May 18 is Haitian Flag Day, and here in South Florida there is no shortage of ways to celebrate, beginning with the Haitian Compas Festival, from 4 pm to 6 a.m. at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.
To get you in the mood, we thought it was only right that we put together a playlist, or introduce you to Haiti’s national sound, konpa.
“Incroyable” - Harmonik
Harmonik released their new album Respe on Friday. And while co-producer Sanders Solon says it’s a must hear, the last album, Degaje, is still a hit among fans. Check out the song Incroyable, which won’t disappoint you with its arrangements and hook, or opening lines, “You’re a phenomenon that I can’t explain.”
“Criminel”- Kai- Richard Cave
Singer Richard Cave was once one-third of popular boy band, CaRiMi, before it broke up in 2016 after 15 years on the Haitian music scene. But Cave is proving that there is life after. His performance with songstress Rutshelle (who is also set to perform at Compas Fest) of their 2017 song Kanse was a hit at last year’s festival. And just in time for this year’s musical showcase, Cave has released a new single, Criminel.
“San Limit” -T-Vice
If you follow Haiti or its music scene by now you know that the country didn’t have Carnival this year. That means that T-Vice didn’t get to play it’s new Carnival song, which it didn’t even title or release. But fans can still get a taste of Roberto Martino’s talent with T-Vice’s latest release San Limit.
“Mwen Pou Kom” - Kreyola
Another one of Haiti’s popular Carnival bands, Kreyola is promising a show stopping performance at this year’s festival. But this 2018 release, Mwen Pou Kom, has already garnered 6.4 million views on YouTube.
“What about Tmrw?” - Arly Larivière Nu Look
Known as the “maestro” or “King Arly,” Arly Larivière this week was forced to take to social media to decry konpa fans sending downloads of band Harmonik’s new album on the WhatsApp message group platform. It hurts the musicians, and the music, Larivière made clear. Known for making women leave their dance mates on the floor, Larivière is reportedly working on a new album. In the meantime, enjoy of my favorites, What about Tmrw?
“Habitude” - Djakout #1
Djkaout #1 is having a difficult time these days after singers Pouchon Duverger and Shabba got into it on stage during a recent concert in Port-au-Prince. But they are in the line up and everyone is waiting to see if front man Shabba shows up. In the meantime, enjoy one of their more recent releases, “Habitude.”
“Ayiti Chérie” - Cubano Skah Sha
This year legendary Haitian singer Cubano with the band SkaSha is being honored by Compas Fest. And to get a taste of his contribution to the music, download his patriotic rendition of Ayiti Chérie .