Five years ago, my brother and best friends introduced me to this song “Fanm sa marem.” I was like not bad, love this song. Over the few years, I have followed them as their career progress. Well, I have one friend who is an absolute fan of Flav who talks about him all the time so I could not escape it. Plus, we are from the same place, the North-West side of Haiti. I have lived there for 13 years I have never met him or knew who he was. Granted I am a little younger than him. People would ask me all the time: “Have you met him?” and I’m like no. I do admire his works; I think he have a lot of talents. In you guys already knows that whoever I interview on my blog are either my little sister favorites or my friends asked me to. During this interview, I had a nice time talking to Flav; he was super friendly, down to earth, I was surprised by some of the answers he gave me. I think that some of his fans are going to be a little heartbroken or should I say very sad. I hope you guys learned as much as I did through this interview. Let me just say this brace yourselves, because it is going to be a wild ride.
A little intro about who is Flav?
I am Athlet St Fleur, the lead singer of Gabel, who was born in Port-de-Paix, Haiti on August 16, 1985. I was raised in Port-de-Paix until I moved here in Florida and I attended Fort Lauderdale High School. I joined Gabel in 2009.
When did it hit you that you wanted to be a singer?
My dad is a drummer, and my uncle was a drummer as well but growing up I was never into music until I move to the US.
Why instead of starting as a solo artist you choose to be in a group?
I was not even supposed to be in a Haitian band because I never used to listen to Konpa. I was more into R&B, but one day the crew from GABEL came to a show at my school, and they approached me, and the rest is history
Coming from a small town like Port-de-Paix, how did you manage to have your family on board?
Well one thing I did promise them is that my schooling was a priority and I would graduate college before I went into music full time. So, I kept my promises to them, and it was Kool from there.
What school did you go to while in college? What was your major?
I graduated Florida Atlantic University, with a Bachelor in Management Information System with minors in Marketing and Accounting.
How do you manage your career and your personal lives, so they don’t conflict?
It’s all about prioritizing and knowing when to turn it off. I’m used to it by now and can switch it at any time lol.
In 5 years, do you still see yourself in the band or as a solo artist?
The goal is to retire in 2020 so neither.
2020? That’s right around the corner. Why so early?
I’ve always said since I started back in 2009 that’s I would be in the HMI (Haitian Music Industry) for no more than ten years
What’s next after retirement?
More time with my family.
How do you differentiate yourself from other artists?
- I think everyone has their different style and character, but I’m a fighter.
What have been your favorite collaboration so Far?
I like each single one cause they all have they own flavor and story behind them
“Kenbe Yes” is a new song that you put out over the past few days. Some have called it powerful because of the messages that it’s in the song. What was the inspiration behind it?
We wanted to attack a subject that Haitian bands have never approached. We like to push the envelope and think outside the box. The Same way we did the “Drog Mwen” videos and talked about cancer, now we did something different.
Would you say all your songs are based on your personal life? How do you get inspired for a new album?
It’s a mixture of both and from talking to other people…you get to hear their stories and get the inspiration from the problems or issues they are going through
What do your fans mean to you? What was the craziest encounter you have?
The fans mean the world to me because they are the reason why I do what I do. They show so much love every single day. I have had several encounters, but I wouldn’t use crazy not to offend any of my fans, but there have been some interesting ones lol. From sleeping outside of the hotel to wait at the airport to follow us everywhere, we go to acting like a pizza delivery person lol you name it
What else are you passionate about, besides singing?
I’m passionate about life…it’s mysteries and how one can shape its future. I’m passionate about helping others achieving and realizing their dreams.
What are your hopes to Haiti? How do you expect to impact Haiti?
Education.. Education and more education. Our people needs to understand you can’t resolve a conflict with that “kraze brisé” or “koupe tet” “boule kay” (destroying houses, beheaded, burning houses) mentality. If I can change the mind of one individual, then it leads to another and so on. I always try to inspire the youth in order, not to repeat the same mistake the previous generations have done.
It’s a tradition for me to ask anyone that I’m interviewing if they have one last thing they would like to say. I don’t know a message or anything that I might have left out to the readers.
I would like to thank all your wonderful readers and wanted to thank them for taking the time to read and learn little bit more about me. I love every single one of you. To all my music lovers, please keep loving music and love one another, and whatever you do KENBE YES OU (Keep Your Yes)!
I want to say A HUGE THANK YOU to Flav for making it so easy to do the interview. He didn’t give me any problems. It was easy breezy. When you interview these artists, you get to have a better idea of who they are. Some will strike you as nice and others a little uptight. I have to say that so far every single of them have been my absolute pleasure.
Here are you can keep in touch with him, on Instagram: @FlavGabel
Facebook: Flav Official
Lady Sergine 🌹💋