If culture and nationality were determined only by the music a person listens to, my Haitian card would have been revoked years ago.
I grew up on all types of music, but my parents didn’t listen to Kompa very much. The majority of my experience with Kompa occurred on the occasion we went to parties–weddings, baptisms, Christenings, etc. The Kompa songs sounded the same to me, and each song seemed to last forever.
To be honest, I really disliked going to these family gatherings. My parents would fuss about me getting dressed and getting my hair done just so I could go sit at someone else’s house or some event hall to be on my best behavior. I was a tomboy and preferred jeans to frilly dresses, stockings, and patent leather shoes. I felt awkward and on display. My family meant well, but I was a pretty shy kid, so all of that was torture.
Kompa was the soundtrack to my suffering. So, I think this resulted in my dismissing it altogether.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained perspective and appreciate those family festivities more. With that, I’ve wanted to fall in love with Kompa as much as I have with other genres. I may be getting there.
Most recently, a search led me to Incroyab by Harmonik. That led to Phyllisia Ross who merges Creole with English. I also gladly discovered Mikaben, Roody Roodboy, and some others. Other than Ross (pictured above), I’m sure I won’t be able to identify these artists just by listening, but I’m happy to be on this journey. The music makes me feel more connected to home, which makes me feel closer to whole.
Harmonik – Incroyable
Phyllisia Ross – Di Mwen
Mikaben Feat Paul Beaubrun – Ayibobo