Paul Demesmin has been a promoter in the Haitian Music Industry (HMI) for more than a decade. The Florida-based impresario has organized events in South Florida and Haiti. He was the producer of Djakout #1’s “Lod na Dezod” CD a few years ago. Next week, Demesmin is organizing a huge event during the Rara Leogane weekend, featuring his cousin and Leogane native the legendary Carole Demesmin.
Paul Demesmin spoke to the Haitian Times recently.
What is Rara Leogane and why is it so important in our culture?
Demesmin: Just like Christmas in December, Rara season will always be there during Easter (Holy week). Whoever says Rara says Leogane, and who says Leogane says Yves Paul Demesmin! We’ve been working and we’re going to keep working. It’s a tradition and nothing can and will change that!
You’ve added Carole Demesmin and Rutchelle to the event, is there a significance?
Demesmin: Carole is originally from Leogane; she’s the City’s Queen! She decided to come home and perform after 25 years and adding Rutshelle with her was nothing but the icing on the cake! The message is very simple ! Culture and music have no limitations; your generation does not matter!
Is this a one-time event or do you plan to make it a yearly affair?
Demesmin: To answer the question every single year we will come with something bigger for the community.
The HMI is in a tough situation now with people not attending events in the U.S. this a way to be more creative and get people to attend events.
Is Haiti a stronger market than the U.S right now and if so why?
Demesmin: Haiti is by far a stronger market than the U.S. First of all, when you have an event in Haiti you don’t have much work to do as far as putting it out there for the population.
The public in Haiti is used to the person they know, the songs they love, and the artist comparing to the U.S. where you are actually presenting, selling, promoting the artist and the music!
Don’t be surprised if you hear someone here in the U.S. telling you how much they love a song but they have no idea who the singer is. Or they will know the name but not the face. Only a few people work during the holidays and weekends in Haiti. Yet Haiti is kind of small; there is never a lot to do and they love to have fun which makes everything so much easier most of the time.
What can be done to turn things around in New York and Miami?
Demesmin: Better promoters, better promotions better lineups and security. One of the biggest complaints in the community about Haitian events is about safety.