Rivo Noarivelo grew up as an active force in the music scene of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. He found himself performing and recording in bands like Mboutah and Mami Basta, and touring in Africa and Europe - an apprenticeship that gave him a unique musical grounding.
However, love would eventually transport Rivo to Norway, and he brought his guitar and his songs with him. There in 2012, he met Thomas Bang (Bass) and Marius Munthe-Kaas (Drums/Percussion) who were, coincidentally, the backing band for fellow Madagascan artist Rasoanaivo Hanitrarivo. In 2013, sensing exciting musical possibilities, these three then invited Marius’ old school mate, Henning Rød Haugland to join them on keyboards, and Moiizah was born.
Moiizah’s three Norwegians are all schooled jazz musicians, very active figures in the vibrant music scene in the region around Stavanger, Norway, and they can pull up a wide range of musical styles - from jazz to noise rock and industrial funk, and from church music, to the cutting edge of the avant garde via Nordic folk, and Brazilian maracatou. They are jointly and severally active in bands like Machinenfestung, Kitchen Orchestra, Mirakkels Orkester - and now, of course, Moiizah!
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Rivo had never assumed the centre stage, until now. He’s donned the mantle of the front man and songwriter for Moiizah, bringing a Madagascan heritage and Malagasy lyrics that the band collectively fuse with an unmistakably Northern hemisphere sound. Traditions meld in a soundscape where Africa meets Europe, old school meets new school and hot meets cold.
Four years, a bunch of kids and a good few gigs later, they’ve recorded their first EP - Tany Mena - on the windswept Scottish island of Jura, in the studio of acclaimed world music producer Giles Perring (recording credits include Albert Kuvesin & Yat Kha, Aline Frazão, Mekons, Corn Potato String Band). Giles cooked up his own special musical glue for the project, supplying select instrumental skills too, and his studio and the near deserted Isle of Jura supplied a unique atmosphere for ancestral seafarers and modern men from the UK, Norway and Madagascar to create a new sound, where folk, pop and jazz fuse across cultures..