Music

Perfect Timing: The Making of 7.0

After last year's earthquake many of the world's artist put out their regional, "We Are the World" tracks. Leading Haitian artists came together at about the same time to record their inspirational track for those suffering. With difficulties in personnel and logistics the release came a year later than expected but perhaps this was perfect timing.

As Haitians we know what the facts are, the vast majority are still living in the crisis that was a 7.0 earthquake. The level of fanfare and support of yesteryear has diminished. Support pledged has not been honored and many of our compatriots live in daily squalor and suffering.

Inspiration must continuously be renewed as we rebuild Haiti. The untimely release of 7.0 by the HMI Artist United may not be so, in fact, it may just be perfect timing.

When the idea came about.

Many Haitian artist were at Island TV on an afternoon a few days after January 12, 2010. The Miami-based Haitian-American television station had a telethon to raise money for relief operations, everybody was there.

It was during the telecast breaks that people would check out the recent news out of Haiti and talk amongst each other about what needs to be done.

Kenny Desmangles of Zenglen brought up the idea of doing a "We Are the World Record", while chatting it up with Sylvester Haze, who would eventually become the video producer and Nickenson Prudhomme of Harmonik, who led the production and arrangement of the music.

The two artists got to work on making the track with members of their respective bands. Richie would lay the drums and the members of Harmonik would work to get as many artists on board as possible.

In a short few weeks the music, lyrics, recordings would all be complete and ready for the filming.

It was shot in two days, most of the people lived in the South of Florida and Carimi was in town. Martelly was invited and he accepted. Many artist who didn't sing still came to the filming of the video.

There was a prayer with all the members off camera.

There was a mood of unity among the artists because they were doing something for their country. Everyone put their ego aside. It was fun to record and film even with the shadow of sadness of the tragedy.

The t-shirts were brought by Alan Cave for the video to show unity, as he designed the backdrop assisting with the set.

The taping of the music video was smooth aside from Arly Lariviere not coming to the taping. It was in the heat of the Nu-Look breakup and the former band mates were not on speaking or seeing terms; regardless of the cause.

Year Long Delay

What some people might remember is that after the earthquake, the Haitian Music Industry had gone into a three-month lull. No shows, no albums and Haitians were not in the mood for a bal.

So the circumstances that made the project possible, everybody having time, were not the same 3 months after when corrections had to be made, voice overs, ad libs, and etc.

The project became increasingly more difficult to complete when the artists began performing again. Between live shows, studio recordings and travel, chasing after people was not an easy task for the producers.

An extra month was added to the final release to perfect the graphics of the video. I, Samuel Maxime, was brought in to confirm consistency, grammar and spelling of the final project. This was a matter that caused the video to be reproduced several times before the release.


7.0 HMI Artist United

Perhaps, perfect timing.

Just before the release I asked Director Sylvester Haze, to give me a good reason for the delay, people are going to want to know. Logistics problems is not something that is going to fly with the Haitian people.

Haze said "everything happens for a reason, only God knows why things happen..."

I thought about it, perhaps this is the best time for this video to come out. It is delusional for someone to think its too late as there are millions still living in the crisis. There hundreds of thousands that will have to go through the summer under a hot tent. There thousands of bodies still under rubble, and the crises of the past few months have not helped the situation.

The old government, the government of exclusion is on its way out. There is a new president who awaits. Dual-citizenship is on the table to be voted on next week, and international assistance is waning. This is the perfect time to inspire unity among the diaspora and the people back home.

The Haitian diaspora should look at this video, this song, that brought artist together and come together the same way. It starts small, in your community and city but use it; "Together We Will Rebuild."

This is the last music video taped of the former entertainer, now President-elect of the Republic of Haiti, Michel Martelly. This is a transitional period for Haitians everywhere and this song should inspire us going forward.


ProductionArtists (by appearance)
  • Produced by Nickenson Prudhomme
  • Arrangement by Nickenson Prudhomme and Kenny Desmangles
  • Drums by Jean Herard Richard
  • Lyrics by HMI Artists United
  • Project Led by Nickenson Prudhomme, Kenny Desmangles, Jean Herard Richard and Alan Cave
  • Text by Samuel Maxime
  • Recorded at Nick's Studio
  • Filmed at SlyProductions Studio
  • Miami, FL
  • Mecca aka Grimo
  • Black Dada
  • Michel Martelly, Sweet Micky
  • Kenny Desmangles, Zenglen
  • Alix Sajet
  • Alan Cave
  • Flav, Gabel
  • Katalog, Gabel
  • Olivier Duret
  • Saida Prospere
  • Harold St Louis, Ti Harold
  • Georgy Metellus
  • Zouzoul
  • Shabba, Djakout
  • Gazzman Pierre, Couleur, diSIP
  • Roserbie Theoc
  • Don Polo
  • Sanders Solon, Harmonik
  • Virginia, ZIN
  • Michael Guirand, CaRiMi
  • Dener Ceide
  • Top Adlerman
  • Jean Herard Richard, Richie
  • Big Jaim
  • Knagz
  • Keed Coulgi
  • Nickenson Prudhomme, Harmonik
  • Mackendy Talon, Harmonik
  • Roberto Martino, T-Vice
  • Arly Lariviere
  • Dabenz
  • Dr. Zoe


Source: various

Book reviews

Haiti Noir

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The anthology edited by Edwidge Danticat puts a uniquely Haitian spin on the crime genre

"Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration." - Publishers Weekly