Since the release of their new album, Transition, K-Zino has been stirring up quite a buzz in the industry among the younger generation of music lovers. OpaMusic.com decided to have a double-header interview with the duo to learn a little more about them and to give our viewers some insight.
You two seems to be very close how did you two meet?
Gerald: Hi everyone on OpaMusic.com, my name is Gerald K-Zino AKA @Vidipblip On Twitter Instagram and Facebook.com. Well, I met Maestro Ricky playing music and during that time we decided to form K-Zino together after realizing how much we get along. We’re two very disciplined individuals, we’re not far apart in education and share the same vision and objective in our business. We evolve in our work and In terms of production as well. K-Zino has brought us closer together we’re like brothers.
Prior to forming K-Zino were you guys apart of any other band?
Gerald: I’ve never been a part of any band or project before, as a matter of fact, a lot of people call me Gerald K-Zino because they identify me with the band.
Maestro Ricky: My very 1st band was a high school band called Xcess. Among the key members were Jude Deslouches (current Vayb guitar player) and Roody Delpé (Karizma, Cruz La). We parted ways as some moved abroad to college. A couple of years later I joined Toxic when 2 of the guys I grew up with invited me. During this period I wrote and produced some key songs such as “Histoire Cachée”, and “Deja Kondane”. After the earthquake the band had some issues preventing it to move forward. That’s when I moved on and Join forces with Gerald to make it big with K-Zino
Why the name K-Zino?
Gerald: K-Zino because first of all it has three syllables, easy to say and it’s a name that you can practically say in three different languages… English, French, and Creole. Ours is spelled differently from the regular casino and the “K” in K-Zino stand for Konpa. Our motto is once you come to K-Zino you can’t lose. Men will find good music and beautiful women and vice versa.
In the realm of new and upcoming bands, one thing that’s proven to be factual is lack of consistency. Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?
Gerald: In 5 years I guess we’ll probably be the top band in the HMI or one of the top bands but most likely the top band. (lol) We work very hard for that and I think we have the potential to be on top. Our product is good, we play well and our live performances are good and we never stop working. So I definitely see myself and the team on top in five years.
Maestro Ricky: If you want to make it Big in this business, 5 years is relatively a short period of time. It’s a game of patience and perseverance, of strategy and consistency. So, being aware of that, I m confident I’m in for the long run and will be a key actor in the business for the next 15 or 20 years at least.
I know that everybody that was in Haiti during the earthquake back in 2010 suffered greatly one way or another. You suffered physically, have you sought any type of mental health services to help you cope with the traumatic experience?
Gerald: For those that didn’t know I spend a lot of time under the Rubbles after the earthquake on January 12th in Haiti. After I was pulled out I had to undergo several surgeries and God allowed me to keep my legs. Now it’s the past and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Today I value life more and there are things I give more importance and some less as well. What can I say, music is the biggest therapy, it’s the biggest thing in my life. I did not seek any mental health treatments because I feel I’m blessed. I’m still alive I’m doing well and music is my therapy that’s it.
Tell us a little about the new album. What was the inspiration behind it?
Gerald: The new album Transition is available everywhere from iTunes, Amazon Google Play, CD Baby you name it, it’s there. The inspiration behind the new album… Well, we wanted to bring our own sound so once you heard it you knew it was K-Zino and as you can see we don’t sound like anyone else. We wanted a young, fresh and solid sound. So we implemented a melange of sounds like afro, electro, and Konpa and we don’t play around with our lyrics as well they have to be good. We wanted everyone to get something out of it. K-Zino is a “Plong Gaye” tout moun jwen… No matter your age.
Who worked on the album?
Maestro Ricky: Besides Gerald and myself who drew the blueprints of the album by choosing the subjects, the main flavors, the sound and the direction we wanted, some key figures added their touch: the live drums were performed by Shedly and Marvens, some percussion programming was done by Roody Delpe. 5Lan co-arranged the song he featured in. Ti Pick and Ti Bass played the guitar and bass. After some sound pre-touch by Carl Fred Behrmann, Reynaldo Martino took care of the final Mixing and Mastering.
Are any of the songs based on personal experiences and if yes, which ones?
Maestro Ricky: None of them is based on my real personal experience, but I always try the most possible to portray situations happening right around me and in the society I live in, for example, I know personal friends who have been through the “M Kole” experience. The ” M Ale” subject is currently a real matter in Haiti.
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
Gerald: This is the hardest question because each song has a story behind it. I like M Kole, Santiman Pa Dyaman, Fe saw vle ave m, Map Bay W La. and Defi. Every text, every Melody has something personal in it, i just love the whole album.
Maestro Ricky: It’s hard to pull out a single favorite. But it would be certainly between these 4 : Fe saw vle ave m, Santiman Pa Dyaman, M Kole and Super Hero. These 4 have a special vibe to me. But yet again, difficult to single out one.
On the album, you guys said something and I quote “Nou pwal nan K-Zino, djazz ki bay nou vibe la. djazz ki fe nou rele woy woy, nou pwal kraze kay la… Is that a direct jab at VAYB and Kai.
Maestro Ricky: Haha. I ‘d be glad if it was the case. But no. It was a pure coincidence. These quotes were written before Vayb even revealed its name, and “pral kraze kay la” is a quote from our previous song “Ke Mwen Kontan” released a couple of years ago.
Are those the two bands (Kai & VAYB) in the industry if you had to go into a healthy competition you would choose and why?
Gerald: If you ask me I’d say both because both of them are evolving in the same industry as us. Once you’re in the industry you are in competition.
Maestro Ricky: Simply by existing, we’re in a healthy competition with every single band in the business. You always have to be on top of your game. Now, it’s difficult to single out one of these bands. It all will be a matter of circumstances, strategy, demography, and even geography. We’ll see what happens.
The upcoming bands have the tendency of referring to themselves as djaz la releve la. Do you guys think that the older bands should retire already to allow the younger bands to carry the torch?
Gerald: I don’t think they have to retire at some point there is another generation that’s emerging and they will choose who they want to follow perhaps we’re the most the closest one to their generation. I think T Vice did their job and all the other bands that were there prior. Magnum band Klass, Carimi now is it time for the current generation to take responsibility and do what they got to do. there’s a change that’s starting to take place you can see there’s a lot of young artists that are producing good products and they have a young following. I think everyone has their place in the business to be honest.
Maestro Ricky: This will happen naturally. People are always hungry for novelty. The growing audience will shift to bands and artists they feel they can relate to, both the image and the productions. It is up to us, upcoming bands and artists, not to disappoint them.
Are any of you guys married or have kids?
Gerald: Nope. I’m not married and I don’t have any kids… Life is beautiful… hahaha.
Maestro Ricky: Nope. Still on the market lol
I’ve seen you promote an ELBOW Support Brace what is that about?
Gerald: At first, it was for medical purposes and after awhile it just became my trademark and you can see that it even says Vidipblip on it. A lot of people have asked me the question you’re not the only one who’s noticed and some have even suggested that I make a business out of it but I don’t know we’ll see in the future. lol
Since you’re based in Haiti, what would you like to tell your US fans that just started to discover you?
Gerald: It’s just the beginning we’re not going to stop producing, we’re not going to stop working. We have a great team with us in the US name Entourage, big up to Vlad and we’re going to continue to tour the US. We’re going to continue producing great music so guys stay tuned this is just the beginning. K-Zino djaz la releve la, the leader, Djazz bon bagay la, djazz Transition nan!
Maestro Ricky: First, I’d like to thank them for the instant positive feedbacks. Second, I ‘d like to tell them that they will see us very often, thanks to the teams behind us such as Entourage and BMG, to name just these 2. And lastly, they will enjoy more and more of our releases as much they enjoy the Transition album. For those who haven’t purchased it yet, I encourage them to do so as its available on every online music platform.