Moonlight Benjamin

"The new priest of voodoo rock"
“Guitar guns and Caribbean fever”
“Punky voodoo queen”
"Some haitian voodoo inspired by The Black Keys, The White Stripes or Dr John..."
 

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 !

12 years after she began her world music artist career, and in parallel with jazz and world music collaborations, Moonlight Benjamin started, in 2013, with Omar Sosa and Jacques Schwarz-Bart. In 2018, she released a new personal project and a third album, SILTANE, focused this time in a more electric music, supported by guitarist and arranger Matthis Pascaud.

 FULL BIO

 "I had only just been born when my father took me to Reverend Doucet Alvarez. My mother die a few moments before my birth and with more five childs my father couldn't keep me. Arrived at the orphanage, Reverend Doucet Alvarez, fascinated by the story, said, 'If she has stayed alive, there is certainly a reason. I will call her Moonlight. A light which will light the future."

 
Shortly before my 17th birthday, in 1988, I met Tinès Salvant, a singer and guitarist who helped me to grow up. He took me to an outing organized by the church. Within the community itself, plenty of things went on apart from worship and bible study. Different activities such as theatre, singing, games, cookery lessons etc.
 
After having sung one evening, Tinès Salvant suggested that I take part in the recording of his first album, as a backing singer. I accepted without hesitation.
 
This meeting encouraged my desire to escape from church and home. A few months after recording the album, he asked me to do a series of concerts, mostly in the north of the country. This request was, for me, like a gift from God, a first step towards freedom. I left to do this tour and i've never come back.
 
Following this intense time, I decided to go back to Port-au- Prince, with nothing but a suitcase containing a few worn-out clothes. I sometimes felt lost but having tasted such freedom I couldn't see myself going back home nor to the church. It was at this moment that a childhood friend, Dilia Remolien, talked to me about Voodoo, which is a culture of tolerance and resistance.
 
I met Max Aubin, a singer and guitarist, and we made music together, although nothing came of it. I went from studio to studio working as a backing singer to try and earn my living. 
 
In 1996, I was invigorated by my collaboration with Jean-Claude Martineau – he had an amazing wealth of experience - and we gave recitals. In 1999, along with Max Aubin and Jean-Claude Martineau we won the competition Chanté Noël, organised by the TV channel Télé Max.
 
I left Haiti in 2002, taking with me my native language of Creole, to finally share the culture from which I came, which lived and still lives in my heart. I came to Toulouse, in the south of France, to study music at Music'Halle. Another life began, another language had to be learnt – French – which I was already familiar with.
 
I worked on other projects before coming to my last album, SILTANE, which features11 tracks. All the songs speak of Haiti, of its different facets, of its evolution or its lack of evolution. When I work on my texts, I often let myself be influenced, most of all by Frank Etienne. I love what his soul conveys.
 
The choice of lyrics and music on this album are inspired by the fact that Haiti, in spite of its difficulties, is a country of incredible power. I wanted an interpretation of Haiti and to combine my music with a Rock sound to show this power. I used to listen to the group Europe when I was very young, and also David Bowie. I continue still, with Freddie Mercury and Janis Joplin. People often talk about the power of my interpretation... On this album this comes perhaps from the fact that I have had this difficult and complicated past, that I have always had to fight, even for things that were my due.
 
And as a woman affirming her existence, it is my duty to command respect. It is, unfortunately, an eternal battle for us who are women.
Being a Haitian in France has been a significant step in my life. My goal is to continue to create, to share and to love, in France or elsewhere."
 
 

Moonlight Benjamin - lead vocals 

Matthis Pascaud - guitar  

Marck Richard Mirand - bass  

Martin Levebvre - guitar, keyboard  

Bertrand Noel - drums

 

Galeria de Imagens

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