Too often it feels like Haiti is the world’s afterthought. As a nation, it has been struck with poverty, hardship, and natural disaster more times than is comfortable to think about, yet it is inhabited by some of the most resilient people with a most vibrant culture, and it is their boundless spirit and creativity that inspired Michael Brun’s latest single, “Gaya.”
Haiti’s musical history is incredibly rich and has played a huge role in my life as an artist,” Brun is quoted in a press release. “It’s been very important for me to pay respect to the artists that paved the way for the current generation. With the Gaya project, we had the honor of working with Keke Belizaire of Mizik Mizik, Dadi Beaubrun of Boukman Eksperyans, and Patrick Brun of Skandal who all contributed their expertise. This song represents a union of generations and sounds in order to create something brand new, and I’m so proud of it.”
Gaya” is a four-and-a-half minute party from start to finish. It’s title means “Healing” in Haiti’s Kreyol, and the lyrics tell the story of a unified people full of pride and positivity. It was written in collaboration with Haitian roots-music collective Lakou Mizik and local star J. Perry.
“They (politicians) need to work harder to bring the people together, especially the youth,” Lakou Mizik singer and songwriter Jonas Attis is quoted in a press release. “They need to serve as role models and as inspiration so that we can all believe in a better future for the country.”
All proceeds from “Gaya” support the Artists Institute in the city of Jacmel, a scholarship-based vocational school where Brun and Lakou Mizik first met. The Artists Institute of Jacmel focuses on disadvantaged youth, teaching them skills in music production and film making. Learn more about the Artists Institute online, and show your support by purchasing the song. Check the video for “Gaya” and this totally-Haitian, totally-rad playlist Brun created on Spotify below.