Votia is the stage name of Réunion singer Marie-Claude Lambert-Philéas in tribute to her mother, who came from Madagascar, from a family of musicians who conveyed maloya from generation to generation. Marie-Claude Lambert began her career accompanying her father, Gramoun Lélé, himself a singer with a mythical group. She was also a chorister for her brother, Urbain Philéas (Groove Lélé), and the group Didi. She could have kept singing for a long time for others, especially in this masculine setting. But Marie-Claude became a songwriter and launched her own group.
Now she too surrounds herself on stage with family members (her husband, Fabrice Lambert, or her children as well) along with many talented musicians. The pain she suffered from the loss of her parents and then of her daughter during the 2000s is reflected in some of her lyrics, soothed only by the music. Carried by her soft and charismatic voice, Marie-Claude’s lyrics are intimate, touching upon love, mourning and loved ones, as well as the deceased. The singer offers a conveyance of feelings through her mayola, with blues and Indian and African musical influences.
In November 2016, the group’s first album, Ansoumak, was released, introducing the public to a unique world, transcended by the rhythms of the mayola and by Marie-Claude’s sensitive poetry and vibrant personality.