NC Interview: KatchUp

  • 2060

Welcome to NC KatchUp, hope you are well! Congratulations on your new single, “Vini,” what does “Vini” mean and what inspired this song? 

Thank you and thank you for having me here at NC. The meaning of ‘Vini’ is come, as in come over or come with me. This song was inspired merely from what I saw in the club during my DJing days, but with more of a story line to make the song more appealing.  

How would you describe Kompa and Soca to American audiences?

With Kompa being a more modern form of merengue and soca a more modern calypso, the best way I can explain it is it’s all in the rhythm. The soca rhythm is faster and more uptempo than kompa.

Was it easy to launch your own label TuGetta, what are the challenges you’ve been facing this year with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Actually I wouldn’t say my label has launched, I guess you can say it’s in the works. We are preparing ourselves to be in the position where we can offer artists that we sign with opportunities that benefit us all and can help them make music that the fans will want to hear. COVID has challenged us all, physically, emotionally and mentally. As far as how it has challenged me with my music, I will say it was difficult in the beginning to put the song together and start recording. With everyone being quarantined going to the studio and recording took some time before it could happen. Being stuck at home although one would think that would build creativity, for me I was stuck, I felt boxed in and wasn’t able to give my all in the beginning. Being back at work and being around other people has gotten me back to the swing of things, I’m also recording a lot more.

We read that you are an Engineering graduate, what made you switch to music?

Well I was always involved in music. What made me change and become a music artist is having created this genre. I needed Haitian artists to record on my beats, my intentions were to sit in the back seat and give the artist creative control. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to find these artists, a lot of them just weren’t down with the idea I was bringing to the table or didn’t take the time to understand what I was trying to do with this genre. I Couldn’t dwell too much on what wasn’t working, I had to find something that worked. The best way to make sure anything comes out the way you want it is to do it yourself. Not too long after that I started working on my singing and trying to find my voice, which led me to being here now. 

How do you think your dual cultural heritage impacts your music?

My Haitian-American culture has allowed me to be more open to different types of music. My dad introduced me to Haitian music, I couldn’t escape it if I wanted to because that was the only thing that was played in the house when I was younger lol. My American side introduced me to hip hop and r&b. From the beginning, I was already rounded in music, but I know if I wanted to be the best DJ I had to get accustomed to all types of music, which wasn’t hard as Haitian music prepared me for music from other cultures. 

What’s the first thing you notice when listening to a song?

Right off the bat, the feeling the song gives me from the beat, then I notice the structure and the delivery. 

Are you more a studio artist or a live performer?

I would say I am more of a studio artist, performing takes experience and practice which I haven’t been able to partake in due to COVID. Hopefully later this year, I will be able to have a few performances and let you guys know.

What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?

Of the many experiences that I have had that shaped me for the better, this specific experience not only shaped me for the better, but it also helped me with my music in the sense to never stop what you love doing because of what other people think, everyone will always have an opinion, but not all opinions are good. I had a friend who booked me to DJ for his birthday at a club, the way the club was set up is that they had their house DJ, but if a person wants to hold an event where they can bring their own DJ. The clubs DJ played for the majority of the night then I would come on and play next, now this was the beginning of my DJing days and the majority of my gigs came from friends, therefore, this was the biggest gig for me at the time. I was young, and the crowd was a lot older, my name wasn’t ringing bells at the time, so the people there didn’t know me. As soon as I got on stage was as quick as I was booted off, I literally played for 5 minutes before the crowd was chanting the other DJs name to come on and take over. At that point I came to the conclusion that no one will accept you for who you are and what you do unless you prove to them that this was meant for you and nothing will derail you from your mission. 

Please tell us more about your childhood and how it impacted your life and art?

My childhood revolved around music, my dad was a DJ. He had so many records and always had to keep up with the latest songs for his gigs. From always being home when my dad would practice, to joining him when he would play at his gigs, all of these experiences led me to being even more interested in music, that is why I also became a DJ. Wanting to be more involved and knowledgeable when it comes to music, therefore, I was constantly researching what makes music what it is and what it consists of. I wanted to be a part of the music building instead of just playing a finished track, I wanted to be the reason why different beats give off different grooves and feelings or how the vocals give people the chills. Generally speaking I wanted to be one with music.

Any upcoming projects for 2021?

I have such great plans ahead, my first priority is to continue making music, helping my Haitian culture grow and also recruit great artists for my TuGetta Label.

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