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Nicolas Millet – Always Be Yourself ( Enposib)

Here we are, a year later with one of the most anticipated interviews. I have been following Enposib for quite some time now and I have become  a big fan of their work. It was such a great pleasure interviewing Nico. To some people, he is the quiet lead guitarist of Enposib and to others, the funniest person ever. When I first discover their band,  I felt like it was easier to learn about the other Enposib members than him. Even during events, you would barely see him; I think he likes to keep people guessing about him. He confirmed it throughout the interview, by saying his private life stays private. People just assumed that he’s a snob but in reality, he’s far from it.

Nicolas Millet, known as Nico, is the lead guitarist and co-founder of Enposib. As far as Education, he got a degree in business. Even though he comes at the quiet/ shy one, he has managed to steal a few hearts while having these ladies wondering if he’s available. Not only music runs in his blood, but also he’s dedicated to making an impact in Haiti throughout everything he plans on doing. He’s a man of many hats; outside of Enposib, he is a business owner. This interview will shed light on the life of Nico. So, I hope for those who are always feeling like they don’t know him will actually feel like they got a glimpse of who he is.

 

Nico, a lot of your fans don’t feel like they know you. Tell us about who is Nico?

So, Sergine I want to start the interview by saying I’m sorry for taking so long . It’s been a long time coming, thank God it’s here now. You asked me a very wide question because everyone has a different definition of themselves depending  on the context and situation they found themselves in. A lot of people feel like they don’t know me. It’s just because when you are in that type of business,meaning the music industry, you have to shield yourself from people from the outside. I feel like you need to have some privacy. With the interview, depends on the questions asked, they’ll get to know me better.

 

Nico, has music always been something you dreamed of doing,professionally?

You know, music wasn’t something that I planned on doing. I was pretty old when I started playing guitar. I want to say that I picked  up pretty late comparing to other people who started very young. However, it’s something that I always had a passion for; I enjoy listening to music and watching people perform. I guess my love for music and the guitar is the reason why I gravitated towards music, in the end. Also, my sister sings and my mother is a pianist. I guess you can say that I have a pretty decent background of music in my family.

What made you decide to create a band with your friends? Did Medjy have to convince you to do this or you already wanted too?

Well, Medjy and my other friend Patrice ( little brother of Richard Cavé) had a band in Haiti call T&T. When they came to Montreal, they said they are going to put a band together. Basically, that’s when I met Medjy; kind of in between he was having a break with his girlfriend at that time. She and I went to the same school. We met around that time, we instantly became very good friends. He was like:” man you look like a guitarist and we can do this.” We created the band; it wasn’t Enposib as we know of it now, it was something different. But it just evolves into this. So I can’t really say it takes convincing for both sides. But Medjy already had the plan to create a band with a friend since he had already done this in the past.

 

What’s something you’ve learned now, you wish you’ve known then?

Before I started with the band, I wish I knew a lot more about the business aspect. A little bit more about the playing aspect as well. When you start late in this business you need to be more efficient. I would be more efficient with more practice in music and the best way to conduct  business. I feel like those are the things we should have learned before.

 
When looking in the Haitian music industry, Enposib stands out a lot. What do you think is the reason for that? 
When we look at the HMI, I think what we see is that Enposib stands out and it’s only for one reason: the style of music that we produced, which is what people feel and like. I feel like it’s due to the language we use, how we speak, the way we introduce themes inside of music. The core structure, you are not really used to hear Konpa played that way.I am not saying we reinvented it, but we made it our own thing.

 

Why do you think so many people nowadays are so inclined to gravitate towards Enposib?

It’s a light vibe. Nothing too serious or formal. Anybody can approach us. A lot of people feel like they can relate to us on a certain level. We are just regular Haitians who experience living both abroad  and in Haiti. We have the diaspora & local point of view. We have an international point of view. It’s a mix you know, a lot of people in the community feel like they can gravitate toward us.

 

What goes into picking the bandmates for Enposib?

Picking bandmates it’s different for us because when you are the owners of the band, you pick a bandmate based on what they’ll bring to the table like their skills, style, work ethics, if he is easy to work with, punctuality… There’s a lot of specificities that goes into picking a bandmate. Ultimately, it’s a business decision. It can’t be an emotional one because these guys are mostly contract players. The days we can’t guarantee them a certain amount for gigs or we are not booked, they would most probably leave us. I’m not saying that we don’t have loyal bandmates but what I’m saying is, it’s a business decision for them as well.

 

Is there any of your old bandmates you wish were still part of the team now?

Originally, the band was a group of friends. Of course, there’s a lot of bandmates I wish were still there with us. Either it’s Michel, Patrice, Reginald, or Michael. Originally, This is how the band was made but it has nothing to do with how Enposib is right now. You know even Jude Sévère who used to play with us. All of them were terrific players or bandmates at the beginning. The thing is when you trying to create a business you have to make a lot of compromises and you end up with a new team. Everybody ends up going their own way: Michel created his own band, Regi joined Tvice. They all went to do big things on their own. It’s not that I regret anybody.. I feel that it would have been a different vibe if they were still there. But it’s also a great vibe with the team we have now. So I wish them the best and I’m sure they wish us the best, too. We have no beef or problem with any former bandmates.

Enposib already has a lead singer but you are a pretty good singer yourself. Is there any possibility that we are going to hear more of you on the next album?

I think on the next album, I am going to have 1 or 2 songs. You guys are going to hear at least one song from me. I’m trying to put more stuff out there. I think that for me since I don’t play the keys and composing, producing is mostly a keyboard playing game right now. So I’m just learning how to produce by myself, I just bought my own studio. I think in the years to come, people are going to hear more and more from me. I’m stepping up my skills because when you are playing guitar and singing, you have to be on key, have a good pitch. I’m still learning as we go on the job. I want to keep improving every day so people can see my talent.

 

Can we expect to see you do anything outside of Enposib and the music world?

Besides the music, I’m also a business owner in Haiti. I have my own business and I expect it to grow more and more. More people will hear about it as it grows; I have an agriculture input business in Haiti and I’ll sell … to farmers. I have my own product that I produced and put out. Notably the vaginal wash I put out for women in Haiti that have issues with UTI & different infections. I’m trying to bring a better solution to the problems we have at home not to only profit myself but to bring better quality things for my customers. I’m trying to show people I’m not only a musician but also wear different hats ( musicians, business owner etc).

 

The journey for Enposib has been a long one. How do you feel about it so far?

You know the journey regarding Enposib is certainly a long one. It’s a long game; everything you want to built in life that’s doable or going to be successful is a long shot . When I look back at where we’ve been, we have accomplished a lot. But on the other hand, there’s a lot of things we haven’t accomplished yet. Whether it’s having a song crossing other markets or having a bigger audience, or filling out room on our own. We’ve done a lot for sure, but we just have to do it on a larger scale. This is what I feel is the next step for us. Also, we want to prove people that we can make a successful business out of this so we can have a comfortable living and a good life. I feel like many bands in Haiti only rely on the gig side. We are just playing playing and playing. There’s also how can we get money from our gigs. How can we be smarter about how we are playing, picking better venues and bringing something different; I think people are getting tired of going to “Bal”  and dance all night. people want entertainment, they want to see a DJ. Like they want to see DJ Magic Kenny blow it up and want to see a compas band at the same time . Or after watching a Haitian band play, why not have a jamaïcain artist play. I’m trying to see how we can incorporate certain things into our set. That’s where the next journey will take us eventually.

 

I think since last year, fans have been expecting the new album. Can you give us a little something, the date, the name of the album?

Everybody should expect the album by April. I think we should be ready by then to drop it.

 

How do you make this relationship work? You guys are friends and business partners.

Well, I think relationship wise nothing is easy. I think Medjy and I we have a connection. We have been friends for over 10 years now. So we have built something over the years that’s really deep. There’s always going to be an issue, drama but we still make it work. It’s been working so far, I think if one day we have to go our separate ways we would still be friends. All of that differentiates us with other bands.

Your fans are eager to learn more about you, share two facts about you with them that would surprise them.
 

Two things that would surprise the fans is that I’m actually a grad student. I actually have an MBA. I finished all my studies and have a master degree.I have a sister who is probably a better musician than me; she’s a supreme singer. she has a voice of an angel. 

What would be the DREAM gig for you?

One of my dream gigs would be to fill the Zénith (Paris). I think that’s one of the big milestones we would like to reach.

 

2 words that best describe Nicolas.

Discipline & crazy ( I’m extremely out of my mind but I’m a good person )

Sometimes fans think of a certain way about artists. It can be true sometimes and not true. What’s one thing you would like to correct?

I think people think I’m unapproachable,that I think too highly of myself or that I’m better than others. But that’s the total opposite!I’m a cool guy, very laid back. Anybody can come to talk to me. I’m a fun time! People who know me enjoy my company.

You have been doing this for quite some time now. What wisdom/ or advice can you share with any of the young artists coming up.

The best advice I can give to any inspiring musicians is to actually have something to market. You need to be your own. I’m saying this to any guitarist in the Haitian industry.They tend to resemble another musician or mimic someone else. You don’t want to be a copy of anyone, you want to be original, authentic to yourself. Of course, you want to bring the skills that are imperative but bring your own style.

At the Beginning of your musical career, what’s one thing someone told you that have marked you?

The best advice I have received at the beginning of my career was from DJ bullet’s brother. I want to shout him out. His name’s Daniel. He told me one thing : When you out there playing,  be confident. It was the best advice I have received.

Is Nicolas single? ( you might not know, but I have a matchmaking agency) lol

(Laughing ) Here is the question everyone’s been asking. All artists are single because we need to separate our private to our public life. To the public, I’m always single but do I have people I’m talking too or might be involved with. Of course, but to the public I am single.

When looking at the state of Haiti, it’s not really encouraging young people to go back. But why did you choose to go back home?

That’s such a personal decision. I actually grew up in Haiti. I have so much love for this country. Actually, I feel wherever there’s unbalance, opportunities are there if you look under the chaos. You’ll see that there’s something you can bring. I feel like all these Haitians working in the fast food industry abroad, have me wondering how many we have in Haiti. There’s none and it could be a market here. There is so much Haitians can do here, especially the ones that have learned stuff from being outside. I think they owe it to their country to bring something back even if they don’t move back. You know, there’s no place like home.

It seems like musicians in Haiti now transition to become politicians. Would you ever run for president or anything like that?

I would love to pursue a career in politics after for sure, but not because I’m popular rather because I’m competent to do it. I think that I have a lot of skills that I can use to bring something to my country. So why not?

What can we do better, to help change Haiti? What do we need ?

People need to bring their skills. Most Haitians learned things instead of applying those skills. They try to be like everyone. The thing is we need to learn to find our own little niche and just grow it from there. There’s a lot of opportunities to bring things to Haiti because there’s nothing. Let’s take a look at the country side there’s nothing but there’s everything to be made. Where I think we failed, is the lack of people who have a vision for Haiti. We don’t have enough people thinking for Haiti, the ones we have are only looking for personal gains/ interests. It’s discouraging.

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 Want to just say thank you to all of the readers, the supporters that both you and I have. I want to just thank anybody that’s supporting Haitians trying to build something positive for the community. I congratulate you on what you are doing. I feel like so many people should be more like you by putting themselves out there, and bringing ideas on how we can do more. I feel like sometimes we live in a culture where we are just disciplined and taught to stay in our lane and just Go to school. While we have all of these beautiful things that we can used to educate people about our culture and us as people that we don’t used . So I congratulate you again for this. Thank you to my fans! I appreciate the love, until next time.

(The second time I actually met Nico )

Thank you so much for this interview, it was the most absolute pleasure to work with you even though making our schedule to work was really the absolute worst . I’m extremely excited to see what’s next for you in and outside of Enposib . Keep shining your light and making a difference. We are rooting for you at Lady Sergine Blog !

Follow him on Instagram @nicoenposib !

Xoxo

Lady Sergine 🌹💋

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