Carimi once upon a time, and presently Kai.
Richard Cavé has captivated the world for the past decade through Carimi and now Kai. He has a degree in finance, from Baruch College, The City University of New York but always had a passion for music before the world knew him as a lead singer or keyboardist/singer.
After 17 years with a well-known band, Carimi, Richard Cave, the Ri in Carimi as many refer to him, is now leading and conquering the HMI (Haitian Music Industry) with his new and already successful band, Kai. He had produced songs for king Posse and Zin. Now, Kai is Richard Cave latest project. I must admit that he is better than ever since he came back in business with not only one but multiple hits. Since then, Richard Cave has been performing all over the world proving that he is here to stay; his memorable performance in France, last summer, showed his undeniable talent. Last week, I had the utmost privilege to sit down with him for this interview (I was SO nervous, and late, lol). Thanks to this meeting, I had the pleasure of getting to know the kind of man behind the artist: very generous, funny, and open-minded. I am excited for you, Ladybugs, to read and get a thrill out of this interview. I had so many insightful moments with him that I WISH I could share.
How did you feel about Mickael’s reaction when you went to his show?
Anyone who knows me knows that I always allow people to show their true colors. So, to me, if you make a pretty strong comeback, then you are happy and stronger, so there’s no need to be angry or mad about anything.
Watching you mark the HMI as a lead singer it’s remarkable. It is different from what you were used to in Carimi, right? So, how does it feel?
It was really a tough decision to make but thanks to Fito, CARIMI old manager who is my own manager now, I took that leap of faith. He pushed me to go solo but reminded me that I have to really want it because he doesn’t want someone else to text him and be like “I don’t want to this anymore,” referring to how our lead singer told us he no longer wanted to be part of Carimi.
Since he was the one to leave the band, if tomorrow Mikael calls you to get CARIMI back together, would you?
I can’t because I am committed to my band now. This is a new journey. I am the driver of KAI so I won’t give up just like that. I made promises to my band, and I intend to honor them. So, it wouldn’t be fair to just up and leave them when they have invested so much in the band already.
With Carimi, you were able to travel the world, see a lot of new places or do new things. What has marked you the most?
Our trip to New Caledonia. It was amazing to see how people that didn’t even know us, or our culture were singing to our songs, especially Bang Bang. To me, it was very special, since it was a song that I made in my bathroom. To have like five thousand people singing to it, was just amazing. When we got to Caledonia, they welcomed us with open arms and treated us like royalties. Also, it was a culture shock because of how they do things. For instance, we, Haitians, eat with plates and forks/spoons, but there, it was different since they use branches of Palmer and their bare hands. Personally, this trip had impacted me the most. Such a beautiful experience.
How many albums did you guys have together? Out of all of them who marked you the most?
We had 10 albums! Every song has a story behind it, but for me, Por Favor is my personal favorite. For that one, I was looking to create something different from what we usually did. That’s why the bachata was present in it. Carimi has so many great songs that I loved, though. Now that you asked me, I think Por Favor is the only song I could sing at a wedding because I don’t really have that many love songs.
Now that you step up and out on your own. Would you say that you are happy with how things are going with KAI?
I’m super happy. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have control in Carimi, but it was just different in a way that I had to get approval from or consult the other guys to make any decision. Now, I can decide to give 30 percent of my salaries and not have any problems. The decisions are a lot more mine, now.
Fan Question – Is Michael officially part of KAI? Because in all of your posters its always say KAI and MIKABEN.
Mica is only here for the big dates when you think about it. He never wanted to be part of KAI, because he wanted to have the choice to pursue his solo career. However, he helped me tremendously to grow as an artist and a lead singer. He’s always supporting, not selfish at all. If you watch closely when we performed, he never had a problem with stepping back and let me lead. I really love working with Mica.
“Kanse” is such a huge success, was choosing Rutshelle something you did on purpose?
Sergine, let me be honest with you, I didn’t want to make the same mistakes that Carimi made. It’s all good that the “ANTILLES” are singing our songs, but I wanted to implant my roots in Haiti first, before spreading out. For me, it was important to be established home. So, I spoke to someone about it, she told me the best person to do a song with is Rutshelle. I’m not worried about people personal life because I don’t care. She’s always been professional, and on stage, she knows how to hold a note. She is very charismatic. When we are in the studio, she works hard. The first time I heard her sing Kanse, I was like “wow it’s going to be a hit.”
A lot of people call Enposib the new Carimi, do you agree?
Yes, it’s one of the reasons why Fito and I invested. If you didn’t know, we invested in them because we saw potential.
Do you have creative control over what they do? Or you are there mostly as a mentor?
No, I don’t. Medjy wanted to do his own thing. So, I /we helped more strategically and financially. We paid more for the album, videos, things like that. Fito and I invested our own money because we believed in those guys.
Are you happy that you invested in Enposib?
I’m happy we did because I really don’t have this conception that I have to remain forever. But I tell them this every day that Carimi had a crazy beginning, and they might not get the same success. We had Bang bang, which was a successful, international, and national single. Because of that, we toured around the world. Enposib doesn’t have that yet, so I told them to keep working hard because they are going to get there. Stay humble and work hard.
Outside of KAI, what else do you do?
Kai is my main project, but I do other things. Like I love to say, you must use music to do other things. Because of it, I was able to do a lot of things like investing in stocks market. That’s why education should play a big role in one’s life.
What else can you share with anyone reading this, the best advice you can give them?
Always think that you are not there forever. If you are doing music, make sure it’s because you love it. It will be times when you are not going to be on top because it is not an easy path. It’s never easy. For instance, when we started with Carimi (2001), even we had a crazy success, I didn’t get paid until May 26, 2002, one year later. It was hard in the beginning, we had to make a lot of sacrifices. Keep in mind there’s a lot of challenges. Success doesn’t come easily. It might take you 2 or 10 years to make it. Just work hard. Also, Education is very important.
What’s next for Richard Cavé in the next 5 years?
You know, the thing with me is that I’m always onto the next. It’s bad and good at the same time. I don’t know how to appreciate my success. For instance, after my performance in Zenith Paris, instead of enjoying my successful night, when I got back at the Hotel, I was already working on something else. My drive is not for success only but to stay on top of my biggest achievement. I’m always on to the next thing but I’m learning to enjoy my success.
Are you already settling down? Kids & career?
I’m already doing it but when it comes to my career I’ll settle down when my body can no longer take it. Do you see Alan Cave, or Choubou settling down? No, they aren’t, and they are older than me. Another thing that I want to do is looking for young talents and work with them like we did with Enposib. They are a lot of talents, in Haiti.
What made you agree to do this interview? Was it because you read my past interviews?
No, I couldn’t say no because someone gave me a chance once, too. For example, Alan gave me a chance. He let me do a song for Zin. Plus, doing this with you is not hurting me. I enjoy talking to people.
Who would you like to collaborate with, next?
I like J-Perry style so it would be nice to work with him. I had worked with RoodyRoodBoy, but the song didn’t finish. I want to do something with Medjy. It’s all about finding the perfect song. It is important that the collaboration makes sense. There are a lot of artists that I like in Haiti.
Have you ever worked with any rappers?
Yes, I did with Wendyyy. It was around when Carimi broke up so I couldn’t push it as much. He wanted to shoot a video for “Kotew Te Ye,” but let’s just say it was a bad timing. It is unfair to him, so I want to work with him again. Also, I love what Baky is doing.
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.
Thank you, Sergine! I think I should thank everyone who gave me a chance to prove myself as a lead singer and artist. Thank you to everyone that has listened to my songs for years without even knowing they were mine because I was not the one singing them. Even though I had a rough beginning of my musical career, those people for whom I did songs for still opened to me and gave me a chance. Thank you to my fans who’ve been with me since day one. It’s been a blessing!
This interview was long overdue but I’m super happy with the outcome. Someone asked me what was my favorite part of this interview and I’ll say it is the fact that I had the chance to have lunch with Mr. Cavé, and maybe that I got to see those pretty eyes of him, lol. All jokes asides, I felt I was in a classroom learning about life and its do’s & don’t’s. Seriously, another one for the book. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next with you, Richard Cavé! Best luck!
All pictures are from Richard Cavé!
Follow him on Instagram @rich_cave
Lady Sergine 🌹💋