By Christine Jean-PierreCSMS Magazine Staff WriterMilca, the Haitian singer based in Paris won the “Best Female Award” at the Césaire de la Musique held in the French capital last month. It was a dramatic moment, when she was called before a multitude of artists to be crowned as the new princess. Milca is not well known in the Haitian media and, by extension, the Haitian audience. Most music lovers interviewed last week in her regard told CSMS Magazine that they only know of her duet with Daan Junior titled Dommage. “She sings beautifully,” confirmed Natalie Dejean, a Konpa/Zouk fan at FCCJ (Florida community College at Jacksonville.) “I wish she could come to North Florida,” continued the young music lover. Indeed Milca’s success seems to have sprung from her seductive voice, soulful and charming, which gives her fan the infinite taste that ultimately takes them to seventh heaven. “She reminds me of Sonia Dersion, the Martiniquaise diva best known for her songNatirel,” said Yvon Lemier of Brooklyn, New York. This assertion confirms Milca as more like a Zouk artist, rather than being a Konpa princess. However, if Dommage is the song that puts Milca face to face with her Haitian fans, according to CSMS Magazine correspondent in Paris, Marie Jeannine Myrthil, it is her album titled Simplement that catapulted her to the zenith of her musical career. Twenty-five thousand copies were sold worldwide, noticeably in France, the French Antilles and Africa. But Milca’s music is not entirely Zouk. It is rather Konpa/Zouk—the new genre, where Konpa is used as a baseline with an overlapping Zouk melody. This style mixed with the free-wheeling voice of this charming, talented young lady have effectively won the hearts of many—so many that she was the undisputed award winner last month. We are not sure of her real name, for she is only known as Milca. What we do know is that she grew up in French Guiana, and now she is based in Paris, where her fans can’t seem to have enough of her.
Konpa breaks new grounds
Fifty years after the invention of this wonderful music genre, Konpa has definitely broken new grounds in the world stage. But one variance of it seems to be leading the way: the nouvelle generation. Stemmed from the group Zin style of the nineteen eighties, and now being led by Carimi, T-Vice and Skandal to name a few, Konpa is now the undisputedly preferred genre among music lovers from many places in the world.From the Caribbean to Africa to the Indian Ocean, Konpa Love, as they come to call it, is standing high on the chart. The Africa front is being led by Cap Verde, where artists like Elizio, Marisa and Loony Johnson have become well known for their new Konpa style. In Cap Verde, Elizio is the hottest singer, singing in both Portuguese and French with sweet Konpa mixed with an R&B/Zouk flavor. His duet with Celia Ne me laisse pas seems to be one of the most popular Konpa songs on You Tube. In Cote d’Ivoire, Teeyah is holding the chat with her Konpa mixed with Koupe/Dekale—a popular genre in that West African country.In Martinique and Guadeloupe, everyone has already made their choice. Konpa is hot and number one. The most popular solo artists leading the Konpa movement are Mainy, Ali Angel, Nichols, Ludo and Marie Jo. Mainy’s new hit Bling Bling is the embodiment of this new movement. The song is in itself a salute to the Haitian Konpa, where the song begins with a special dedication to Haiti. Even Face À Face, the most popular Zouk band, is adjusting its style. Its latest hitTouloulou is a perfect example. And where are the Haitians in this new vibe? “I’m afraid we’re losing Konpa to them,” said Henri Auguste, a young Haitian student at FCCJ of Jacksonville. “But it is really sweet,” he continued as he grooved to the beat of Ne me laisse pas, blasting away in his blue Toyota.Most observers agree that the Haitian groups moving along with the flow are Carimi and T-Vice, cruising the world and performing before huge crowds in Belgium, New Caledonia and in the French Antilles. Former Zenglen star Nickenson Prud’Homme is now teaming up with Ali Angel to produce an upcoming album set to be released soon, according to newsbiz from Martinique. Both producers have already collaborated in previous projects, where they produced albums for Nicole Neret better know as Princess Lover and French Guyanese Tina. So the new generation seems to have succeeded where the old one has failed. They have managed to push Konpa to the highest echelon that it has ever been. When will we hear Konpa hitting the airwaves in the U.S. media? Wyclef Jean appears to be the best-positioned Haitian artist to push Konpa before the American audience. Who knows? Maybe that will materialize soon.Also see Dwindling record sales forces Zouk producers to call Konpa to the rescueNote: We are offering to our readers something we have never done before. If you want to get a glimpse of the new Konpa fame, click here: Milca: SimplementMainy: Bling BlingElizio: Ne me laisse pasLoony Johnson: L in the air