Wa Di Yo - Lakou Mizik

Cumbancha

On January 12th of 2010, the impoverished island country of Haiti was dealt a cruel blow by mother nature; a catastrophic magnitude 7 earthquake that killed 220,000 souls and injured hundreds of thousands more. 6 years on, there is much rebuilding still needed to be done, but the Haitian people have weathered much adversity. Lakou Mizik is a multi-generational collective who stand in testament to their kin's pride and hope, and to the healing spirit of music. Their new album on Cumbancha is gloriously uplifting. It's called Wa Di Yo, from their manifesto, Wa Di Yo Nou La Toujou - You tell them, we're still here. The band gathered around the concept that music can be the antidote for the negativity at  home and around the world. Guitarist, vocalist Steeve Valcourt explains, "Right behind my house was a camp where people who had lost everything came to gather. There were no smiles. People thought it was the end of the world. We took guitar and tambu to them and started to play. They started to live again and asked us when we would be back. That was the message that this was the cure." Steeve teaches studio recording at the Artists Institute in Jacmel, Haiti. It provided a platform for the new new album to be recorded. "Haiti has over 300 rhythms, so it's hard to find a style in the world that doesn't have at least it's essence in Haitian music." Currently, the band is recording at Cumbancha Records' facilities in Vermont to produce an album of traditonal Haitian music with electronic elements. That's sure to be something to stick around for.