September 24, 2018
Fairwell “Belle Kord” aka Kevin Guippe
Saturday September 15, 2018 Belle Kord aka Kevin Guippe sadly announced to his fans at a live performance in West Palm Beach Florida that he would be leaving Klass. Kevin made the overall announcement his last week during rehearsal to his band mates that he would be leaving the band due to financial obligations to his family. Although he is a musician first he is a Father, which has taken priority over his musical career. Kevin Guippe has expressed that he has missed several birthdays and family occasions due to him being on the road with Klass. Kevin has been with the band since 2012 and was a valuable member musically with his distinguished attributes as a guitarist. Hence how he got his nickname “Belle Kord” (translated in English “Beautiful Strings”)
Since “Belle Kord’s” announcement of leaving the music industry it has struck many conversations within the HMI such as ”How is the pay”?, “Is there health and life insurance”? , “Is it profitable as musician or artist in the HMI”? and “Can a musician’s salary pay his or her bills”? There have been many debates on this topic prior, however with a successful band such as Klass the topic has resurfaced. The HMI has produced many successful musicians in the public eye such at Sweet Micky, T-Vice, Wycleff Jean, Dadou Pasquet, Yves Joseph of Tabou, Combo, Fabrice Rouzier, Edie Francois and Beethova Obas to name just a few that have made successful living as Haitian musicians. When you view the success of these artists it brings up the question “Is Management really looking out for their Artist”?
Sad to say quietly we have heard sad stories such as “Go Fund Me” being created as a supplement to assist artist medical needs. Recently this past March of 2018 Yole Derose is an example of this case after she was announced with Myeloma with AL Amyloidosis, an immune and a blood disorder. Which brought up several questions and again went quiet.
Friday September 21, 2018 Klass appeared Live on stage at Brasserie Creole in Cambria Heights, NY without Belle Kord. Although Kevin’s presence wasn’t on stage His bandmates carried out a great performance with out him and he was deeply missed by his fans. It will be hard for someone to fill in the shoes of Kevin Guippe. Perhaps Belle Kord will make surprise guest appearances. In the meantime with “El Pozo” present Klass can continue to say “Klass It IS Baby”! Perhaps Belle Kord will make quest appearances, one can only hope. Kompa Original wishes Belle Kord luck and success in his next endeavours in addition to his life legacy.
September 18, 2018
Michel Martelly performs LIVE in New York at “The Space”
Michel Martelly aka Sweet Micky performed Live on stage at the space after Chez Mirelle canceled the performance after numerous calls from individuals threatening to vandalize the Restaurant/Night Club on Friday August 31, 2018. Michel Martelly former President of Haiti performances are always a treat since he has returned back into his musical character Sweet Micky. In front of the Space Michel Martelly fans were greeted by a small group of 15 protesters whom quietly came to exercise the first amendment and make their voices heard with the freedom of speech asking the famous question of the moment “Where is Petro Karaibe’s Money? Kote kob Petro Karibe? The protest lasted about a hour and a half.
Once you entered the Space you were greeted by Michel Martelly’s distinguished voice singing on stage. A voice Haitian music was deprived of for 5yrs while he was President of Haiti. Martelly’s performances before and after politics are truly a tribute to Compas Music, while he plays music from his repertoire and legendary bands that have had a key role in Compas such as Tropicana, Skah Shah, Scorpio, Zeklé, Shelu Sleu and Tabou Combo to name a few. Roger Eugene aka Shoubou of Tabou Combo surprised Michel Martelly on stage while he was performing one of Skah Shah’s hits. Michel was so happy to see Shoubou, he performed a potpourri of Tabou Combo’s music as a tribute to Tabou Combo whom is celebrating their 50yr Anniversary. The two sang and joked on stage while fans laughed and sang a long. It was truly a memorable performance. If you missed Michel Martelly’s performance stay tuned for his next tour dates…
July 16, 2018
Harmonik’s Cap-Haitien August 10, 2018 performance CANCELED
Feu Vert Night Club owned by Septentrional in Cap-Haitien has opened its doors to many bands and artist to perform on their stage. Harmonik has recently released a press release to media and their fans stating their August 10, 2018 performance has been canceled. What makes the cancelation interesting is that Klass and Harmonik both claim they are booked for the same date. For the sake of the fans the showmanship thing to do would have both bands perform on the same stage. Klass’ camp has made it clear that they would take no part in sharing the stage that day. In matter of fact they have pushed full force in promoting the show for that date. Harmonik’s camp received many threats due to their safety they felt they were left with no choice but to cancel their performance rewarding the stage to Klass.
Rico Piere-Louis confirmed in an interview with Evans, Kompa Events Harmonik was officially booked by Feu Vert Night Club on August 10, 2018 with a paid deposit. Flyers, Posters and Bilboards have been seen all over the streets of Cap-Haitien showing otherwise Klass is performing August 10, 2018 at Feu Vert Night Club. Rico states he is frustrated that Klass’ Camp is tried to strong arm the night club due to the band having roots in Cap-Haitien. Rico called Ritchie of Klass and informed him that Harmonik was booked for the date. Ritchy informed Rico regardless of Harmonik having the date at Feu Vert Night Club the band has to have a performance on August 10, 2018. Rico expressed to Ritchy that he would prefer that the band play at Feu Vert Night club and could do so if the band either changes the date or share the stage with Harmonik. Rico called Harmonik’s Management after trying to see if a date change would be possible keeping the bands planed performance at Feu Vert Night Club. Harmonik’s Management informed Rico a date change wouldn’t be possible due to their set dates for their summer tour. The question now asked is are the two bands at a musical polemic war?
To be continued…
July 16, 2018
To Be a King or Not To Be., To be a King or a Fallen Star…
Many genres of music has royalty. Rock and Roll has Elvis Presley as the King. James Brown is the King of Soul and Aretha Franklin is the Queen. Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, Bob Marley the King of Reggae, Tito Puente is the all time Mambo King, Joseito Mateo the King of Merengue held that title until his death. Daddy Yankee and Don Omar are the Kings of Reggaeton and. Last Prince Royce is the Prince of Bachata to throw a few headliner names that are well known internationally to name a few.
Compas we allegelly have Arly Lariviere as the King of Compas. Many have asked what musical committee was his royalty status rewarded from. Although Arly Lariviere is a brilliant pianist the status of “King” may be premature. Arly can however be compared to Elton John. Arly Lariviere has traveled the world and has the recognition internationally to stand on the platform as a brilliant Pianoist and no one will question his abilities except for Ansyito, Fabrice Rouzier and Joe Jacques to name a few.
Royalty status is given when you have reached musical plateaus and prestige that many can’t reach and perhaps may never reach in their lifetime. Therefore you become an example and a standard for many to follow for years and generations to come. Lately the past couple of months Lariviere has displayed the attributes of just another musician compared to a King. A king of any genre of music is humble he knows his thrown comes from the people and goes out of his way each performance to show his musical kingdom that he has owned the right to be the king.
NYC / NJ we have witnessed the opposite of Arly. The King was spotted stumbling on stage due to much alcohol intake. Lariviere has shown up to several scheduled shows late. Recently Sunday June 15, 2018 Lariviere showed up late and was left at the Pier. The Yacht returned an Hour and forty mintues after departure. This has brought much attention to his character as a musician and has many stating that the King should be stripped of his crown until further notice. Instead of apologizing and giving an outstanding performance for his latte arrival to Pier 40, the King allowed his entourage to sing with him on stage. It was toture like watching an episode of Kareokee with the Stars. Wait a minute that show does not exist.
Hence “The King “ after went on several social media platforms and bragged about the boat returning for him. Actually the boat returned to keep the peace. No one wants to be aboard a crowded ship with unhappy guest, it might escalate into a riot. You just can’t walk off a boat and go home as you would a venue. The fans have reported to Kompa Original “The King” has become very arrogant. The fans feel his attitude has made him unapproachable. Thus with his negative publicity many have asked how did he inquire his status and wants his crown and title to be stripped and effective immediately. Arly Lariviere just may be able to redeem his thrown. Luckily his band NU Look preforms exceptional each time which makes up for the several faux pas of “The King” However if the band overthrows the Maestro that will be the end of NU Look and the King. The King would now gain the title of “Fallen Star”
May 5, 2018
The release of “Devotion” in NYC
T- Joe aka Joseph Zenny Jr, LouLou aka Lhoman Jean and TMD TMD and held a listening party at Meli Melo in Valley Stream, NY April 26, 2018 introducing their new album “Devotion” to media and close friends of the industry. Devotion has 8 great singles that their fans will appreciate. T- Joe spoke on behalf of the band and announced their new strategy that they plan to implement going forward. Kreyol La will release an album every year around October, as older bands have done in the past in the early 60’s -90’s. T-Joe stated if this is implemented the Haitian Musical Culture could never be at a pause and fans wouldn’t feel as if their favorite bands are not producing. In the long run each band now has a resume and repertoire of music to be able to tour and travel. T-Joe’s goal is to have a strategy that will force bands to create albums, producing hit singles.
Friday April 27, 2018 Kreyol La’s Album was released on ITunes and has been successful. The video “Mwen Pou Kom” was released months before the album creating anticipation of what is to come from the overall “Devotion” album. “Mwen Pou Kom” Is quickly moving up the musical charts and will be a categorized as a “Classic” for years to come.
Written by Chantal Laventure
May 5, 2018
Fans are Upside Down for Mika Ben now MKBN
Michal Benjamin aka Mika Ben and now MKBN, 4th Solo album “MKBN” is in stores today Friday May 4, 2018. Mika’s fans have long waited his solo album featuring and show casing his talent. 2018 MKBN showcases an experienced Michael Benjamin whom is diverse and multitalented with collaborating artist such as Elephant Man, Admiral T, Zoey Dollaz, JPerry, TiPaul Beaubran, Belo, Richard Cave and Master Brain to name a few. MKBN has 18 tracks unto which Michael has written all the songs and engineered musical arrangements for his album.
Michael Benjamin held a Private Listening Session on Friday April 20, 2018 at Row NYC in New York City. It was exclusive and not a typical ‘Haitian Style” Sitting at the table in front of media and close friends, playing each song, taking questions and giving the meaning behind selected song. Mika Ben was supported by his fellow artist such as Emline Michel, Annie Alerte, Alan Cave,and TiPaul Beaubran to name a few. Mika distributed individual headphones for listeners to hear. This format allowed you to be much more intimate with his music, allowing you to form your own opinion and admiration for each single. Upside Down, Ayibobo featuring Paul Beaubrun and Numewo1 featuring Princess Eud is already creating a buzz among the fans. Kompa Original predicts fans will be satisfied. Good things come to those whom wait and MKBN was worth the wait.
The buzz in the streets is “ Will Mika Ben form a band to promote his album?” Mika Ben has stated time and time again he is no longer part of a band as he was with Krezi Mizik. “Mika Ben” and his team is promoting him as a “Solo Artist”. Giving him more ability to reach the international music industry. With his diversity MKBN has a stronger chance to cross over into the Caribbean and International Music Industry and remain. However for now Mika Ben wants his fans to know he is a “Solo Artist” whom makes guest appearances with bands as he once did with Carimi and Kai. Right now his main focus is on MKBN and will appear as a “Solo Artist”, however if needed he is always willing to collaborate. Make sure to support him purchase his album MKBN on iTunes.
Written by Chantal Laventure