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Monday, September 25, 2023

Milca: From glory to worry

By Christine Jean-PierreCSMS Magazine staff writerLast December, when we featured Haitian songstress Milca on this magazine, we received a lot of e-mails from readers wanting to know more about what seemed to be the rise of an unbreakable artist. She was charming, mignonne if you will, with a filtered voice that all music lovers would definitively fall for. She had just received an award in Paris for Best Female Artist at Césaire de la Musique. Her album, Simplement, had received international recognition after being critically acclaimed and sold close to 30,000 copies worldwide.            Since then she has vanished from the Caribbean music scene, and rumors had it that she was working on her new album. This was just enough to appease many of her mounting pile of fans who were and, still are, ready to savor yet another pack of her sweet melodies. Little did they know that their favorite artist that they have come to admire so much had already turned her back on them.                 In late December, CSMS Magazine reached Milca by phone for an interview in Miami, where she had been living for some time with long time friend and protégé, Guadeloupian singer, Leila Chicot. She gleefully agreed, but that was the last time we communicated with her. The interview never materialized, and twice we attempted to reach her again only to run across Leila who virtually blocked any attempt to reach the Haitian singer.            This became suspicious, and CSMS Magazine went to investigate. Why would Milca, a Haitian singer, not be interested in reaching out to the media in a sprawling metropolis with an imposing Haitian community? And why would Liela Chicot refuse to let Milca speak her mind? Who are the people behind Milca’s last year success or now “misfortune”?            Out of 15 radio personalities interviewed in South Florida, none of them is aware of Milca’s presence. But two months ago Milca reemerged, releasing a new video clip on YouTube that sent shockwaves to all of her former fans. The clip is titled Ghetto-Chic in which she is hardly recognizable. She coated her lips with heavy and glossy red lipsticks like a Madonna-wannabe. Her hair is shortened, looking almost naked while stirring her hips and crossing her arms over her naked breasts in a Jack & Joe bathroom with a long tattoo proudly displayed on one of her upper arm. It was heartbreaking.The music video itself can hardly be a hit. It is Rhythm and Blues singing in French with an overlapping hard-rock melody. It feels like putting hot water into maskreti oil for Saturday morning medicine—no taste, no flavor. “Franchement reste dans le zouk!!!!!!!!!!! je t’ aime bien, mais là,c’est NUL. EVIDEMENT tu es une princesse de zouk ,” (Truly, you should stay with the zouk!!!!!I like you, but this one is a flap, REALLY you are a princess of zouk[nothing else]), commented one of her fans on You Tube about Ghetto-Chic.            Over 6,000 viewers visited the clip since it was released as opposed to more than 100,000 who viewed Simplement. But why such 180-degree turn? CSMS Magazine has learned that the company behind Milca is called Craig Storm, a not very well known company with an ambition to hit it big using artists like Milca who has international recognition. The same company is also promoting Leila Chicot whose train of success seems to have run out steam. It has been over 5 years since she released her last album, and there has been rumors of a new release ever since. Is Milca being manipulated by her business partners? It is hard to imagine that could be the case. She seems to be well educated, and her choice—however clumsy it may be—seem to have stemmed from an educated calculation. At least, she deserves such benefit of the doubt. One can call it a strategic blunder, but it appears that her volte-face to R&B could be a new demarche for a bigger audience like MTV France or French Trace TV.             It is perfectly normal for an artist to crossover to other music genres; it would show the artist ability to blend in various settings, which is great. However, when one is not from the hood, he/she should not try to be the Great Pretender. Portraying oneself like Mary J Bad Girl in a clumsy move to win recognition will not work.            Girl, you should get back to what you do best: your sweet zouk. You still have a chance to bring yourself back from the brink. Your fans’ admiration may be now dormant, but it is still there. It will take just another Simplement to trigger yet an other wave love and support. Believe in yourself, not in sneaky friends with unspoken agendas.                    Also see Milca: New Haitian diva crowned in Paris while Konpa is breaking new grounds Dwindling record sales forces Zouk producers to call Konpa to the rescue

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