Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: HMI World
|Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:10 am Post subject: 1ST KLASS: THE KM INTRODUCTION INTERVIEW!
|Here is an interview with the maestro of the group 1ST KLASS out of New York. We featured this group in our KM UNDERGROUND SECTION before. Check it out.
1) Tell us a bit about the group FIRST KLASS and how you guys got together?
FIRST KLASS: As young a musician, I spent three formative years with Spetentrional; then I left to pursue my studies in the United States. I briefly played with Tantan (Pampam Pampam) and Lakol, before I attended school. While in school, I met with a number of young Haitian musicians; we flirted with the idea of forming a new band and this how 1st Klass started as a -four member digital band in December 2006.
Our first ever-live performance was at JC Cove in Long Beach, Long Island. Over the next 6 months, we continued to play at JC Cove for a mostly international before we made our debut at Labadie Manoir in early 2007. Realizing that in order to break into HMI mainstream, we needed to add more players. Now we are a solid team of 7 musicians.
2) What style of music would you categorize yourselves as playing? If you were to choose a current HMI group on the market that you sound the closest to, who would it be?
FIRST KLASS: 1st Klass music is a combination of Konpa, R&B, plus fusion. We do not necessary think that we sound like any particular band, but we do follow the basic formula of konpa. We simple play the music that we love to the best of our abilities.
3) You guys know how hard it is for a new band to break into the market. What makes you guys think that you might be the CHOSEN ONES?
FIRST KLASS: The Haitian music market is a competitive business; it is becoming very hard for a new band to make it though. We believe that 1st Klass music has the ability to appeal to people of different cultural diversity, young and old. I think we have the talent, the will, and the discipline needed to exist in this market. We’d like to let the music speaks for itself, and the fans will decide.
4) Do you believe that the HMI public gives a fair chance to unproven/new bands? Why or why not?
FIRST KLASS: Yes, the HMI does give upcoming bands a fair chance. However, many industry insiders are reluctant to accept a new band due to the lack of longevity. Secondly, a number of promoters, radio personnel, label owners, and some established top bands are not open to embrace the idea of given a new band a chance to develop. Nowadays, talent seems not to be good enough. We must be part of an elite circle to be accepted, but as for 1st kLass we are here to stay.
5) Your musical influences are.....
FIRST KLASS: Pat, growing up in Haiti I was influenced by Ansyto Mercier, and international I listen to Chick Corea from a group called “ return to forever”, and Joe Zalenor from “ Weather Report”. These are my favorite keyboardists. As far as bands, I admire Zekle, les Gypsy de Petionville, Tabou Combo, Bossa, Freres de Jean, Zenglen, and numerous new generation bands.
6) Convince a fan that knows nothing about your group WHY they should give you guys a chance to win them over.
FIRST KLASS: 1st Klass musicians have great passion for konpa. We believe that we have the talent and the dedication to make good music. With 1st Klass’ high-energy Konpa and seductive rhythms, the fans ought to pay attention. "Piwo", 1st Klass' debut album, which features an intergalactic cross-pollination of Konpa Direk and R&B, have earned us a solid reputation. 1st Klass’ much anticipated live CD “ Dedouble” is certain to solidify our place in the music industry.
7) The state of the HMI in 2008 according to you is.......(Fill in the blanks). Tell us why.
FIRST KLASS: The prognosis for Haitian music is good. I would say the industry is pretty stable right now. Although some critics believe that the music has not improved in the last 10 year, but we are making progress in some areas. New generation konpa bands have managed to attract younger Haitians (the hip hop generation) to listen to konpa music and attend live performances. The music industry has yet to be organized, but many of the top Haitian bands are making money.
Why did you change the lead singer of the group so early into your campaign?
FIRST KLASS: Pat, it was not our intention to do so, however there were artistic differences that led to us him to walk out. Gary Borno Aka Polo is 1st Klass new singer. He has fitted very well in the band. We believe Polo has the talent and charisma needed to help reach our goals.
FIRST KLASS: Thank you pat for giving me the opportunity to speak to the fans. I would like to thank everyone who has expressed his or her opinions good or bad. We appreciate it. We invite the fans to take this musical journey with us and to continue supporting Haitian music.
Check out OTHER 1ST KLASS topics in the KM UNDERGROUND SECTION.
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