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Friday, March 31, 2023

Sonia Dersion new single Je suis sur: is it a hit or a miss?

By Christine Jean Pierre

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

After a brief absence from the music scene, zouk diva Sonia Dersion comes back with a new single Je suis Sur, featuring Princess Lover. Je Suis Sur (I am sure) written by Princess Lover and produced by Frederic Wurtz, the song is about a woman singing to her significant other and telling him how she’s sure that she will always be there for him.  The song sounds like an old traditional zouk-love. The song was leaked on YouTube in early March 2010 and it has only gained 2,000 views to date; but some music insiders are unsure about the success of the track because it lacks the new age kompa/zouk sound that is tearing up the charts in Paris, the Francophone islands of the West Indies and the Indian Ocean for the past five years now. Je Suis Sur has a loveable melody with the addition of zouk songstress Princess Lover’s sultry voice, but it lacks the kompa club banger sound in order to sell in today’s Antilles music market. 

Sonia Dersion was born in 1971 in Point-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Her debut album Tout va bien released in 1997 sold over 100,000 copies. Her first single of the album natirel reached the number one spot on the NRJ radio Antilles chart and earned Dersion the best female zouk artist award in 2000 at the Tropical Music Awards in Martinique. The sophomore album Initiation released in 2001 was produced by Willy Salzedo. It was more like an opus of African music and rhythms with beats produced by Hitmaker Kaysha. Initiation had little success in the Francophone Island markets; in fact it was panned by music critics, stating that the album had no zouk essence and that it was too early in her career to have started experimenting with different genres of music. A year after the disaster of Initiation, Dersion realized that she had to change course, returning back to her musical cocoon. She managed to achieve success by being featured in duets for zouk compilation albums with artists such as Richard Burman, Tony Deloumeaux, Jean-Michel Rotin, and Tanya St. Val.

 In 2003 Best of Sonia Dersion was released, which was a compilation of Dersion’s greatest hits, and a year later Les 4 seasons was released. Three years later an EP(electronic album) titled Cori de Crystal was released, which was theoretically supposed to attract a wider fan base. But the album accomplished the exact opposite. According to a MagZouk magazine article released in late 2007, the first single from the album Entre Deux charted to  number 20 on the NRJ Antilles chart. It had little radio air play due to lack of promotion, and at that time Section zouk records dropped her from the label because of extreme pressures and demands from her management team, Craig Storm

Furthermore, a year after the blockbuster nightmare Cori de Crystal, CraigStorm management stuck a deal with music distribution company Mizik Kreyol to have Sonia Dersion released Ou se Soileil, a single for the 2008 installment of the album series Tropical mix featuring acts such as Jean-Michel Rotin, II Ways, Tina, Elizio, and Nichols. The song Ou Se Soliel was written and arranged by Guadeloupian zouk diva Kenedy, and has a kompa/zouk feel to it. Unfortunately according to Le Blog du Zouk, despite having about 12,000 views on YouTube to date, the song barely charted and had little radio airplay just like other previous singles in the past.

Sonia Dersion, better known as the Nightingale of the zouk world, seems to have been unable to move ahead of the curve. Je suis sur is truly a beautiful song released at a wrong time. Perhaps, Sonia wants to prove a point: old zouk can still stand. This was a strategic blunder.

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