The newest sound in dance music is Haitian electronic dance music and it’s set to rock the world in 2014
If, when you hear Haiti, you think of a country flattened by an earthquake in 2010, of death, poverty and crime, then you’re not alone. But something explosive is happening in the country and it will change your preconception forever.
Soon you’ll be associating the small Caribbean country with the freshest sound of dance, brought to you by some of the world’s most talented musicians.
Haitians don’t wallow in their misfortunes but party, party, party and a new documentary, launched on the Vice-run channel Thump today shows just that.
The Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince is the epicentre of this scene and a community of DJs has joined together to make sure they get noticed for something positive.
This growing DJ movement, bringing together people from all social backgrounds, has created a bubble of excitement and explosive nightlife through dance clubs and party nights.
Thump’s documentary covers four DJs who are leading this movement and each has his own story to tell.
21-year-old Michael Brun started producing electronic music when he was 16 and living in Port-au-Prince. After two years of pre-med in college in the states, he took a leave of absence to pursue his love of music.
Brun is one of Haiti’s biggest exports and plans to play over 100 shows this year on a world tour. His year has started off with a bang, playing the main stage at Ultra Music Festival and closing the Sahara Tent at Coachella.
31-year old Tony Mix had a passion for music at a very young age and actually started off listening to dancehall and hiphop. In 2005, he decided to switch to DJing, started a club night at Bling beach and later formed the DJ group Tony Mix Seet Yah.
Now one of the biggest celebrities in the Haitian music industry, Tony’s face can be seen on posters in Haiti, promoting his shows and sponsors.
Tony has a huge following in Haiti and leverages his connection with teenagers to get across important social issues, like going to school and working rather than hanging around on the streets.
Gardy Girault is the creator of the Rara Tech music genre, which infuses traditional Haitian Kompa with electronic music.
He started listening to house music after he fell in love with the sound in a New York club and fuses it with the sounds of Haiti.
In 2008, Gardy started his music career and became one of the most popular DJs in Haiti.
In recent years he started throwing regular parties like “No Passport” and “Le Bon Temps”, where he combines the sounds of Haiti, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in his music with drummers and backers to present a diverse music style to a diverse audience.
26-year old Cedric Roy has been passionate about dance music since the age of 11 and at the age of 16, decided to take a career as a DJ seriously, focusing on house and more specifically, the sub-genres of tech house, electro house, dubstep and minimal.
Cedric’s music was affected greatly by Haiti’s earthquake and says, like many of the Haitian DJs, he used music to escape from the catastrophe.
He explained how the tragic event helped gather together promoters, DJs, lighting and visual landscape artists to start a movement of creative artists.
“There has been an even bigger push in developing an electronic music scene and community, with more all night electronic music events, small underground parties and more openness to listening to electronic music for a longer period of time at open format events,” he said.
Each of these DJs has a strong influence over their followers and is using this influence to spread positive messages, both around music and social issues.
Haiti can get through the devastation that ripped through it in 2010 and it’s the determination of these people that will change the world’s perception forever.
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