• News

  • Sports

  • Health

  • Uncategorized

  • SOCIÉTÉ

  • In English

  • Opinions

  • POLITIQUE

  • ariel henry

Loading

News

1 / 1

The Konpa no longer belongs to the Haitians | Perspective

  • April 1, 2024
  • 10
  • 10
the-konpa-no-longer-belongs-to-the-haitians-|-perspective

Konpa may have originated in Haiti, but now this music belongs to the world. And UNESCO must recognize this fact

Read this piece in English

I was intrigued to hear “I need you” by Alan Cavé on March 24, 2023 as I entered the gymnasium of Université Sainte-Anne, in Canada.

Until then, I had not met a single Haitian in all of Nova Scotia, the province where the university is located.

So I wondered who in this cold host country was warming up to this almost languorous rhythm of Alan Cavé, so loved by Haitian music lovers.

  • “Are you Haitian, dear sir?” I asked him.
  • “But no, I come from Cameroon. Why this question ? »

I should have known that. The man, built like an athlete from the time of the gladiators, looked like me. Less by his muscles, which are too visible, than by his epidermis. But I was proud. Very proud.

  • “Without hiding, I don’t remember the name of this artist or his nationality, but I like this song and I listen to it quite often,” added the stranger.

So I wondered who in this cold host country was warming up to this almost languorous rhythm of Alan Cavé, so loved by Haitian music lovers.

From then on, it was obviously my duty to educate my dear friend. He had to learn the journey of Alan Cavé. Listen to, and dance, “Please baby”. Master the detours and convolutions of the national music of Haiti.

Read also: Why so much “love” in the compass?

I also came away edified by this exchange. My conviction is now made: the compass may have originated in Haiti, but this music belongs to the world. And the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) must recognize this fact.

Besides Alan Cavé who seduces people around the world with his musical works, other musicians have already broken national borders.

Konpa musicians add ambiance to the cars, living rooms and bedrooms of music lovers all over the world on a daily basis. Often, without them knowing it.

Guadeloupean star Tanya St-Val has admitted to being raised by Magnum Band hits when she was a child.

An unconditional fan of Carimi, the rapper of Congolese origin Youssoupha declared the obvious truth on his Twitter account:

“Frankly, the most beautiful song in the history of human civilization in the universe is “Sé Pa Pou Dat” by Alan Cavé. That’s it that’s all.”

Konpa musicians add ambiance to the cars, living rooms and bedrooms of music lovers all over the world on a daily basis. Often, without them knowing it.

In addition, Miguel Octave and Fabrice Paimba produced in 2017 “Martinique, the second homeland of Konpa?”, a music-societal documentary, which describes the affinities between Konpa and the West Indians.

Konpa has become internationalized, literally.

Other nations are taking it over.

Adapt it.

Make it local music.

Haiti is no longer the only homeland of Konpa.

When Tabou Combo performs in Luxembourg, Denmark, Holland, Morocco, Japan, to name just a few places, music lovers dance Konpa as they would dance their music. As if the musicians of Tabou were singing in their languages.

Read also: Tabou Combo: more than half a century and last survivor of Haitian mini-jazz

Culture knows no borders!

When Coupé Cloué receives a royal ovation in Ivory Coast where official tributes were paid to him; then in Senegal where the President of the Republic felt flattered to take the stage to greet the King, the native of Léogane felt like he was in Haiti. In these countries and many others, the crowd singing and dancing heartily to “Miyan Miyan, Andèrdan and Fanm Koloken was no different from that of Le Lambie” at Carrefour, who loved Coupé.

In the same vein, when Magnum Band offered an incredible show at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States in 1996, thanks to the efforts of the group’s American fans, the atmosphere in that room was no different from the one that Dadou and his gang usually create in the rooms of Pétion-Ville.

In this sense, I affirm that it is music lovers who determine the homeland of Konpa. And if most of the musicians of this music were born and raised in Haiti and they evolve in Haitian communities, they belong to the world!

The man, founder, Nemours Jean-Baptiste had anticipated this. In his song titled “Rit Komèsyal” released in 1960, we listen: “Konpa dirèk komèsyal, se sa k rann li orijinal”. Then, in the title “N ap Voye Ba Yo” released a year later, in 1961, we heard: “They sent them to us, let’s send them to them too”.

Read also: From Nemours Jean Baptiste to Carimi, a brief history of divorces within the Compas

For Nemours Jean-Baptiste, a back and forth must be established between Haiti and the music of the rest of the world. We listen. They listen to us too.

Moreover, Konpa now occurs outside the borders of Haiti — by musicians who have sometimes never set foot in the Caribbean.

I say it again, Konpa no longer belongs to the Haitians! With or without UNESCO recognition.

Par Nazaire Joinville

Cover image published by AyiboPost highlighting the group Tabou Combo. | © Photo: Bohdan Kiszuczuk


Keep in touch with AyiboPost via:

► Our channel Telegram : Click here

► Our Channel WhatsApp : Click here

► Our Community WhatsApp : Click here

author avatar
Nazaire Joinville