Haitians are recruited all over the world as some of the most intelligent doctors, lawyers and engineers. The vision of taking the entertainent industry by storm is rarely ever seen and more often than not, it is frowned upon by the elders. But there is a new generation sweeping through the business and not only has Se Joe created an outlet for Haitian humor but he is on the hunt for real talent. His hunt eventually lead him to Montreal, Canada, where he met up with a long-time friend and realized that the only way for SeJoe Entertainment to flourish is to, indeed, expand.
Here we introduce the newest addition to SeJoe Entertainment, a hustler who refuses to stop fighting for what he believes, has created hip-hop that even Americans will vibe to.
Describe your childhood while in Haiti.
Growing up in Haiti was the best childhood I could have had. I got a chance to be surrounded by great people, family, friends and classmates. I’ve always been a huge fan of music and sports. I spent a lot of time playing basketball with my friends and I had the NBA dream, too.
Describe your life after you left Haiti. What was the transition like? Did you fit in? How'd you learn to adapt?
After Haiti, life wasn’t really different. I was lucky because of the fact that my mom decided to move to a city like Montreal. I loved the city ever since the first time I stepped into it, even if it gets cold during the winter and I get homesick. I have mixed feelings when it comes to the transition, because I was amazed with the fact that there were so many different cultures and ethnic groups in Montreal and somehow we all live in the same city and I thought it was great. But at the same time, I was this 14 year old kid, straight from Haiti, I knew how to speak French and English but the slang wasn’t the same and at that age they laugh at you if you speak a little different so because of that I was really shy. I’m a shy kid to begin with, so imagine me in a situation like that. The only place I would feel comfortable was on the basketball court, because it felt real to me. The first high school that I went to in Montreal was great, I had friends from everywhere in world and we used to hang out together like we knew each other from years before. I had to adapt to a bunch of different situations and different people. And the funny thing, is the first song I ever wrote, even before I wanted to be a rapper is about the immigrant’s transition.
When did you first realize the love you had for music?
I’ve always loved music, I was raised by every single woman in my family so there were always people singing around me, especially my mom. She doesn’t have a great voice but she sings all the time (don’t tell her I said that). My Dad used to have the craziest sound system in his car, I would be playing basketball and he would be on his way home, and I could hear it four blocks away. I knew, as soon as I hear the “system Band” or “Tabou Combo” really loud, I had to drop the ball and go grab a book or something real quick.
What is your favorite and/or first song that you've ever created? Why?
The first song I ever wrote is “Nan Montreal.” It really just came out of my mouth, I didn’t think about it, I didn’t even know that I was feeling this way until I started to put the words down. I didn’t know I was expressing myself on the beat until someone told me, “I didn’t know you could do that, you seem so shy and quiet.” I realized I loved music just as much as I loved sports.
I knew “Nan Montreal” was great the minute I wrote the chorus, because I was singing the chorus and my mom came into my room and she asked me who sings it. I was so shy about it, I told her that it was a friend of mine. Then she said, “Your friend is really good, I like that song." And I was like ok that’s it, that song is Niiice!
What is a project you'd like to accomplish but haven't done so yet?
I have lots of projects that I wanna accomplish in the future but right now I’m just working towards my university degree, and I wanna keep making hits to move my music career forward.
Who and/or What inspires you to create the music you have?
I get my inspiration from everything: life, school, basketball, other rappers, my friends, French songs, Haitian culture, and Montreal’s culture. I think Montreal is unique in North America. The mix of cultures and the fact that everyone here adopts some part of someone else’s culture and language is amazing. It’s like that stuff they teach in school, the difference between the salad bowl and the melting pot. Montreal’s a salad bowl. Basically, my music is just a reflection of what I hear, what I see and what I feel. So, everything that I’m doing right now, and what’s going on around me is a part of my music. I see my music like a conversation, everything I write and I rap about comes from me. I don’t try to go away from who I am to please the audience.
When did you first become interested in music?
As a kid, I always wanted to play an instrument but I was too busy shooting hoops, so I never did. But the reason I started is because it was cool. My idols are Michael Jordan and 50 cent so I was just doing both things like any other kid in my neighbourhood.
In your opinion, What is the difference between music and art?
I don't think there’s any difference between music and art. Music is art.
Where do you intend to take this passion for music?
I want to take all the way to the top. I see myself changing and leading a whole generation of Haitians through music. I want my people to understand that they don't need to copy or they don't need to try to do what others are doing to be successful.
How did you get involved with SeJoe Entertainment?
We went to the same elementary school in Haiti but we didn’t really hang out back then. His little brother and I used to hang out all the time though. I found Sejoe on Facebook promoting his jokes and I decided to ask him about Philip [his brother] so we started talking. After, Sejoe came to Montreal for Kompafest I showed him around town and we chilled. He liked what I was doing with music and I liked what he was doing with the jokes and we decided to get together and work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What steps are you taking to help you meet your goal?
In 5 years, I see myself doing music and more, so I’m making sure to work hard and back it up with a university degree in something that’s useful for my music career. I love entertaining people; I like seeing the smile on their faces. Plus I’m with #TeamSejoe, so for sure we’ll be making people dance and laugh. Watch out.
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