Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: HMI World
|Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:55 am Post subject: MIZIK MIZIK: STORIES BEHIND SONGS ON CD BY FABRICE ROUZIER!
We asked MIZIK MIZIK maestro FABRICE ROUZIER to tell us the "story" behind the songs found on the new Mizik Mizik cd. Some very interesting insights on each one of the tunes. Check it out below.
1) *RANMASE KONPA
Ranmase Konpa came from Choupitte. Choupitte always starts his ideas by mimicking a cowbell / floortom combination. Our idea for this one was to reinforce Tabou Combo's song with the same theme " Konpa'm tonbe ". It is an uptempo theme with clichés from the absolute best in the domain : Tabou, Magnum, DP and a good dose of Digital Express. Yves Abel really makes this track come alive and he blends perfectly with our rythm section ( Ti Wes, Shedley and Choupitte. ) We also designed the horn parts to be a throwback to the 80s Tabou Combo horns and this is the primary reason we used the man responsible for most of the 80s Tabou horns : Paul Hennegan. This is already a radio favorite down here.
2) *LA VI KA BEL
Eric has had this song in the works for several years. The song pretty much talks about our lack of charity ,our genuine hatred of different point of views and urges people to try love instead of hate . The lyrics of this song hit home pretty hard when we had the "hunger" strikes here in early april 2008. Yves Abel again shines on this one. He plays in a non Yves Abel way using a thumb technique that he developed while touring the Ivory Coast with Tabou last year.
The first part of the song could be out of Beethova Obas' book but the second part is like Konpa Manba meets Konpa Hounsi sort of a Trio Select groove with a strong northern ( Tropic/Septent ) tone. This one ends on a positive note. The accoustic guitar solo is not from Mika nor from Keke ( Wrong credits ! ). I played this using a fabulous sample provided by my friend Nickenson Prud'homme. Thanks again buddy !
3) *PARADI NAN LANFE
This is a song that i wrote with Eric about 4 years ago. We already discussed it at length here. The song rings true to a lot of people in "complicated" relationships. Good Sex, Good looks and financial stability are not the main ingredients in a good relationship, Love is. Keke outdoes himself here and we could not leave Ansyto's memorable solo out. Gerald Kébreau came by one day and created the stunning bass solo intro.
4) * PA GIN MOUN KI GIN MOUN
That is pure Kéké. He will say that it's not true. We wanted a groovy song out of this one. A strong Déjean/System feel. You can almost hear Douby subliminally. Shedley emulates everyone from Ti Jean to Tico Pasquet on this one and there is also a wink to stuff we used to do live. It will do well in bal settings and in festivals once people are accustomed to it. The subject matter speaks for itself. Gerald Kebreau is channeling Tines Vincent in that one
Mizik-Mizik purists had a hard time accepting that one and have let us know very vocally. Gilbert got some help from Eric in writing this track. The young crowd absolutely loves it... Weird but true ! We tried the Zouk thing to fit Gilbert's voice about 4 years ago. It's a nice tune but it is completely different from what we usually do. Jude Jean helped out on the background vocals for this one and penned the "Mizik-Mizik, non nou pa negosyel" riff.
6) *NOU LA
Is a love song that i wrote with Eric a while back. Eric imagined a couple with different social backgrounds, in love. We wanted a completely different feel for this one. Yves Abel came out swinging and even prints a bass solo in there. We also imagined a wedding reception with Webert Sicot's Cadence Rampas towards the end. All in All a fun tune with Mika playing a mean second guitar.
7) *PA GIN REZON
Gilbert wrote this with Eric and was supposed to sing it on Haiti Twoubadou volume 4. That volume 4 was supposed to be the one with original material and not just adaptations of known songs. We revisited the song and thought that it would really fit this project well. Mika also left a strong print on this one by doing a cameo on it and by schooling me on dancehall sequencing. This is the label's favorite song on this album.
*SE FET MANMAN'W
I love this kanaval theme but when i hear it , i have a great deal of sadness. This theme was ready on time and could not be released because of personal issues. I believe that this one ranks among the best "raboday" style kanavals that we've made. A lot of people close to us insisted that we print it on the cd for historical purposes. Too bad we did not get to try it on the "parcours".
"Mal" is the very last song that we came up with for the album. The original idea came from Jean Philippe Argant. Jean Philippe is the leader of, now defunct, Montreal based "Djouss" and a long time friend of the band. Jean Philippe also is the graphic designer that did all the artwork for the "Paradi nan lanfè" album.
Jean-Philippe, as we were talking about finally releasing a new album, about 2 years ago came to the studio. He started to play for us the basis of the song and parts of the bridge and we all " clicked ". The chords were deep, the weird bridge and the synth melody from top à la Pat Metheny immediately caught Eric, Keke and I by surprise. We came up with a melody for the vocals and we had a couple solos in there. Choupitte came over and did a couple rythm changes and came up with a melody for the last two chorusses. Choupitte also immediately dismissed the idea that the song , because of its tempo, should be a love song. He suggested that we write about the number one concern on Haitian minds : kidnappings but not in a trivial way as it is too often done here.
Ideas started flowing. At the time, ( and this state of things has never stopped until this very day ! > 16 year old Kareem Gaspard was found mutilated this morning after having been kidnapped tuesday ) kidnappings were/are raging. As the song and its lyrics progressed, we were losing friend after friend to this plague... At some point, we decided that the song was becoming too personal and that we should can it. A close lady friend of ours had her 6 month old shot litterally on her along with her husband as they were leaving a friend's house in Petion-Ville. Her 7 year old daughter and her escaped miraculously... When i went to visit, she told me "Kou a fem mal"...These words still resonate to this day !
The thing about Haiti is that a secret here never goes a long way. Even when the people behind kidnappings want to think that their secrets are safe, they truly are not. The kidnappers / murderers will tell their wives, their boyfriends, girlfriends, buddies about their "exploits" and these people , in turn, will tell other people. Kidnappers, for now, have the upper hand because they are PROTECTED by the system but sooner or later, whether you and i live to tell about it or not, the sh*t will hit the fan....and the cycle of violence will never stop ! Revenge will be the word of the day and the bullies of today and their protectors/sponsors will be the victims of tomorrow. It's just he nature of life and we've seen examples of this countless times even in the short 200+ years of this nation !
The video for the song is the child of director Réginald Georges. Réginald has pretty much made a mini-movie for the song with a slightly different story line. I will not divulge what he's working on out of respect for him but the initial shots are , dare i say, shocking. The video will be ready...when it's ready.
The studio work for this was quite challenging but very rewarding. Lots of people contributed to this particular song aside from M&M's crew : Carlo, Richard and Michael dropped by one day and graced us with the beautiful background vocals that complement Eric's lead. Yves Abel pleaded with me, and convinced me to leave the synth bass intact and not have him replay it. Beethova Obas urged me not to add anything else to the arrangements and Shedly came and glued all the pieces together by playing a simple but powerful track. I also have to thank my KM friends Jacquot Pipirite and PJ Gonaibo who listened to the song about 2 years back and made some very valuable comments.
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