I remember watching the “Drapo”m “ video trying to figure out who was who . One person who caught my attention was “Ayiiti.” Ironically enough, later that day , she popped up in my feed on IG. So, I started to follow her.
I love her ig ; it reflects a lot of positivity. Then when I saw that she was behind the *Best Haiti Challenge* and had been represented us (Haiti) abroad,I immediately wanted to interview her. She is a breath of fresh air, unique , and a confident yound lady. Ayiiti’s voice suits perfectly the kind of music she’s into.
Talking about her music, she has a bunch of good and hits songs; but my personal favorite is “Zeptima” . Fun fact: Did you all know that she was a professional horseback rider?? She even competed abroad for Haiti . Yes! I’m telling you guys, she’s full of surprises.
Who’s Ayiiti for those who might not know you?
Singer, (song) writer, a bit of a “touche à tout” for anything creative!
Born in Paris raised in Haiti; Franco-Haitian father, Chilean mother. Big sister to the sweetest ray of sunshine Lou (that mini me you may see in my videos or posts is my sister, not my daughter Lol).
1 album: Schizo – 20121 EP: No Heartbreak – 2015
Currently more single oriented, and exploring Haitian music – see Voodoo You Do, Zeptima and Dancing On Our Own 😜.
You took a break from music to pursue a higher education, why was that important? Important because when you have the opportunity to get a higher education, you pursue it! Whether you continue to a master, work in the field you studied … or not, it’s a time where you get to figure out what you really want to do in life! I graduated in Political Sciences and International Development, the latter of which I hope will help me help my country move forward in one way or another in the future.
Describe your College experience in 1 word:
Transformative / eye opening
Ayiiti , every artist have their own style of music. How would you describe yours?
Exploring my cultures while staying accessible to all. Right now, I’m trying to bringing out the stronger sounds/melodies of Haiti in a “pop” way.
Ayiiti is the happiest when she…
eats 😂. Creates. Is with her people.
Who have inspired you in life whether to do music or anything for that matter:
Of people I know:
My father. He’s a very strong, larger than life personality. Strong but kind and fair. Determined like no other. Always taught me the value of hard work & integrity.
Maya Angelou. All the obstacles she overcame, yet somehow life’s hardships never chipped away at her grace, strength and optimism.
Your grandparents are fluent in Spanish. Any thoughts on doing a Spanish album?
Yes absolutely! Who says I’m not already in the work? *wink wink*. My grandparents are not the only fluent ones , by the way. My mixed background has made me lucky enough to be fluent in 4 languages.
I think my cultural heritage is a blessing and I have always embraced it; I always considered myself 100% Haitian, 100% Chilean, 100% French. As artists, our mission is to live our truth and make it into art.. so it would only makes sense that artistically, I want to explore my cultures and have fun with it.
You had taken part in your school plays, put a song out in 2012, after the earthquake. Was it then that you knew music was something you wanted to do?
Truth is I always knew I wanted to sing. It was always my dream. But, I was shy. I was scared to fail, so I was scared to try. And, the earthquake of January 12, 2010 put things somewhat into perspective for me. It made me realize the only way to find out was to try… until you succeed.
January 12th, 2010, how were you affected?
January 12th was a rupture in my life, as it was in the lives of every Haitian, I think. As I watched the news cycles go on and on about this natural disaster, I remembered thinking ”this date will be marked in history books, and from this day onwards, there will always be a before & an after”. With no bad pun intended, an event like that really shakes you up, puts things into perspective; what matters, what doesn’t; that life is short and fear shouldn’t hold you back from going for your dreams.
I was in Port au Prince that day; we lost our home, but my family members were safe, and thats all I cared about. I helped out at a clinic for the better part of week 2, afterwards. It was surreal. I was keeping medical records and seeing injured survivors by day and watching the benefit concert or rescue stories on TV at night.
I saw the city emptying itself, massive exodus towards anywhere, provinces, the DR, overseas. People didn’t think twice, they just got out of there, out of harms way. Streets were clear, houses empty shells. That’s what I wrote my first song, Ghost Town, about.
Mixed background, right? Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong?
No, not really. You see, this was always normal for me. We don’t choose our heritage. The truth is, being mixed is a very interesting thing to live. I am Haitian, Chilean and French. I speak the corresponding languages, I know the corresponding food and the customs, and I’ve been to all three countries. I was born in Paris and raised in Haiti since I was 2, and visited Chile more than once. My cultures are so interwoven into my life, I couldn’t consciously choose one over the other; My father is Haitian-French, my mother is strictly Chilean.. does that make me more Chilean? I was born in Paris, went to a french school does that make me more French? I was raised in Haiti since i can remember — and currently live there… does that make me more Haitian?
Often times, when you’re mixed, people want you to “choose” a side. I’m not here to be what people want me to be. I’m here to be true to myself, to where I am from and going, and to who I am.
It’s not simple, cookie cutter or stereotypical. Not everyone understands it… but I can only embrace and value it!
Ayiiti in 3 words :
Haitian, Chilean, French hahah just kidding um…
Kind, strong-minded, creative
Parents named you Ayiiti — what is the reason?
They named me AYITI actually (the 2nd i was for visibility purposes but my actual name is the actual kreyol spelling).
You’d think there’s a deep explanation but it’s as simple as: my father loves his country. This was one of his more atypical ways of expressing it.
How has your career changed or affected you since you started?
It’s helped me mature. Realize how much work success actually takes. You go in wide eyed and eager… only to realize you have to be much more eager, if you want to get anywhere. lol I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning a lot about human interactions and relations, about business, about artists, about Haiti, about myself.
Haitian music industry is tough : what have you learned?
Refer to previous question. About the HMI I’ve learned that artists in general show solidarity towards one another, I think because they know how hard it is to get somewhere. And that artists really get the short end of the stick here. Others have said it before me but, theres isn’t any formal structure for us to operate in — no real legal recourse in case of wrongdoing, lack of payment, no royalties when radios play songs. And I’m not whining, it’s just the reality of things. Which just makes me want to say: appreciate your artists! The fans do, they’re amazing, and I think that’s why a lot of artists are still at it. But the business side is tricky and tough; so if we are still here releasing, performing, fighting onwards, it’s really because our whole heart is in it!!
In a few years, how do you want to be remembered?
In a few years from now, I don’t wanna be remembered, I wanna be working!! Bigger and better! World tours and what not!!!
I’m always curious to know people thoughts on feminism. Are you a feminist?
I am. I am a feminist in the sense that I will always defend women’s rights, and I find the fact that we still don’t have equal pay even in leading countries mind-boggling. I truly believe women should promote and celebrate one another, encourage one another, and try to abide by that mentality.
Recently, I saw that you started the Best Haiti Challenge; tell us more about that.
After Trump made his …comments, back in January, Samuel Dameus started a segment where he asked his instagram followers their opinions on the matter, and on Haiti/what we could do to help it move forward. I answered him and we began conversing, exchanging ideas. And the concept of a challenge came up. Instead of reactionary #myshithole pictures, why shouldnt we launch a positive campaign, about putting our “best haiti forward” (you know like “putting your best foot forward”). We are fully aware of the fact that pictures don’t impact the reality of things. This was an attempt to take back the narrative, in an optimistic direction by Haitians and for Haitians. Hopefully, if we all had realized what was at stake, we could have started giving ourselves and our country the value and respect it deserves!
Zeptima video was so refreshing, what was the inspiration behind it?
Well, when I made Zeptima, I really wanted to capture the essence of the Haitian schoolyard songs and, hopefully transfer it to current generations of kids, who might not know these songs as well as previous generations used to.
And what better way to bring schoolyard songs to life than with a video in a school!
We went to Prodev’s Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje, off of Route 9 on a friday afternoon, and shot the video in a few hours; the kids were intrigued and excited, and it was quite the effervescent atmosphere — and I think the video captures just that: the fun, genuine atmosphere of the set that day! I personally love how it came together and I think, it might be one of my favorite videos to date!
What should we expect next from Ayiiti:
Next up,I have a video launching next friday! April 13th, mark your calendars!! It’s for my song, Dancing On Our Own, which features the very talented Joel Akoustik. I’m excited and nervous, as with any new release!
And working on another single for June as well (fingers crossed). Lately,I haven’t had enough time on my hands to get in the studio as much as I’d like, but I will definitely be making time for it over the next few weeks — I really want to launch my project (still unsure if EP or album) by the end of the summer! So between festivals and rehearsals, and recording, I’ve gotten a whole lot over the next few months!! Can’t wait!
I always love to ask people that I interview if they have any last thing they would like to share with the readers.
THANK YOU! For listening, watching, and reading me! About me: if you see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! haha.
But yes, thank you a thousand times for your support! I wouldn’t be anywhere without it!
Thank you Ayiitiiiii!!! I’m so happy with the outcome. I thank you for being kind enough to do it with me and also for taking Into factors my time. You were so easy to work with. I absolutely love how involved you were when it comes to the questions . I love that , I’m looking forward to see what’s next.
Chech her Ig out @ayiiti . PS all pictures are from her !
Lady Sergine 🌹💋