Interview with Michael
Hello Michael Flashmag and its readership are happy to have you as a guest star this month. The time of this interview the gallery is yours. Now tell us, you are entering music by Rap why?
Michael : For the simple reason that these are the 90 ' the period when Rap is really everywhere, I bathe in that universe, so I get into the wave… in the city where I lived all my little buddies were doing Rap, so it was logical for me to do the same.
Flashmag: And while you had chosen to pursue this career very young in fact, how do you managed to continue your studies, and what was the reaction of your parents, you were just 15 years old, and at this age, is not always easy to have carte blanche?
Michael : Already have to say that my parents were very busy, so it must be said that they did not really have time to keep track of what I was doing and what I was not doing, in general they were satisfied with my notes at the end of the year and I always managed to meet their expectations. I was able to reconcile both, I must admit that I did not have too many problems at that level.
Flashmag: How your Rap years, will influence your musical career? and why did you decide to make a return to Afro Caribbean music?
Michael : The people I was doing rap with, namely the Mafia K-1 Fry Group, had an impressive background, having already released several albums. I saw how it was working, rehearsals, recordings in studio, concerts, they helped me discover the backstage. I learned a lot.
Why I returned to the Afro Caribbean music? already I must say that rap did not speak to me really, artistically speaking, I had more love to give than making engaged music, that's why I came to realize that rap did not fit with my person too.
Flashmag: You were in the logic to make love and not war in some way
Flashmag: In 2005 you release your first album named Michael. If you had to say something on this album what would you say? it represents what, in your career?
Michael : This is the beginning and continuity of my career, and it's really this album that allowed me to be known, with the title Se Chalew that remains a hit, many peoples continue to call me Michael Se Chalew, this is really the title of my career so far ...
Flashmag: As they say the first love are the best
Michael : Exactly. laughs
Flashmag: After a nomination to the Caribbean Music Awards where you won the trophy Dynamics d’or (golden dynamics) you thought this is it, I have arrived, or it was rather an incentive to go even further? how did you handle this recognition from your peers?
Michael : Well I must say it was a first recognition, but it was not really a final endpoint. I had a song that did well in the charts and for me it was just the beginning, eventually I had to continue in the same vein but this is where things got a bit more complicated and it proved to me that it was only a little trophy in a career that was going to be very long.
Flashmag: In 2007, 2010 and 2012 will follow the albums Mes Pensées (My Thoughts), Life, and Fruit défendu (Forbidden Fruit) albums produced by Section Zouk, which will confirm your talent and trend Zouk, Kompa, RnB, and Ki zomba. you remain in any case rooted in the Afro Caribbean you explore with wonder the Ki zomba the Kompa and the RnB, why? was it necessary to rally the greatest number of people around your music or you were doing simply a music that represents who you are?
Michael : I must state that these were my first influences. I have always listened to Kompa music at home, now the Kizomba is a little interbreeding between Brazilian Portuguese Angolan music a short of mix or rather a root of the same tree that spoke to me and it more or less worked on some songs ... but it always touched people because in fact it’s a music we can relate into as well. In any case I did it because it felt good to do it… it was a pleasure I tried to share with music lovers.
Flashmag: After 2012, there is a break you change your artistic direction and even surname becoming M I, you chose to make Electro Dance, why?
Michael : Here it must be said that I had two caps, the Afro Caribbean cap and the electro trend, I like what moves at the base, in fact the Zouk moves but not that much, and the public is not always pretty open and so it often remains a bit inside the community, while dance music is more open to other communities it has been a positive experience. Large radio and television channel played often the title it charted well, but hey it was just a musical experience, I was not really intending to orient my whole career in that. However, I still have that side and I still have some surprises I will make you discover…
Flashmag: The musicians of love as we like to call them when they are in your genre, often have very good texts; from the outset it looks like they know how to talk to women an issue is bothering me and some listeners and readers would love to know as well how do you deal with women in your normal life do you apply the same vigor and the same principles to seduce women and keep them or is it different?
Michael : Actually it depends on the woman there are women to whom you can say things, they consider a romantic discourse, and others whom these things do not move. Well, me now with my wife I talk to her, like in my lyrics, and my texts are not too much like those you read in novels, they speak of things from normal life, I try to use words that are used in the life of everyday and then of course we add a rhythm and rhyme words for this to be pretty in tune.
Flashmag: What type of woman will make you fall?
Michael : Well the one that will give me a crush is the one that would follow me and support me in my ambitions in life, in my projects ... and conversely.
that one who would be simple. Yeah a simple and smart woman actually.
Flashmag: What that does not please you in a woman?
Michael : Too many surplus, the superficial, what is beyond what is a normal woman actually.
Flashmag: What is music for you? a trade make you live or a passion that makes you vibrate?
Michael : It's pure passion for me. it’s really a passion something that makes me vibrate. The music I make the Zouk and even in general, it is not always easy to live from music, because nowadays everything is difficult shows and the rest, everything is complicated you cannot really live properly from it. It must be said that to continue, you really have to be passionate.
Flashmag: Speaking precisely of the contribution of the new wave of Zouk musicians to the genre, what is your ambition? Walk in the footsteps of elders like Kassav or bring the genre to another direction?
Michael : You never truly bring something new, we always remake with old things ... all that we have today are things that were invented long ago, music notes and the rest. The only thing we do, is to improve, we put them to the taste of the day and we impress our style. For me to follow in the footsteps of the group Kassav for me would be great because it is one of the very first group to have really put the Afro Caribbean music on the world stage, this is the first French band to have achieved global success so for me to follow them will be very well. Now talking about the new generation of Zouk musician I must confess, I cannot identify them all, some a really standing out, and some that are doing anything but music, I do not allow myself to judge but they deserve to do better or change trade. As a listener when I hear certain lyrics and certain music it denigrates more than giving honor to the genre.
Flashmag: Speaking of this deplorable trend about you whose fault? to production companies which agree to put anything on the market, to the artists who pour into the facility or to the public willing to consume such music because it's still the public who is the last censor?
Michael : After, what's nice is that you cannot lie. Artists who do not deserve to be where they are, disappear after a few years… it works a year, two years, three years and then after that it’s the blackout. it means listeners realize they have been fooled. And now thanks to the internet anyone can sing, anyone can be a producer. Some honestly use the system and others who know how it works can cheat by inflating their popularity artificially, adding views and others, as they say it works a time and then after that is the blackout we realize that they are imposters ... but because of that, there are good artist who experience setbacks and that's unfortunate ...
Flashmag: Yes, even here in the US world of famous celebrities have used it, we remember that a few years ago YouTube decided to delete the views of certain videos that were fraudulent. This trend is also visible in the media because with the internet there are a lot of false information that often circulates on the web and if you manage a newspaper on the internet there is a good chance that your credibility may be affected even when you have a scoop.
What is your goal as a musician, a message to carry or simply entertain?
Michael : I'm someone who is there to entertain. I carry no real message other than the message of love. Music for me is a passion I am pleased to make it, and I try to please people by sharing. If people like it then fine, if they do not like I try to get them to understand me better, but at the same time you cannot force people to love what you do. My music is not really revolutionary or engaged the message is probably love, joy, dance ... having fun in fact.
Flashmag: It is already a commitment somewhere ...
Michael : Laughter Ah ... if you want a commitment to joy and love
Flashmag: In 2016 you return to Zouk your single Tous les mêmes (all the same) why did you think it was time to back into your source?
Michael : actually before 2016 I released an album titled Elegance an opus that listened a lot in the United States when I look at my statistics they show me in which country a given title is listened the song Elle en moi (her on me) that has a connotation very Kompa is listened to the USA at the moment, but we didn’t have a good promotional campaign not too many are aware of this album is but those who follow my career know that I released an album in 2015 and it was a Zouk album mostly, but I like to do a mixture Kizomba Zouk Kompa in my Albums now the single that just came out is more Zouk but the next one will be Kizomba or Kompa
Flashmag: Tous les mêmes is a prelude to your next album?
Michael : Of course, it’s, my next album that I would entitle Think like a man. A title inspired from the American film that has performed very well in the world. in this album there will be 4 titles Zouk, 3 Kizomba, and 3 Kompa. This album is supposed to come out this year 2016. God willing, I think you'll be the first to know when it’s out
Flashmag: If you had to make some indiscretions on the next album what would you say? What the public should expect?
Michael : I'll tell, we have adopted another way of writing, as it can already be seen in the single that was made of old and new. In addition, I would sing in other languages such as Cape Verde. It'll be an album filled with mixtures so I hope the audience will love this, basically mixture and new sounds… it’s going to be the dope.
Flashmag: We will not lose time waiting to taste this new album.
Talking about music production in the 70 and 80 and today there was a lot of musicians in the studio that made the African or Caribbean genres, and music seemed more alive, today we have software that play this role but, is there still studio musicians in France able to bring another dimension to certain works?
Michael : The problem I will say honestly there are no greater musicians or they exist and they are inaccessible. There are only people who work on computers. Luckily I'm working with a young man named Stéphane Honi, he is very clever on a computers and on studio instruments, guitar, bass and drums he is one of the few musicians that remains, it is true there are still musicians of talent from the old guard like Thierry Delanney but Stéphane is 26 and is one of the few of the new generation that I know who really masters his element playing several instruments ... it's very rare to find musicians or it is very expensive
Flashmag: Don’t you think that the machine makes the music a bit artificial because the albums made with musicians who are really playing has a different feeling it’s deeper. Don’t you think it's time that to invest in the human factor?
Michael : You must already understand that we do with the resources that we have. there are many who do not want to invest too much in music because it does not bring much profit, and beside the shortage of producers you add the shortage of musicians, yes honestly I'd rather make an album just with the musicians. It's a bit what is the strong point of Kompa and Zouk where in general real musicians play, but now with computers it's electronics that spring, and there is no picture, but one has to do with what he has.
Flashmag: In closing this interview do you have a special word to the public?
Michael : I would like to thank already the public to continue to support me.
It's been eleven years that I make music and I try to stay on top of the crowd, I thank also Flashmag for the interview it is really fun to know that people are interested in what we do. It is for the public that we make music and we are pleased when they continue to follow us. The public can go on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page by typing Michael Zouk 1 to stay up to date about me.
Flashmag: Michael Flashmag and its readership thank you for this open talk, good luck.
Video Clip Tous les Memes
Interview by Hubert Marlin