After CARIMI, a New York-based Konpa band, has dropped the music video for the song KITA NAGO off THE INVASION, their latest album, the critics on the conservative side of the musical spectrum did not waste any time to gear up and go on the counterattack. Their most vicious and debilitating attack to date is that that CARIMI is not playing Konpa; therefore, they are destroying the music.
I don’t know what these critics’ motives are, but to suggest that the band is destroying the music because they sound different and unique, I think that is taking the criticisms a little bit too far.
Here is the video for the song KITA NAGO that is causing all this traffic, all these chatters and jabbers. They dropped it in prelude to the release of the album, a way to introduce THE INVASION. Whoever produces it did a tremendous job. It is very mainstream -out of the ordinary for a Konpa music video. Check it out for yourself.
I don’t see them destroying our Konpa at all. I only see a music that is mutating the same way it did in the late 80’s and early 90’s with bands such as Papash, Zin, Zèklè, etc.
When these aforementioned bands were making the twist back then, they were being slammed left and right with the same illogical criticisms as the ones CARIMI is facing today. In fact, some prominent Konpa show hosts on the radio would not even play their songs on their shows; they were being penalized simply because they sounded different and wanted to revolutionize the music.
I hope these conservative-minded folks did not expect the Konpa CARIMI is playing to sound like Meridional des Cayes of the 80’s.
Music is like culture in that it cannot be enclosed as it tends to evolve. Otherwise, it will cease to exist.
Our music has to change because our musicians are being exposed to all sorts of influences, which is a very good thing. And that happens with every genre of music -Rap, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Rock & Roll, Reggae, etc…
If you listen to Tropicana, one of the pillars of our Konpa music, you will realize they too have changed for the better. The Tropic of the past decades does not sound the same at all as that of today. Being able to change at the rhythm of time is exactly what has blessed them with such a longevity. And the same goes for Tabou Combo.
The criticisms CARIMI is facing from these conservative-minded folks is just normal. We should have expected them to show such degree of reluctance. But nothing is wrong with the band per se. If anything, they are the ones with the problem. Carimi is playing KONPA DIREK -a different kind, of course.
Some people are afraid of change because they see that as a menace to an established order. They will resist anything that is asking them to move out of their comfort zone. So their issue is purely psychological.
I go by a different philosophy. I see change as a growing process. You have to change in order to grow and exist. Otherwise, you will die. The forces of nature will eat you up.
So CARIMI was forced to change their style of Konpa to stay relevant in the Haitian and international markets. On that, I congratulate them on their latest album. I am proud of them because they represent us in the Northeast with flying stars. They are working tirelessly to make my dream come true -to see New York reclaim or regain its title of “Mecca of Konpa Direk in the Diaspora” like it used to be back then, before Florida snatched it from us. To all you critics, THE INVASION has just begun. If you cannot join in, I suggest you get out of the way so you don’t get crushed. And that is a fair warning, not a threat.