Island Girl: Meet Denise of the ‘Allofo’ Fame

Zesty and daring, shining and peppy—power vocalist, Denise, is definitely headed towards becoming one of Africa’s biggest female acts from Madagascar. Her style is best described as a place where Malagasy folk, Afro Pop and Afro Beat meet. With a voice sweet as honey, Denise impresses in her debut release of the certified dance anthem Allofo. The music video shot in Lagos, Nigeria is already garnering massive airplay across Africa.


Denise’s story started in a remote village in Madagascar, where her love for music could be traced to her younger years. Her spotlight came in 2014 when she won the first edition of a Pan African song contest, Island Africa Talent. A favourite from the start, her win earned her a recording deal with Universal Music. This put her music above the rest in French speaking nations, and propelled her to the rest of Africa.


Since taking up music professionally, Denise’s sound has been influenced by the traditional folklore of her home country. She also draws inspiration from sounds from other African nations. Her passion for cultural exchange continues to push her into bigger spaces and platforms. Expect fire, power, beauty and glamour as Denise makes her big debut on Coke Studio Africa this year on the Big Break segment, paired with South African rapper Nasty C and Nigerian heavyweight artist Runtown. She will also feature on Coke Studio’s special episode dubbed ‘Global Fusion Editon’ alongside the show’s international guest star, Jason Derulo, among 10 other African stars.


For the past two years Denise has been travelling around the world to work on her first album: ALLOFO (meaning ‘It’s Okay’). She is living proof that genius is nothing without guts, and while the recipe for her success is mysterious and also quite simple - she asserts that she wants to conquer Africa. She says she draws inspiration from world stars like Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and The Fugees. With a mantra that goes ‘You are never too small to dream big’—Denise’s long-term vision is to open a school to help orphans get a better education. Her journey continues to inspire many fans on the continent.


While speaking at a Nairobi Coke Studio press conference at the Sarova Stanley, Denise said: “I’ve been doing music since I was a kid in Madagascar and today I realize my dream of working with different and versatile artists [across Africa and the world]. The whole process is awesome for me. Thank you to Coke Studio for this wonderful experience. Through the show I have realized that it’s very important to stay authentic and real.”