Many fans are frustrated because of the behavior of some former Zenglen’s singers who decided to leave the band with unexplained reasons. They are asking for stability in their favorite band. To talk about this issue and a couple other topics, we sat down with maestro Jean Brutus Derissaint and asked him the following questions. Here is what he had to say.
BOYO Magazine : If you had to describe Zenglen’s status in the Haitian Music Landscape, what would you say ?
Brutus : I have to admit that, for the moment, Zenglen isn’t the top band in the market. But it remains the reference in the New generation of Konpa music. Zenglen represents the bridge beetwen the oldies and the new era of Konpa. Musically talking, since its creation in 1989, the band never deceived anyone. We have been releasing hits after hits. Zenglen became a school where people who want to do music will find plenty materials to learn from. That’s been said, we’ll continue to play our role in the Haitian Music Industry. By its support, the public always showed us that there’s no choice, Zenglen must exist, because Zenglen is part of the Haitian patrimony.
BOYO Magazine : What are Zenglen’s updates for 2017/2018 ?
Brutus : Because of our new singer Wid (Rezilta pired) who didn’t have legal status in the USA, we couldn’t accept any international contract. Now that he got all his legal papers, we’re ready to hit the roads. We missed two Haitian tours in 2016. This is the reason why we’re going to be in Haiti from April 12th through May 2nd. In 2018, we’ll bring a new cd to our fans as we always did every three years.
BOYO Magazine : Most Compas’ fans are dying to attend a venue with Zenglen/Klass/Harmonik. Is that something we can objectively dream of ?
Brutus : During the Haitian tour, we’ll have three performances with Klass (Kinam 2 on April 28th, in Jacmel on April 29th, then Saint Marc). I heard about Harmonik, but nothing had been fixed yet. Of course that will be done, because these two bands are Zenglen’s sons. So we’re looking forward and will be glad to play with both of them anytime that the occasion presents itself.
BOYO Magazine : Is it guaranted that this new Zenglen will last longer than previously ?
Brutus : Stability is what we’re looking for. This is why we have now Frero and Wid. We just deal with the singers’ issue differently than we used to do. We make sure that we have a contract in hand. A contract that is fair for all parties. The problem is that Haitian music doesn’t give any revenue guaranty to the performers, so when down periods come, it’s not easy to hold on a musician who has bills to pay. But we’re really confident that this new team will last longer than any other given period. I want to point out that this is not a Zenglen’s problem, it’s a Konpa’s one (Check out what happened in T-Vice, Djakout, Kreyol la, or CaRiMi). It surely happened to us a few times, but because we care so much about our fans, we always managed to come back with the best sound and music possible.
BOYO Magazine : A last word ?
Brutus : Thank you to everyone who continues to support Haitian music. Without you, we as musicians and performers are nothing. We love you.
ITV by Pradel SAINT-FLEUR