“The new priest of voodoo rock”
“Some haitian voodoo inspired by The Black Keys, The White Stripes or Dr John … “
“Guitar guns and Caribbean fever”
“Diamond-hard voodoo blues-rock”
The powerful and original fusion between the Caribbean voodoo melodies and rhythms, and the 70’s US blues rock; the shock between Moonlight’s powerful and rebellious voice and the tension of saturated guitars … the voodoo trance in a new and explosive style !
In 2018, 12 years after she began her music career and after 2 albums, Moonlight Benjamin releases a new personal project and a third album, “Siltane”.
Moonlight Benjamin (real name [pronounce her family like the male first name Benjamin]), is born in 1971 in Haiti and grew up in an protestant orphanage, learning how to sing at church. But quickly she left Church songs and gospel to a more personal musical frame.
She says : “I had a desire for music and after a few years in a Protestant orphanage, I felt the need to go to meet my original culture. The practice of singing in church was not enough for me anymore. I felt away from my culture and I had to confront myself, meet the strength of the earth, the strength of my country, this age-old strength that makes Haiti.”
She sung then with many Haitian artists before leaving to Europe.
Welcomed in France in 2002 to perfect her musical training, Moonlight Benjamin’s first projects merged when she encountered with musicians from Toulouse. Real voodoo priestess (initiated in 2009), she first became known with the band named Dyaoulé Pemba (with which she’s been world music artists selection on the famous Printemps de Bourges Festival) then under her own name, under her own project, following her will to make Haiti and its story and culture to be better known in France and Europe.
Since 2013 she performs with major jazz artists like saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart and pianist Omar Sosa (projects : “Jazz Racine Haiti”, “Voodoo Jazz Trio”, “Creole Spirit”) who where impressed by her vocal skills.
in 2018, 12 years after she began her world music artist career and after 2 albums, and in parallel with jazz and world music collaborations she started with Omar Sosa and Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Moonlight Benjamin releases a new personal project and a third album, “Siltane”, focused on a more electric music, supported by jazz-rock guitarist and arranger Matthis Pascaud.
Not afraid to experiment and not shackled by what is considered mainstream, she holds soul and fire of all Haitian people. She represents her country with imaginable style by putting her voice on her own concerned lyrics or lyrics from famous haitien writers. Moonlight Benjamin is a culmination of all of your favourites from the heart of a woman who shares his culture with the rest of the world with her voice.
She offers with her new album “Siltane” a journey along a revisited blues rock version of an authentic Creole culture which has a history of struggle for its recognition although it was the first “Black Republic” ever established in the world.
Moonlight talks about Haiti …
Haiti began its modern wandering as a colony of France, at the time it was called Santo Domingo.
We remember Louis XIV and the prestigious Enlightenment, but who remembers the source of the economic wealth of the time, who remembers the enslavement and beatings. A great wealth of the Haitian people is the knowledge of human dignity in its most essential dimension. To have lost it and to have had to fight like a beast to find it, the Haitian people know the value. Paradoxically it is from France that came the egalitarian ideals of France’s human rights which was reluctant to apply to his wallet. In 1804, Haiti was the first black republic in the world and its pride is immense. Santo Domingo was renamed Haiti the name given to the island by its first occupants, the Indians Arawaks Tainos, meaning “high land” or “mountainous island”.
Even today, Haiti needs help to get rid of vampirizing and corrupt power. Even today, Haiti is poor and its children are hungry. The misery, the economic and political corruption that they come from Haiti or the rich countries are permanent dangers for the culture and the social peace of the country; yet nothing will change in the South without the citizens of the North and their clarity.
Moonlight talks the Voodoo …
« At the beginning of everything, is the rhythm. The rhythm, the first power in the world, awakens and passes through when the drums roar, turn the dancers. The rhythm by which men and gods communicate is the sense, the rhythm, through which spirits descend into humans, take possession of them, liberate them, and protect them. In the rumble of the drums, the loas (the spirits) awake, which by the dance and the rhythm overlap the men, because they are above all gods dancers … »
In front of the vacuum left by the wrenching of the original earth, slaves had to find a common language, to redefine itself as a homogeneous group; and that is why in Haiti there was the only successful slave revolt in the world: All the rituals merged into one religion, which remains for the Haitian people the most powerful unit, facing the common misfortune: voodoo.
Voodoo rhythms and songs are like the umbilical cord that connects the western part of the island of Haiti to the womb of its people, Africa. Before the Creole language, it is the artistic and ritual expression that will become the cement of this new nation …
En 2018, 12 ans après avoir commencé sa carrière musicale et après 2 albums, Moonlight Benjamin sort un nouveau projet personnel et un troisième album, “Siltane”.
Moonlight Benjamin (de son vrai nom), est née en 1971 à Haïti et a grandi dans un orphelinat protestant, apprenant à chanter à l’église. Mais rapidement, elle a laissé les chants de l’église et le gospel à un cadre musical plus personnel.
Elle chante avec de nombreux artistes haïtiens avant de partir en Europe.
N’ayant pas peur d’expérimenter et n’étant pas enchaînée par ce qui est considéré mainstream, elle est l’âme et le feu de tout le peuple haïtien. Elle représente son pays avec un certain style en posant sa voix sur ses propres textes ou sur des textes d’auteurs haïtiens célèbres. Moonlight Benjamin est l’aboutissement de tous vos favoris au cœur d’une femme qui partage sa culture avec le reste du monde grâce à sa voix.
Avec son nouvel album “Siltane”, elle propose un voyage dans une version blues rock revisitée d’une authentique culture créole, avec son histoire de lutte pour sa reconnaissance alors qu’elle fut la première République noire jamais établie dans le monde.
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