Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Queen of Haitian Song




When I think of Haiti's beauty, I think of Emeline Michel.  As La Reine de la Chanson Creole, she embodies Haiti's history and spirit with a voice that swoops over your soul and touches it.  For twenty years, she has ruled as the queen of Haitian music, singing only in French and Kreyol and penning tunes that delve into the island's cultural traditions, while melding Haitian rhythms like compas  and twobadou with modern forms of jazz, slalsa and samba.  To hear Emeline sing is to hear the heart of Haiti.  Her rich, supple vocals  pour over her lyrics, which celebrate the joy, hope and struggle of her country.  Emeline's  award-winning, self-produced, 1999 CD  Cordes et Ame, (Strings and Soul) changed the face of Haitian music with a velvety blend of Haitian roots with Latin undertones. A hypnotic love letter to her island, it urges Haitians to remember their impressive history as the Western Hemisphere's first black republic and to overcome its current turmoil.  The album is considered  to be the definitive collection of Haitian music and continues to skillfully represent the joyful, melodic, music of Haiti.  The video below showcases Emeline and Haiti.  From Cordes et Ame, "Fo m Ale" (Got To Go) draws from traditional twobadou music of the Haitian countryside. It tells the story of a Haitian immigrant living far from home, longing for the warmth and acceptance of Haiti.




15 comments:

Tiffany said...

I've never heard of her, she's gorgeous, will check out her video.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Thanks for highlighting her.

Fly Girl said...

Tiffany, she's very famous in the French Caribbean and France. She performs a lot in Montreal.

Jean-Luc, I hope she brought a smile to your day.

Ibou said...

Mmm never heard about her before. She's good!

Ekua said...

Thanks for sharing this, I definitely here a little Afro-Brazilian style in this song!

Fly Girl said...

Ibou, she's fantastic!

Ekua, she blend the Latin undertones really well.

tattytiara said...

Oh I love it. Glad I stopped by your blog!

A Cuban In London said...

Many, many thanks. I had never heard of her until now. Lovely voice and she sings in both Creole AND French! Good on her! :-)

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Tiara, I'm glad you stopped by too, thanks!

Cubano,I thought you might cath the Cuban undertones to that song.

Antonio e Ellen said...

Hello.
We have a blog about travel, and we would like to invite you to visit us and you can find to translate on the right side of the page.
Thank you very much, and we hope you enjoy.

www.viagemafora.blogspot.com

best regards
Antonio & Ellen

Mary and Sean said...

Thanks for the introduction to her. I love listening to music from around the world... especially african radio from itunes.

Fly Girl said...

Antonio & Ellen, thanks for dropping by.

Mary, I hope Emeline makes it onto you itunes!

Wendy said...

I think I'm not alone in saying that I've learned much about Haiti in these last few weeks. Thanks for sharing this.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing this; it's so beautiful. (I'm ashamed this is the first time I've heard Haitian music.) I love the Latin/Afro-Brazilian vibe. She's so beautiful too.

Fly Girl said...

Wendy, Haiti has so much richness in terms of culture, I'm glad I can introduce some of it.

Nancy, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for dropping by.