Haitis Queen of song

emeline_2"The reigning queen of Haitian song", Emeline Michel (Pictured), skilfully blends Haitian compas and rara with jazz, pop, bossa nova and samba, to create a unique sound that has won her international acclaim.

This captivating vocalist and performer began her singing career in her local church where she loved to sing gospel songs. Hailed as the Joni Mitchell of Haiti she has roared to global renown with her concerts and albums and has recorded and performed all over the Caribbean, Europe, North and South America. Recently she performed at Hope for Haiti Now – A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.

Haitians adore Emeline. She takes their very own traditional rhythms and combines these with content that is social, political, inspirational, and with other musical styles from elsewhere in the world. The result is mesmerising. After rising rapidly to fame in native Haiti and the French Antilles, Emeline moved to France, quickly making her name there too. Soon she was performing at many prestige venues, and appearing on French television and the covers of magazines.

From France, Emeline’s work spread throughout the French-speaking world and then, even further afield, to South America and Japan. Her next shift was to Canada, where she was soon to become a leading vocalist in Quebec, and a regular performer at various Canadian festivals, as well as on radio and on television. Her album Ban-m Pase (Let Me Pass) demonstrated her growing talents as a mature songwriter and producer and led to two international hits singles, “Ban-m Pase” and “Mwen bezwen-w” (I Need You).

Her second album which came out in 2004, Rasin Kreyol (Creole Roots), really raised her international profile to higher echelons, and she was soon heard on National Public Radio, CBC Radio, and seen performing at top venues and festivals, including the Carnegie Hall. In 2006 she was among a select group of performers at the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative, a gathering of over 2000 world dignitaries, thinkers, presidents and world leaders, and her album Tout Mon Temps (All My Time) delivered another international smash hit A-K-I-K-O. Now we too can meet Emeline on HIFA’s Main Stage on Lion Lager Day, Friday 30 April, Presented by HIVOS in association with Lion Lager.

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