtop and Jazz, Scott Wise hand made guitars, Jackson's and probably loads more we have not mentioned! Richard buys, sells, trades and values guitars so first visit his site at

RTRFM - Best Radio station in Perth - listen online at

Sonny is the featured Artist at

Golty Farabeau is a good friend of Sonny's and a fantastic musician - check his MYSPACE page at

Base Camp Kutz have worked with Sonny and are making a name for themselves as musicians and producers - visit them at