Those who follow the Haitian Music Industry very closely could have easily predicted it. Harmonik was destined for greatness. From the onset, Harmonik was believed to be among the Big 3 expected to dethrone Carimi, a band that has dominated the Haitian Compas market until its recent demise. Many have dismissed Harmonik despite the success of albums such as Jere’m, Diferan, and Ilegal. Those who favor more traditional Haitian Compas always dismissed Harmonik, yet its core supporters – made mostly of young females who more open to a modernization of the Compas music – stuck with the band through the many trials. The band itself has shown resilience in that they managed to stay together despite profound disagreements. As the sport analogy goes, winning heals the deepest wounds.
And since music and sports are not that different, let us keep drawing from sport analogy to understand the rise of Harmonik and its ultimate success with its latest album, Degaje. There is no disputing the fact that Harmonik is HMI’s newest champion and is expected to dominate the market for the foreseeable future. Let us look at the Miami Heat experience with the big three Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. The Heat did not start to win until the three shining stars understand their potential and committed to one another. They built trust first and foremost. Then they make the sacrifice of their ego to build an incredible support network that became undefeatable. Wade kept the key to the city by letting Lebron run the team. Chris Bosh on the other hand, had to sacrifice his game and make more with less opportunities. Lebron took less money because of a salary cap instituted to attract veteran talents like Ray Allan, Rashard Lewis, and Mike Miler. At the end of the day, everyone’s role was significant. As a result, they won multiple championships and made four straight trips to the finals.
Sanders appears to be the heart and soul of the band. People close to the group acknowledge a critical role he played to keep Harmonik intact. Whenever they reach a breaking point, he emerges as the facilitator who help the group work through their differences. Sometimes people fail to understand how difficult it is to reach high-levels of success. What Harmonik story teaches us is that there’s no success without sacrifices. The lack of a team spirit that inspires sacrifice can seal the fate of a group.
The recent video entitled Enkwayab and directed by Abdias Laguerre – HMI’s most prolific video director – has sealed the victory for Harmonik. Abdias took us back to a time when simplicity was a hallmark. Miss Haiti World, Suzana Sampeur, reminds us of the unique Haitian beauty. And Okap was portrayed in all its splendor. The song Cherie Beyenm, gives a new sense of sex to an emerging generation, whereas Enkwayab is about profound love and intimacy, with lyrics like “ou son pwoblem ki pa gen solisyon/ ou son poem ki chaje emosyon/ ou fe les homes we ak zorey yo/ ou fe aveg tande ak zye yo”.
Like their first hit and first title-album-song, Jere’m, it took the total effort of the Big 3 to display great vocal performances to master it and deliver a home run.
Now let’s see how long Harmonik can keep this up and rules.
Rodly “Oz’mosis” Madeus