About the Artist
Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content. She is a member of a new generation of Haitian musicians which also includes guitarist/vocalist Beethova Obas and the bands Boukman Eksperyans and Boukan Guinen. In contrast to most contemporary Haitian music, this new wave of artists emphasize complex themes, conscious lyrics, and a broad pallette of musical styles, including the native Haitian compas, twoubadou and rara along with jazz, rock, bossa nova and samba.
Born in Gonaives, Haiti, her first experience in music was singing gospel music at the local church. After completing her education, Emeline accepted an opportunity to study at the Detroit Jazz Center and returned to Haiti as a professional musician. Emeline soon released her first album Douvanjou ka leve (May the Sun Rise) which featured the hit Plezi Mize (Pleasure in Misery) written by Beethova Obas.
Subsequent releases Tankou melodi (Like a Melody) and Flanm (Flame) established her as one of the top artists in Haiti and the French Antilles, and she was soon hailed as the "new goddess of Creole music".
Relocating to France, she became a leading musical icon, performing at venues such as the Jazz Festival of Nice and Theatre de la Ville, making numerous appearances on French television and gracing the covers of many music and culture magazines.
From her new base in France, Emeline's work quickly spread throughout the french-speaking world; including Belgium, Africa, French Antilles, French Guiana, Quebec, as well as Chile and Japan. From the album Tout Mon Temps (All My Time) came her international smash hit A-K-I-K-O. While set to an infectious dance groove, the song call's for Haiti to look past the political turmoil that has recently gripped the nation and to return to a time of innocence and joy.
After signing to a Montreal record label she began to enjoy a high profile as one of the leading young female vocalists working in Quebec and a regular act for Canadian festivals, radio and television. In 1996, she released the album Ban'm Pase (Let Me Pass), a CD which showcased her developing talents as a mature writer and producer. This huge-selling and influential release featured the international hits Ban'm Pase and Mwen bezwen (I Need You), fully incorporated her jazz/blues/samba influences, and secured her position as one of the leading songwriters in the Haitian Creole language.
After being signed with several record labels in France, Canada and the U.S., Emeline formed her own production company (Production Cheval De Feu) in 1999 to gain full control of her career and artistic vision. Emeline's latest CD Cordes et Ame is a ground-breaking recording for a Caribbean artist. A sophisticated song-cycle centered around the theme of perseverance, the CD features the sound of voice & acoustic guitar bathed in the ancient and modern rhythms of Haiti. Soon after its release, the album became the fastest selling recording in Haiti (surpassing even the dance music giants of compas) and received Haiti's Musique En Folie awards for Best Haitian Album and Best Production for the year 2000.