I remember the first time I heard his music. I was in college, and I was sweeping my dorm room after another random night of partying. My mind was focused on the stickiness of a syrupy substance on the floor, which I’m guessing was Grenadine. I took a small break, and pulled the CD out of my bag.
The words, “Ayiti Leve” caught my attention when I first saw the cd on my parents’ dining room table. My mother saw me staring at it, and she quickly told me that I would like his music. I learned that he was from our hometown, Petion-Ville, and that he is the new voice of Haiti.
Just like anyone in their late teens would, I casually borrowed the cd from my mom without her knowledge. Just by looking at the title of the album without having listened to the songs, I knew I would like him. He just seemed different from the other artists I was used to.
I inserted the disc in the player, a small boom box I had because even then, I was still not cool enough to own an ipod docking station. Hey! It got the job done, right? After I pushed play, I returned to my sweeping and organizing on the apartment. That’s when I fell in love! In love with his music, and in love with his lyrics. I decided to play the song, “Ayiti Leve” on repeat. The song probably played a total of ten times before I returned to reality and realized that I was tearing up.
When I heard that he was playing again this March at Lycee Francais, I knew I wouldn’t miss it for the world. That would be my second live performance I would attend. Belo is the artist I will always buy an album from. He’s the artist I will always purchase a ticket for a show or concert from. He is the artist I will always try to support no matter what. Why? There are many reasons, and here are the obvious: not only is he talented, he is selfless, he absolutely loves his country, and he loves his people. You can hear and feel every emotion in his songs.
His show at Lycee Francais was very interactive and of course amazing. Some of the children at the lycee got to perform with him on stage. The entire auditorium fell in love with his music, whether they were Creole, French, or English speakers. He has the ability to connect with people in the most genuine way, and that is what makes him special. Belo is my favorite Haitian musician.