This week Adriano’s comments on the Zouk/Kizomba/Konpa issue have triggered an avalanche of responses. Many Haitian readers have conveyed their disagreements vis à vis Adriano’s comments published on Wednesday—although politely. The majority of them remained resolute in their beliefs that the new Zouk-love and some of the Kizombas are directly linked to Konpa. To prove their point, they pointed out at Naima, the beautiful songstress from the Comoros Islands, in her hit Avec ou sans Toi, Loony Jhonson from Cape Verde in L in the air and Elizio also from Cape Verde in Ne me laisse pas.
Many readers from the Antilles have also weighed in. For example, Georges Lemier from Saint Lucia claimed to have found the secret of love while dancing to the beat of what he called “this free wheeling sensation.”
In CSMS Magazine, we’ve always maintained that the new genre is framed with a Konpa baseline and an overlapping Zouk or Kizomba melody. For over fifty years, Konpa has maintained the same beat, and that is what differentiates it from the original Kadans Rampa. Konpa Direk (Compa Direct) is in itself a revised version ( a slower version) of Meringue engineered by Nemours Jean Batiste, the legendary Haitian musician, who became famous in the 1970s. For many years, Konpa has been keeping a firm grip on its fans, although the music has revolutionized or evolved over the years.
Zouk and Kizomba are truly sweet, but many of their pieces, according to critics, are not quite danceable in musical soirées. However, the latter genres have also played a positive influence on Konpa—thus the creation of the more prevalent Konpa-Love commonly found in groups likeZin, Harmonik, Carimi, T-Vice etc. Their repertoires are filled with love songs. Nowadays the music is tilted towards love, in sharp contrast to the vivid militancy that characterized the Haitian music some 20 years ago.
Haitian musicians can’t be lost into love songs. Love can’t be the only theme in Haitian musician’s repertoires. The hellish condition in which the Haitian masses are wallowing everyday does not offer the proper venue for love songs.
We agree the invention of the Konpa/Zouk/Kizomba mixture—which is a dazzling arrangement that is now spreading across the globe— is a good thing. After all, music brings harmony, and harmoniously should we find comfort or the thrilling happiness music lovers desperately seek when the go partying from dusk to dawn.