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"MASTERS OF HAITI"

 Masters of Haiti

"BABY ONE KING"

This interview was conducted at the beautiful Olofsson Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during Carnaval 2000 in exclusivity for Compas Central. A lot of the big names in Haitian music were in town to be part of & experience Carnaval 2000. The Carnaval was great this year' and was a very happy event for everyone there. We had the opportunity to met Michael Ralph who goes by the name of Baby One King and the other members of masters of Haiti. Masters is an example of the new revolution in Haitian music. Groups and artists are popping up everywhere like mushrooms in the wilderness and often produce very interesting music. Such is the case with Masters who has given a new twist to this rap movement. It has very interesting harmonies and musical ideas and a lady singer " Lady R " who is da bomb! ? She sings pretty well... This band is very popular in Haiti and its CD “Fon pale” has received positive reviews from the press and the public in general. We must add Baby One King is a great guy an ambitious and very hard working individual.

Compas Central: Hello Baby One King! How does the name Masters of Haiti came to exist.

Baby One King: BOP (lead, background vocals and writer) and I were band leaders of “Original Rap Staff “. We left the group. We have being practicing and playing together for over two years now. We named it Masters of Haiti because people said we were masters of this new movement, Haitian Rap.

CC: Your first album “Fon Pale” received great reviews and good acceptance from the public and the media. How do you feel about this?

BOK: We had worked very hard for this and we trust Jesus Christ so we know it was going to be like this.

CC: Do you have a plans for a remix, a solo project or a new album?

BOK: We are going to do a new CD with Masters. I am working very hard on it now. I am thinking on re mixing “Fon Pale” entirely in English. We are looking to exploit in the International market and we are confident we will. My solo project is going to be Rap, Reggae, Ragga, maybe one Kompa and some Zouk.

CC: Are there any plans to tour in the USA?

BOK: We are working on that. We have a lot of demand to play there. It’s very hard for us because of the immigration legalities. We hope to find some one that believes in us and help us to get our music to the community there.

CC: What can you tell us about your music?

BOK: I talk about the realities of Haiti. It’s problems. We must fight to solve the problems in the country. We talk about the bad things they do in Haiti. We also talk about spiritual music because we have life and when you have life you have to give glory to Jesus Christ. You see we come from the church. We must give thanks to God.

CC: I have heard that you used to sing with Wyclef Jean in the choir at a church here in Port-au-Prince.

BOK: It’s only a rumor. The reality is we made one concert together at Ibo Lele in Petion-Ville. It was the Fugees, Digital, Sweet Mickey and us. I know Wyclef personally and artistically very well. I used to listen to Rigaud Duverne. Which is Gospel, spiritual music. Wyclef used to play guitar with him long time ago.

CC: Carnaval 2000 has just finished. How do you feel about it?

BOK: It is a party for all the people.

CC: This Sunday morning we were at the cathedral in downtown. It was filled up with lots of beautiful children wearing their school uniforms. When they began singing psalms and hymns we were in awe. It was beautiful and hard to describe what we felt there. I think our souls and hearts were moved to the extreme. What message do you have for them and to all those children in the Diaspora?

BOK: I said to them keep on singing to Jesus Christ because is the only way. It is my dream to sing only to Jesus Christ. It is the life. I say to them keep doing the right thing.

CC: I see we would see you in Gospel very soon. Do you feel Haitian music has become more popular and what it needs to become so?

BOK: Yeah. The producers don’t do marketing for kompa or music so it stays down. Kompa is going to be great when there are good producers and good marketing.

CC: Do you like Zouk music

BOK: Yes I like it very much. It is very sweet. I like Tony Chasseur, P. Martelly, Patrick St. Eloi, Jacques D’abaud, Erick Virgal, Franky Vincent, Erick Bouta and T. Martelly.

CC: Wwhy do you think Zouk has become more popular than Kompa?

BOK: They work Well and very hard. They have good producers and do good marketing. They know the market. They work real hard and spend money. The product they present to you is very good. They respect the law. They collaborate together.

CC: Which artists would you like to collaborate with?

BOK: I would like to work with Red Man, Jay-Z, Bustma Rhytms, Method Man, Wutang Clang.

CC: What about in Raisin and Kompas?

BOK: I would like to collaborate with Eddie Francois from Boukman Guinin. In Kompa I would like to work with Sweet Mickey, System band, D’Zine and Zenglen. I would very much like to do so some work with Gracia Delva.

CC: I hope you will. It will be awesome! Those artists are very dear to me too. Who is your favorite Reggae artist?

BOK: MC Janik from Antilles, Gregory Isaac and Bob Marley.

CC: Are you planning to continue recording in Creole only?

BOK: No, English and French. We are looking for a producer to have it done in all three languages.

CC: If you were President of Haiti what would you do?

BOK:: I would build many schools, Universities, houses for the people, many hospitals and churches to praise Jesus Christ and help people trust in Jesus Christ.

CC: I have heard people said you are going to be very successful. Are you?

BOK: Yes. My music is already very popular in Haiti. People know me, they write my name in the tap taps and my music can be heard everywhere.

CC: Thank you very much Baby One King. We would like to wish you great success and a long career in music. Your final thoughts for the public please.

BOK: Keep on praying for the world. We need to pray because you know we have got to save the world. Praise Jesus. I would like to find a big producer for my next album. Thanks to all the people that had supported me, that hear our music and thanks to you guys. Peace n love ya all. One love!

For bookings, distribution and band info please contact

Mr. Frants Revil of Rev Records at (215) 324-1751 or e-mail at revrecords@compas.net

Thanks to Compas Central and to all of you out there who make this site a reality! It is you the key element, who is going to make this happen! Please continue supporting this site and similar sites, publications and the artists! Merci.

PS: I would like to take this opportunity to give special recognition and thanks to Richard and Lunise Morse and their staff at the beautiful Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince' for their kindness, friendliness and help they provided us while we were there. We also enjoyed the beautiful sounds they provided every Thursday through their internationally known Rasin group “RAM” To them, to the Carnaval committee, government officials and specially to the people, our sincere thanks. You made our stay in Haiti’s Carnaval a truly unforgettable experience!

* Interview conducted by Pavel Patino for Compas Central.

                                                                  Jean Jacques Stephen Alexis                     Archives

Un grand merci a Pavel & particulierement a Baby one King et Masters of Haiti pour cette entrevue.

jjalexis@Compas.net
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