MORE ABOUT GIFRANTS
Gifrants is the Band leader of Vèvè, one among the latest Haitian musical groups, based in Boston, Massachusetts. He was born in Cap-Haitien, the second most populated, and important city located in the North of Haiti. He started playing the guitar, and writing his own music at the age of 13. At 19, he won twice the first prize, at two national radio contests held consecutively for Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. The song submitted for Valentine's Day contest, was re-entitled "Bossa Valentine" by the jury, because of its soft bossa nova beat, and the use of elaborate progressions.
He moved to the States in 1982, and performed at different venues in New York. He founded "Sakad", one of the first bands that started the "roots music" movement, in the line of Boukman Eksperyans, Boukan Ginen, RAM etc. His 1987 release, entitled "Rebati Kay-la", (Let's rebuild the country), was well received in Haiti, and among the Haitian communities living abroad. This song was among a compilation of Caribbean music produced by Jonathan Demme, the movie Director of "The Silence of the Lamb", and "Philadelphia".
He left "Sakad" the following year, in order to pursue a career as a solo artist. He continued to explore different styles within the spectrum of Haitian music such as folk music, pop music, ballads and contemporary music. Rara-mwe, released in 1990 is the testimony of an avant-garde musician strongly determined to bring new elements to Haitian music. That's why, his CD entitled Serenade by Gifrants, released in 1998, reflects a very mellow style spiced with Brazilian and Jazz music, but still flavored with Haitian music. The careful choice of chords and progressions, predominant element of his music, reinforced by a very good songwriting ability, added to a funky and jazzy arrangement style of the horn section, brings Vèvè to a much more competitive edge on the World Music scene.
Among the many new aspects brought by Gifrants in his new style, we should mention the adaptation of folk songs mostly unknown by the new generation of Haitians, living in Haiti and abroad. It's like a revitalization of Haitian culture, trying to slow down this strong phenomenon of acculturation happening right now within the Haitian society. His lyrics tell of his love, love for life, love for nature, love for Haiti, his country, and funny tales of every day life. They translate clearly the overall happy tone of his music, which, truly, is well written and well produced.
With a very warm and seductive voice, Gifrants expresses the hope, and determination of a nation struggling for a better life. He conveys his feelings and emotions, in Creole, English, and French, in such a way that his audience could relate, and share with him, the depth and intensity of those feelings. His music is a blend of Haitian music, Brazilian music and jazz in the same manner Haiti's cultural heritage reflects its African roots, its European birthmark, and its American influence.