CAP-HAITIEN — Michael Benjamin was about six when his father bought a piano for the household. The boy played the instrument more than his other two siblings, eager to learn the art. Benjamin later asked his father, Lionel Benjamin, a prominent singer in the 1970s and 1980s, to teach him how to play the guitar. 

“I'm not going to lie, my fingers used to hurt when I used to play the guitar but I never gave up,” Benjamin told The Haitian Times in an interview last December about his father Lionel “Papa Nwèl” Benjamin.

“Music grew in me naturally and I wanted to adapt it on my own,” he said.

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.