Evolution: Cubano Did It Again


It’s 2:00 AM, I am currently auditioning EVOLUTION, Cubano’s latest album, which I just purchased for a derisory price tag on CDbaby. This is, indeed, a Konpa evolution by any standard.

Skah Shah #1 has evolved to something totally modern. When you have an array of talented artists in the caliber of Shedly Abraham, Jean Max Valcourt, Yves Albert Abel, Danny P just to name a few contributing to this project, you cannot expect anything less than a masterpiece –with potential to transcend generations.

I highly recommend it; you will not regret the investment. No, I am not getting paid for this little shout-out. To me, this is nothing but a small token of appreciation for a piece of art so well crafted. BRAVO!!!

Songs to watch for their hit potential:

Rev an Mwen


Macho Man

Allons Danser


Contributing artists:

1 – On The Move (Evolution) [feat. Shedly Abraham, Jean max valcourt & Yves Albert Abel]
2 – Reve an mwen (feat. Shedly Abraham)
3 – Aimer (feat. Shedly Abraham & Jean Max Valcourt)
4 – Macho Man (feat. Shedly Abraham, Jean Max Valcourt, Yves Albert Abel & Bobby Jam)
5 – La vie pa Konplike (feat. Jean Max Valcourt)
6 – Skah Shah #1 (feat. Shedly Abraham, Gazzman Pierre, Roberto Martino, Jean Herard Richie, Michael Guirand, Shabba Djakout Mizik, Olivier Duret, Mac D Talon, Ti Joe Zenny, Prince Ello, Stanley Toussaint, Kenny Desmangles, 5lan & China Blak)
7 – Allons danser (feat. Danny P & Yves Albert Abel)
8 – Maria (feat. Shedly Abraham, Jean Max Valcourt & Yves Albert Abel)

Kenny Desmangles Should Join Disip

Some people may have assumed, unrightfully so, that I have an issue with Kenny F. Desmangles, especially after they had read my commentaries on his decision to leave Zenglen.

Not at all and absolutely not. I do not have an issue with the artist. The thing is, though, I admire his talent too much to be able to tell him what others won’t –maybe for the sake of complacency, or they want to tell him what he wants to hear [even when what he wants to hear is very destructive for his music career].

Like me or not, I have one obligation, and that is to tell you the honest truth. Now, what you choose to do with it, after I put it out raw to you, is your business.

It has been noise that the artist’s next move beyond Zenglen could be his solo career, especially after he had dropped this banging solo album entitled Full Sèvis [I highly recommend it; it’s very good].

Well, I object to such idea for the simple fact that going solo in Konpa is recipe for career suicide. He needs to be in a band. Otherwise, he can kiss his music career goodbye.

Before all you Konpa analysts refute my objection, I want you to tell me one Konpa solo artist who made it in the business. Well, for the sake of being optimistic, maybe Kenny will be the first to defy the norm; you never know.

Another chatter out there has it that he will reassemble 509. If this is, indeed, his plan going forward, he needs to be very honest with himself and his supporters to see if this is the best and most advantageous move for him. If I were to advise him, I would tell him not to let his short-sightedness and foolish ambitions guide him to embark on this dead-end journey.

Okay, Emann Joasil, you don’t think going solo or reconstructing 509 is the best decision for him, we understand that. But what in your opinion he should do?

Good question! As I briefly stated earlier, he needs to be in a band. There is absolutely no question about that. But which one of them, though? That is exactly the million-dollar question we need to tackle.

In my opinion, Disip is the perfect fit for him. What makes you think so, Emann Joasil?

Okay, let me explain. In Disip he will be next to Gazzman Couleur, a career vocalist, a superstar, someone having nothing to prove anymore in the business and with whom he will not have to worry about finding himself in competition for stardom and influence. Any of these other bands he would integrate, he will find himself caught up in futile, childish, and stupid competition with this other vocalist he will be standing next to, which will have negative drawbacks on the band’s upward progression and forward mobility. That’s a sad reality we cannot overlook if we want to be accurate in our analysis.

Also, in Disip these two guys will establish a complementary relationship –exactly like it was in Nu Look with Gazzman and Arly –which will make it possible for the two of them to shine together. He complements Gazzman just like Gazzman complements him. Gazzman is a stage animal, he is not quite. Yet, he is a great producer, arranger and composer; Gazzman is not quite. He can handle the Konpa Love tunes better than Gazzman can [I presume]; Gazzman can handle the uptempo tunes way better than he can [I presume]. That is what is called a complementary relationship.

Kenny Desmangles will have to come out some time soon to tell us what his next move will be. I am hoping he makes the best move for himself. In the meantime, I am calling on Gazzman to meet up with him for lunch to talk business. Gazzman needs to make him a juicy or sweet offer he cannot refuse, and it must be on paper.

We have to conserve and protect the artist. It will hurt me to see such a talent vanishing in the firmament like so many talented artists before him because of “bad” decisions. I have nothing to gain in his success or lose in his failure. As a concerned observer and lover of Konpa, I was only brainstorming on a situation that pertains to a young artist of my generation. That’s all. Well, what do I know?

ARLY LARIVIERE Needs To Call The Winning Play

Arly Lariviere: Nu Look's maestro

Arly Lariviere: Nu Look’s maestro

ARLY LARIVIERE must not doubt his plan to restructure NU LOOK and become the sole lead vocalist of his band. I stand strong and firm behind this decision of his.

Some doubt that this decision will work for him. Well, I have something to tell these doubters: anything in life in can work out. It is all about how well you are going to present it with all the changes brought to it [if any] to the interested people.

When you are going to battle, you can only bring with you and count on the weapons you have in your arsenal. He needs to count on himself and no one else. No one musician in this business is worth being counted on; they are nothing but a bunch of mercenaries looking for “kote dlo a ap koule pi fre pou yo a.”

ARLY needs to envision a banging delivery strategy to change the game. Part of that strategy should be for him to change the production mode of the band. What do I mean by that? He needs to count on his forte, which is KONPA LOVE. Forget about the hardcore Konpa. Stay away from that. In fact, if you study the trends carefully in this Konpa music production, you will realize that the Konpa Love tunes carry the weight that could determine the lifespan or life expectancy of any given album -if it is going to make it or if it is going to be a hit album.

He will also need to invest some money in developing a marketing strategy to make the market accept this new facelift done to the band -facelift in terms of structure and production. What will that do? That will play in the psychology of the market to make the consumers accept what they could or would be reluctant to accept and embrace. That is the power of marketing.

So ARLY has what the market is craving for. He has the ingredients to cook the good food, so he only needs to take his time to prepare something that will wake up the gastronomy of the market.

Maestro, this game is yours to lose. Make it happen just like you had done it before. You can do it, man. Do not doubt yourself; it is going to work.

BRUTUS: The Man Behind The Post-Richie Zenglen Revolution

Brutus of Zenglen

BRUTUS, the band leader and substitute guitarist in the Konpa band Zenglen, has got to be given a lot of respect for his leadership skills in this Konpa business.

He has commendably accomplished something no other musician in the Haitian music arena has done before, at least not as far back I can recall in my recent memory.

He has resurrected Zenglen at a time when most were ready to write them off and count them out. Because he is not a flashy dude, a noise-making individual like many in this business, many have overlooked his leadership accomplishments.

Some on the consumer side of the spectrum may think it is easy to pick up the lead of a company -after it has been hit by a severe and damaging storm -and take it to one of the highest picks of its success. This is not a cakewalk.

After the resignation of RICHIE, El POZO and JUDE SEVERE [3 key and imposing players of the band] at once, ZENGLEN should have been a band of the past, meaning it should have been in history book by now. But BRUTUS was not ready to retire the brand name ZENGLEN yet. He had prevailed on these types of gloomy and morose seasons before. What did he do that was so remarkable to stand him out so plausibly from the bunch?

He went back to the strategy room and came out with a battle strategy to get the band back in the game with a great sense of imposition. He did not stop there, though. He reconstructed the band, rejuvenated the confidence level of his players, and got them ready for war.

Now, by the level of work being done in REZILTA, their masterpiece album recently released, everybody, including the naysayers and doubters, is approving and admiring the REZILTA of Brutus’s hard work and leadership savviness.

The moral lesson of this story is this: In life, you should never underestimate one’s potential. You will never know what a person is capable of doing until he or she is challenged by unexpected life occurrences and has to make life and death decisions to turn things around in a positive way and be accounted for.

Brutus was challenged and, because he believes in himself and his last standing soldiers, did what he had to do to keep the ship afloat and prevent it from sinking. He did not spend his time in memory lane looking back and dwelling on the past; rather, he got back on the battlefield, engaged the enemy, and came out victorious. That is LEADERSHIP.

I am going to see if [at any of these Haitian music award ceremonies] a leadership award is not going to be attributed or awarded to this man. We must not wait when he no longer matters for us to honor him and his team of rescuers. Because of their hard work, we can still be proud of ZENGLEN today as we have always been.

Disip May Not Live To Celebrate Its 5th Anniversary

Abdel & Gazzman Couleur

Whatever issue the DISIP management has -causing the band not to be able to keep its musicians -needs to be rectified.

After the dissension that went down between the leadership of the band and La Porte, Pluviose, Ti Dou, and others, having caused them to part ways, it is now the turn of ABDEL, the band’s sole saxophonist, to leave, and that is on some very bad terms. Explaining the reasons for his decision, Abdel said:

  1. “After I expressed my thoughts publicly on KM [Kompamagazine.com], GAZZMAN and I were uncomfortable with each other…”
  2. “There is no camaraderie in the band…”
  3. “They don’t want you to express yourself if you are not happy with something…”
  4. “Manager Patrick Fabre is very rude to the musicians. He speaks to them however he wants. They want ZOMBIES in the band…”
  5. “I was just uncomfortable in the band…”
  6. “NEG YO SE YON MOUVEMENT KAP FET. YON MOUVEMENT POU YO KOURI FE ANPIL KOB…LE PLUS VITE KE POSSIB [These guys put this movement together to rake in as much money as they can in a very short time]. It’s not like a real band….”

This is what you call bad press, and such does not help to preserve the DISIP brand. These guys need to get their game plan together to prevent nonsense like this one from occurring. We have seen enough of these mishaps already.

How can I tell if a business institution is not doing well with its employees? All I need to do is to  see its Employee Turnover Report. That will tell me how difficult it is for the institution to keep its employees. If the report is looking gloomy, that is an indication that the management or leadership team is not up to par with the job of managing the staff.

Employee satisfaction is a must for the progression forward of any business institution. If the work environment is not conducive to employee satisfaction, you will definitely have an increase in your employee turnover rate. Making sure your employees are satisfied cannot be that hard. All it takes is respect and good interpersonal skills.

How can a business institution be productive if its employees doing the buck of the work are not satisfied? If the employees are happy with the work environment and the way they are being treated, of course, that will reflect in their work performance and productivity. And the opposite is just as true.

After ABDEL, who else is next to leave the band? If the reasons he gave to Kompamagazine for leaving the band are factual, it is very unfortunate things had to come to this. My prognosis is this: if DISIP does not get its act together, if they do not address the problem at the management level, they may not live to celebrate their fifth anniversary. The band will disintegrate, and that will be a big loss for our music. So the management team needs to take the business of managing the band very seriously. Managing a team composed of people of different and unique personalities is not a cakewalk. It is a challenging affair, requiring savoir faire, not charlatanism and amateurism.

Haitian Music: The Gangsters In The Media Are Destroying The Business

This unregulated Haitian music market, which we dare calling an industry, is at its deliquescence point as we speak; if nothing is done urgently to turn things around, in the next decades or so, we may not have what we are so enjoying today –whatever it is.

I will be blogging a lot on issues pertaining to our music world. But today, for the sake of spiking a conversation, I am going to touch on this very pertinent issue having to do with these media personalities soliciting money from these artists to play their songs on their radio shows and/or help in the promotion of their music on other venues.

Without a doubt, we have very few radio show hosts promoting Haitian music on their shows not demanding that the artists or bands pay a fee to have their songs played on their shows. A good bunch of them, even some of these folks working at these “radyo pirats” (these radio stations operating illegally) would not play your music on their shows unless you accept to “jere” them (pay them money) or whatever. Everybody is on hustling mode.

These entertainment show hosts, for the most part, are bought and owned to promote even bands or artists producing subpar music. These folks can never be themselves to tell the truth, educate the people and constrain these artists to use their God-given talents to produce music worthy of airplay.

For these show hosts, credibility is  no longer part of the game; it forever becomes a matter of extrapolation or “voye monte” for a few bucks. They get paid to hype bands and artists whose substanceless music should have been thrown in the garbage.

Today, even these administrators or owners of these Konpa websites are killing the artists. Thanks for these social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc… now there is a way to bypass all of them and get oneself out there.

I still cannot fathom why is it that, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, most of these Haitian artists still believe in the myth that they have to have their music pushed on the radio by these show hosts and their promotion handled by these Konpa websites to make it in this business. This is a myth that must be debunked. One can very well do without them.

Let’s face it… this so-called Haitian music industry has no real money to be made in it to begin with, how can anyone think they can be so demanding? I remember a few years back I contacted this administrator of one of these Konpa websites to have the poster of a band I was working with posted on his website, dude asked me close to 600 dollars for like three weeks of display. Are you kidding me? I don’t mind you charging, but damn!!! Be reasonable at least!!! After that encounter, I said to myself, “Nah, something has got to be done. I will do whatever in my human power to expose this institutionalized gangsterism.”

If the artists go to great lengths and fight tooth and nail to produce an album, before that album even hits the distribution points, thousands of bootlegged copies would be out there being shared and even sold illegally in the black market. So they are running on a deficit way before they even get to come out and start crawling.

There is no real money to be made in this music production business as I stated earlier, yet some of these unrealistic show hosts and Konpa website owners refuse to understand the reality of the business and the struggle these artists must go through in order stay afloat. That explains why it avers extremely hard for these upcoming bands and artists to get any real spotlight and exposure necessary for their forward progression; hence, only these already-established artists and bands with some type of name recognition you see occupy the landscape, even though they are doing nothing but engaging in production recycling or “bouyon rechofe,” displaying no sense of respect for the consumers.  This dire reality kills great talents and stalls the spirit of creativity in the business.

Because of this disheartening situation, these show hosts and website administrators have amassed a great deal of power and influence in the business, causing the musicians to have to lose their dignity and even have to go as low as engaging in flattery just so their music could be blessed with a little airplay on their shows and a little exposure on their websites, which in my opinion is not right.

While in the US market the artists get paid each time their songs get broadcasted on the radio or else, in the Haitian music market, it is the other way around; the artists must pay members of the media for that. Isn’t it ironic? And you expect these artists to make a comfortable living?

In conclusion, this piece is far from being an attempt to destroy anyone’s business; it is, rather, a call to reason and sympathy.  It also offers an opportunity to tell these artists that there are ways to bypass these robbers and get their business out there. This Haitian music market should not be the way it is. These mercenaries in the business will not change their deceitful mannerism unless they are forced to do so. Until they decide to pursue a different course, the artists must bypass them and use the technologies they have available at their disposal to market themselves. If they give their very best to product great music (music with no expiration date on; music that can transcend generations) and use all the right technologies to get themselves out there, nothing can stop them. Instead of them chasing people, people will be chasing them.  You can never go wrong with these social networking sites, if you really know how to make good use of them. Remember this, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, won the presidential election in 2008 because of his sublime use of the internet, mainly these social networking sites. If he could do it so big then, so can you today. You just have got to believe.


Nicolina Florentino

Nicolina Florentino, the lady who plays the saxophone in ZENGLEN, is a woman of character. Her reason to stick with ZENGLEN in spite of her great admiration for RICHIE, who is leaving the band, should be a great lesson of altruism for all these Haitian Konpa artists. She has chosen to stay in ZENGLEN only to allow her bandmates to continue to have a job and a paycheck to get by.

Asked by Haitianbeatz if she would leave ZENGLEN to join RICHIE in the new band it is said that he and GAZZMAN will put together, she said: “I love Richie, I love his talent, and I love working with him, I would love to follow him anywhere he goes, but however, I cannot see myself doing that to the other guys, if me leaving Zenglen will create an instability to the band, I would not do that…what will the other guys do is Zenglen breaks, this is their livelihood, Brutus and the others live of that music, they don’t have other jobs…I would not jeopardize the life of many just for one guy. Richie is very talented, he will survive, he can produce, he can join any band he wants and he can create a successful band by himself, but not the other guys in Zenglen, they rely on each other…so therefore, I will stick with the band even if down deep inside I love Richie and would love to work with him…

How could you not love this lady? I wonder how many of these mercenaries in this Konpa business would put aside their selfish needs and interests to stick with a band only to allow their fellow bandmates to continue to earn a living. Well, Nicolina is teaching them a moral lesson of altruism I had never seen taught in this business before. You know what? I am going to see if this woman is not going to be recognized and awarded this coming year in any award ceremony where Konpa artists are being recognized and awarded for their contributions to the advancement of our music. You go, Nicolina! That was a great call on your part. You are, indeed, a great woman, a woman of unseen character.


Ti Joe Zenny of Kreyol La

What’s the beef between NU LOOK’s ARLY LARIVIERE and KREYOL LA’s TI JOE ZENNY really about? I guess this back-and-forth nonsense between these two is taking a whole different route, apparently.

I was reading Kompamagazine and stumbled on an answer given by Fabrice Rouzier to a question on the nature and significance of the beef between the aforementioned two; he said: “Ti Joe is walking on a wire with this one. Yes , he is the actor with the funny lines and all but i think the homophobic line may get him in trouble. If i were Arly, i’d ask him what his real problem is with gay men or women?”

How did I miss that homophobic remark of his? I guess I did not dig deep enough. Did he call ARLY a “masisi” (Creole word for gay) or something? Okay… if so, so what ARLY was gay!!!! Does his gayness impact his ability to produce hits after hits on every single album? Does his gayness make him less of a human being to dare taking on TI JOE as a challenge in a trash-talk contest? I don’t think so. So what does his homophobic remark have to do with any strife between him and Arly?

This is the type of ridiculousness we need to correct when these guys tend to forget that they cannot be saying things just for the fun of saying things. When you are an artist, a public figure for that matter, you are so influential that your words, statements and behaviors can negatively or positively impact an entire society because you have people looking up to you. That’s why you have got to be ultra careful.

I did not read TI JOE’s homophobic jab thrown at ARLY, but I do trust FABRICE’s honesty in his reference. I think TI JOE needs to exercise a little bit of political correctness next time, if he needs to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to himself and the band he is a member of.


Maestro Richie

MAESTRO RICHIE: GAZZMAN has given you *in public* the guarantee that you need to make the transition to DISIP -to come work alongside him to take over this KONPA business.

In an interview with Gilles Freslet out of Haiti, GAZZMAN is reported on Kompamagazine stating if RICHIE were to join DISIP, “li tap tre kontan […] e Richie pa tap vin kom yon simple muzisyen, li tap gen tout dwa menm jan avel nan Djaz la pou sa maestro a reprezante nan muzik la.”

MAESTRO RICHIE, what else do you need to hear from the man I call the MARADONA OF KONPA? For your age, you probably have roughly 10 more years to spend in KONPA; after that, you will be out of the game. If I were you, I would not be playing the loyalty game and, as a result, getting stuck with a band on the verge of living its life expectancy. You do that, you are running the risk of counting pennies upon your retirement. Make these 10 years the years of money raking for you. Quit playing!!!

If you are coming to DISIP, you are going to have to demand that the band’s leadership team be reconstructed. Some of these guys have no business to be in there. You are not leaving ZENGLEN for DISIP to fail. And the success of the band lies in part in the hands of these people in the leadership team with the responsibility to manage, market and promote the band successfully. For that to happen, you have got to have in that team knowledgeable and intelligent folks, not a bunch of charlatans not having a clue as to how a business is run, marketed and promoted.

I understand you might be reluctant to jump on this offer, but keep in mind that some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime. These opportunities are called “golden” for a reason; they are rare to come around.

GAZZMAN has the delivery skills to score big and get you to win this championship. You still have a shot at it. Now that you have heard it from the big man himself, the ball is in your court to decide.


Nu-Look, Haitian Konpa band

Nu-Look, Haitian Konpa band

NU-LOOK is not a rookie band. After so many years in the business, one does expect better and more from them. Some public relations missteps or rookie PR mistakes coming from their ranks are unacceptable. For such a high profile band, their PR sucks, meaning mediocre and subpar. And that is very sad.

First, it was the verbal exchange at that NU-LOOK party in Florida that involved a certain ROMEO STARK, whom Kompamagazine identifies as a journalist, and MAESTRO ARLY that made the press; then came the saga between MAESTRO ARLY and ALIX NOZILE, the band’s congas player. All in one night. See interview: http://bit.ly/piNsqj and http://bit.ly/rrzBTG

I cannot remember when was the last time I stumbled on a press release from NU-LOOK. In the midst of all this bad press the band has been getting as a result of these two incidents in one night, one would expect the band’s PR staffer, if there is one that is, to be on top of his/her game and issue an official press release to zero on the issues, explain exactly what went down that night and put the matters to rest. No, that would be too formal and professional for them.

Almost two weeks after the incidents, not one official press release from the band has made its way into the media. All we have got thus far is a bunch of conflicting statements from members of the band -RORO, PIPO and ALIX NOZILE -and this guy ROMEO STARK. Meanwhile the band is being slammed left and right in the press by people who have been waiting for it to make a blunder to run with it.

A new issue has currently made the surface of the ocean: ALIX NOZILE and his immigration status. There is a cloud of uncertainty and confusion surrounding this guy’s immigration papers, it is not even funny. For years, that man has not been able to travel overseas with the band because of his “undocumented alien” status. Not too long ago, he came out publicly on Kompamagazine with the news that he had obtained his green card, which everybody was happy to hear. Wouldn’t anyone expect his overseas traveling to be a done deal?

So will he be traveling to Haiti with the band or not? That’s the mystery of it all. Not even RORO IRENE, the band’s gongist, who has been with NU-LOOK since the early days of its inception, could answer that question. When Kompamagazine asked him to answer the question, in a dumbfounded twist, he put it like this: “I will know the answer to that on August 4th just like everybody else.” http://bit.ly/pQJ1Cp So even he does not have a clue as to whether ALIX NOZILE has his legal residency papers or not to travel overseas.

If management, in coordination with the PR staffer, was doing its job, why should the veracity of the news about ALIX NOZILE’s immigration papers coming to terms be questioned and challenged in the press, thereby making him (Nozile) look like a ridiculous joke? Shouldn’t management have physically seen his papers, made photocopy of and kept them in his file? Once confirmed, shouldn’t management have issued a press release to inform the press of this new development? I guess that would have been too much on Dolf Chancy, the manager of the band.

NU-LOOK’s PR glitch is life threatening. Enough with the PR indiscipline! Enough with the rookie mistakes! So They need someone on board badly with the required skills to take care of their PR and institute PR discipline in the band. This is as urgent as a heart attack. If they do not move quickly and proceed intelligently with a sense of urgency on that to correct the deficiencies, I could foresee disaster in their ranks. The ball is now in their court to do whatever they see fit. At the end of the day, it will be their business that will be effected, not mine.