NuLook’s “…Still News” review


After much anticipation, NuLook finally delivers to fans and critics alike their new album titled, Still News. The Look remains the same except for the addition of guitarist, Ralph Condé. Arly, Gazzman, Fedler, Laporte, Alix Nozile, and Charnel remain the prominent “front” men, prompting many to wonder if Condé’s days are perceived “numbered” as he has amassed a “musician for hire” reputation lately.
NuLook quieted many with their freshman albulm “Big Mistake”, a reminder to those left behind in the now extinct “Dzine” that demoting Arly was their biggest MISTAKE ever. Time has vindicated Arly and those that soon followed him to NuLook. Will the critics be so kind to NuLook the second time around. Time, again, will tell as it has always done. Consequently, I had to take my time to listen to NuLook’s sophomore album to let it speak for itself. With time, will it merit being “…Still News”. Time will tell as it always has done!
In the meantime NuLook is “…still News” as the controversies continue to brew with one HMI personality so far claiming credit for penning lyrics without being given credit. Is he a parasite, does he have legitimate claims or is he a desperate soul trying to impress an ex-girlfriend, misleading her to believe that he penned “souvenir” for her.
A bigger controversy is the one that insiders are trying to fuel by pitting Gazzman against Arly. A cursory run through the album leaves many in search for a potential “HIT” from Gazzman as if his survival depended on it. I thought this was a team effort, but some are obviously keeping scores of “HITS” and so far Arly has netted 3 (“Why do you say you love me”, “Souvenir”, “Cookie”) while Gazzman registers nothing so far. May time prove to be kind to Gazzman as time always tell!

I know what you are probably wondering by now: what’s a review without a track by track synopsis. Here it is as it saliently unfolds:

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Gad jan’w Pedi Chelbe’w (look for that to displace “biznis Pa’m” as the slogan of the moment

It delves into the age old inquiry about life. And if you were looking to NuLook for an answer, “Pedi Chelbe’w” dares to offer an answer, albeit with an existentialist color. Whether you think life is complicated or a game, you are all correct tin your perception of life as it is your reality. So don’t sweat it or you risk “Pedi Chelbe’w”. In spite of social pressures, the formula to retaining your “Chelbè” is simple. Abide by the following principles and you’ll be fine:
• “folk ou fè yon jan pou ou pa bay menti” (try your best to speak the truth)
• “fo’w respekté sak pa pou ou” (no cheating, no stealing!)
• “pa jan’m pale bagay ou pa konen” ( leave the tripotaj to Teledjol!)
• “pa fe jalousie nan moman sa’a” ( this is my time, no player hating!)
Musically speaking, it is indistinguishably NuLook with a prominent Horn section throughout. They show a lot of confidence in Ralph Condé, he gets the guitar solo on the opening track and he makes a lasting impression.

Lead Vocal: Arly Lariviere
Hook: If you really love someone

A very seductive voice preambles the song with “this is sick”. Indeed, this Arly guy is sick with the creative bug. And he infects every woman within auditory distance. He is not helping the masculine cause at all. It started with “You and I” and you knew the purity of the emotions announced a romance with the fans with no end in sight. It wasn’t a romance that started with “a diner and a movie.” There was actual courtship ( a lost art!) with memorable rendez vous at “Avenue de la passion”. As with all relationship, troubles start to surface in “loving you”. But with “why do you say you love me?”, the plea is for forgiveness tainted with a little faith/trust. If he’s guilty , it’s a past that incessantly haunts him. With “why do you say you love me?”, it’s a past that will keep haunting him for decades to come. This guy is made with the same fabric that legends are woven with.
This guy rivals Alan in his sleep. If there’s one wholesome musician in the industry, it’s got to be Arly.

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Nou pa jan’m gen tan

This could have well been retitled “Nou pa jan’m gen tan” or “la vi mizisyen”. A musician’s life is one of sacrifices in spite of the perceived glamour. There’s no time for family, to spend holiday at home in the company of loved ones, not even Valentine’s Day. Small wonder Arly has to plea for understanding and forgiveness.
This is NuLook at its heaviest (konpa-a lou vré) juxtaposing Konpa with religious symbolism. Laporte’s guitar riff commands attention, the horn section delivers and it wouldn’t be fast tempo without the addition of Gazzman strength of vocal.
It’s been a while since a “saint” was paid tribute to in a song with a mainstream appeal. As with much in Haiti, religion’s influence can never be underestimated although the new generation has very much detached itself from it, safe for doing the yearly “chanpèt” tour. This is very reminiscent of System Band

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Gran depanse ( will need help live…)

This could not be song by anyone else but Gazzman…Well maybe Kino. They both made a virtue out of bragging. This is a pompous song but it fails to be pretentious musically. I couldn’t even come up with a memorable “hook” from the song.
Just think of the elements that made “cesar” of “System Band” a hit. Most of those elements were lacking. Think of “Bisnis Pa’m” of Djakout. There’s a definite transition that get a roomful of people impatient, a transition whose delivery sends everyone into a frenzy. It there ever was an orgasm to be had during a dance it’s when “BIsnis Pa’m” transitions into Regi’s solo at the 5min00sec mark. And for those that love multiple orgasm the second one would be at the 5min50sec mark.
“Gran Dépansè” was almost monotone with an almost imperceptible transition from the intro to solo to chorus to finish line.

Lead Vocal: Arly
Hook: doesn’t need one

Makes you wonder which was written first: “why do you say you love me?” or “souvenir”. Is the woman in “why do you say you love me?” pissed off because he’s still immortalizing another in “souvenir”, hence finding substance to pester him about. Is he giving her reasons to doubt his motives, cause he has yet to let go of another and the “souvenir”. With this scenario there are 2 women involved, the past of “souvenir” and the present of “why do you say you love me?”
Or is it the case that she had stopped “loving” him and moved on, in which case it’s the same woman being mourned in “souvenir” and the one he pleads to in “why do you say you love me?”.
Either way, it’s good to know I have 2 a propos songs in my Konpa library to resort to, should I ever have a need…When poetry fails, Arly to the rescue!

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Sé an lidé’w sa yé

It’s a remake that has been featured on a prior album. It has received a make-over but somehow I am not much into “manjé chofé”. Try as I did, I couldn’t get into it. I give NuLook credit for their attempt to highlight that the tribute to its loyal fan base was so important it needed to be reiterated into a studio album. It’s a tribute with a lot of energy.

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Jèn yo santi…

This one is penned by Gazzman himself with no help from Arly Critics will be well advised to note that Gazzman is not illiterate and he can write. Ironically, this is NOT a “Gazzman” song. The melody is slow enough to afford you time to think as you listen. If you were wondering where the socially conscious artist had gone, this is a melodramatic reminder form Gazzman that the plight of Haiti’s youth bears heavy on his conscience. Here’s a call from him to us all to answer the call on behalf of the young ones to help them fulfill the promise of their potential whether it is to reach the height of doctors, lawyers, Pele, Micheal Jordan, Beyonce, Gazzman, Arly and even PIDOUS…(I couldn’t resist!)

Lead Vocal: Arly
Hook: it’s Arly, no need for hook but “Nan domi ou fè’m delala” is very catchy

I don’t know if the album was sequenced by design but this song is well placed to follow “Young Blood”, an appeal from Gazzman to nurture the youth’s future. And what’s more destructive than premature dissolution of a young girl’s innocence. Such is the subject of this song. This is an issue that has tacitly plagued the country, leaving teenage girls “ à fleur de l’ age” (at the tender prime of youth) prey to older men with means to “buy them off”, sometimes even with their parents consent.
“Cookie” is a forbidden fruit whose fortune is to be fortuitously loved by an older man who elects to suffer/love her from a distance and in silence less it would be “lanmou a contresens”( love that is counterintuitive/doesn’t stand the test of reason). What is love if it doesn’t inspire growth, if it extinguishes dreams and aspirations!
I suspect there will be more to come as he pledges to not give up…perhaps he’ll wait till she reaches the age of maturity.

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
Hook: Unsure

This is one of those senseless song that for whatever reason becomes a hit. I just don’t see myself calling out “cherie, vini’m monte’w” or “cherie an’n al fè yon ti lit sauvaj” as Gazzman entices.
Ladies if he ever refer to “IT” as “monté moun”, you’ll know to refer your gratitude to. can’t wait to see the video. Nulook might be onto something…

Lead Vocal: Ralph Condé

Ralph carries his signature wherever he goes. In Tabou it was the same thing. If you are listening to this track by itself with no prior knowledge of the source-album, you’d be hard pressed to know that it was NuLook, except for the reference to “NuLook wap fè News” at the 2min44sec mark.
The fan base that NuLook is trying to appeal to is steadfast in its support for T-vice, Carimi, Dega and the likes. So Ralph needs to go through the NuLook boot camp and earned his badge as a NuLook musician. When in NuLook, be NuLook!

Lead Vocal: Gazzman
This track announces the coming of KonpaDirek’s 50th anniversary on July 26,2005. As the golden anniversary knocks, who’s there to answer the call? Gazzman didn’t miss a beat to reply and say: Nan moman’ an papa, nou mem NuLook nou pansé pou tout Djazz yo la wi”…
Can anyone guess how many “50th anniversary” festival there will be this summer? The winner must enter their answer by Jan 15th. Opa can you run the contest?




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Rutshelle Guillaume

Biography of Rutshelle Guillaume …
Born in Port-au-Prince on July 28, a family of three children, Rutshelle GUILLAUME is the only daughter of her Father. At the age of five, she began to sing at the church of God of Boulard directed by Pastor Louis DESTINVAL. His passion for music takes him to 19 years, in the group “REL”, a musical formation composed for the most part of young musicians of the National School of … Arts (ENARTS). She was able to meet her husband, Walner O. Registre (Doc wor) band leader of the group Rèl, father of her beloved daughter (Ruth-Warly O. Registre). Rutshelle is one of the most listening and charming women’s voices on the air today. Her opus “KITE M KRIYE” is asked and asked again in the shows to which she is invited to produce. This song, according to her, comes out of the particular to reach the social. Rutshelle, Philosopher of formation, joined the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) of the State University of Haiti (U.E.H) in 2008. After completing her studies, she is currently completing her research in order to obtain her degree in philosophy. – Former Professor of Grammar and Philosophy at New Bird College. Rutshelle Guillaume currently works as: Protocol Officer attached to the Kiosk of the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE) at TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE International Airport. – During a training on vocal techniques organized by James Germain, Emmeline Michel and Stevenson Théodore at the Fokal in 2011, his performance on stage enabled him to surprise Yole DEROSE, in search of young female talents for his project “Haiti Heart of Women “. She chose to be part of her project. While awaiting the release of her album, she presents to the public the opportunity to discover it in her song titled “KITEM KRIYE” which is video-clip. In addition, Rutshelle had already participated on numerous projects with several artists and musical groups, such as: – Roosevelt SAILLANT, known as BIC Tizon dife: “Mesi ti cheri doudou” a song from his latest album entitled “Kreyòl sings Kreyòl Konpran” . Doc Filah: “Trèv pou amoni”, a song from his album “Akrilik sou twal rezon” – Eunide Edouarin dit (Eud) and Aristor Oberson says (Dad Crazy): “Fòk mwen fete”, a song of their album “Limyè wouj” – Jean Bernard Félicien dit (Hurricane) and Valkency Décembre dit (K-lib): “yon lide”, a song from their album “Knock Out” – Barikad crew , konplèks, bafon plafon “, songs from the album” RED “. To name but a few



Neefah Song

Prior to launching her musical career, Neefah got her start by auditioning for the Brooklyn High School of the Arts; a specialized arts school where she majored in vocal music. In addition, she took Music Theory for she believes reading and writing music should be a very important factor in any musicians training.

Neefah excelled in the program and later attended the AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts where she graduated in 2006 with a degree in Musical Theater. She also graduated from the Barbizon School of Modeling the same year. Upon both graduations, Neefah began pursuing music full-time.

Stephanie “Neefah” Fontus was born on February 21st in Brooklyn, NY to a Haitian mother and a Haitian and Bahamian father. Her father, a professional bassist didn’t give her much support or encouragement when it came to music and her mother supported his decision because they didn’t want their daughter to make a career in music instead they encouraged her to complete her studies and have a normal and stable life and career. Neefah heeded her parents’ advice however it was in school where she actually found the drive and necessary encouragement that she needed and it came from her music teacher. Through her teaching and mentoring, Neefah finally felt secure enough to pursue her dream in entertainment.

Neefah went on to perform at some very prestigious events and places such as the United Nations, FAME on 42nd Street (Broadway Musical), VH1 Hop Hop Honors where she opened the show, she sang the national anthem at the Yankees’ stadium for the Mets twice to name a few.

With her career looking bright Neefah still felt the need to please her parents and obtain a degree in criminal justice but her heart still remains in music.

Neefah’s musical training and experience may be outside of the Haitian Music Industry’s (HMI) realm, she is no novice to the industry. Neefah’s collaborations include Dola Mizik, Clinton Benoit, Madman JP and Charlot Maitre on lead vocals.

Neefah’s new single entitled “Nobody but you” is officially released and Neefah is currently in the studio adding the finishing touches to her album slated for a Summer release.

Written by Cheyna Pierre



Yves Joseph

Yves Joseph

Background vocal

A Native of Petion-Ville, Yves Joseph, better known as Fanfan, is one of the original members of the band. Fanfan started with the band in 1968 playing the congas. In the 80’s, he moved to the front as an additional vocalist in support of Shoubou. The two have formed an impressive singing duo for the last 45 years. Fanfan is, undoubtedly, one of the most important and versatile members of Tabou Combo. Apart from being the band background vocalist, he’s also the band’s manager and main songwriter. Fanfan is a graduate (Cum Laude) from City College with a major in International Relations and a minor in Education. In the Summer of 2000, Fanfan became the first Haitian artist to land an endorsement deal with a major U.S. company when he signed with LATIN PERCUSSION (LP). Fanfan said his most positive experience with Tabou Combo was when the hit single NEW YORK CITY was released. ‘It is a good feeling to hear your songs everywhere you go in Europe, in jukeboxes, major radio stations, and Clubs,’ said Fanfan. ‘The attention you get, the pampering and the fame is unbelievable…’



Yvon Andre

Yvon Andre


It was in 1968 when then fifteen year old percussionist Yvon Andre, known to all as Kapi, became a member of Tabou Combo. Back then the young musician had to sneak out of his family’s home in Petion-Ville to play with the band due to the fact that his parents were determined not to let their son become a musician. However, his love for music was too strong to be stopped. Kapi said he could have become anything, but he chose to be a musician because he loves music. It is that love that has motivated him to stay with Tabou Combo for so many years. Kapi is not just a mere percussionist; he’s also a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. Kapi has penned many of Tabou’s hit songs. He has also written most of the band’s Spanish songs including FIESTA and PANAMA QUERIDA. The latter he co-wrote with Fanfan. Kapi said his most memorable moments as a member of Tabou was in 1998 when he traveled to the Ivory Coast to receive a lifetime achievement award on behalf of Tabou Combo, and again when RFO (French radio/television) honored Tabou Combo in Martinique; those, he said, were historical moments.



Tabou Combo


“Rhythm is the essence of Tabou Combo,” says Tabou Combo’s co-founder and ex-drummer Herman Nau. The infectious rhythm of Haiti’s national dance music, Konpa (con-pah), has propelled the country’s preeminent dance band around the world. The 12 members of the band have covered many territories since leaving Haiti and relocating to New York City in 1971. By that time, Tabou had already established itself as Haiti’s number one group, and as the “Ambassadors of Konpa.” Tabou Combo now has worldwide fans and followers from London to Paris, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, South America, throughout the Caribbean and in North America.

It is easy to understand why Tabou Combo’s relentless and high-energy style of Compas dance beat knows no language barrier. Singing in English, Spanish, French or their native Creole, Tabou serves a hot mix of grooves and textures with roots from around the world. You will hear a strong dose of the Dominican Republic’s national dance music, meringue. In addition, there is Haiti’s dance-till-you-drop carnival music, rara, the hypnotic drums of Haitian voodoo rituals. Add to that quadrilles and contra-dances from Haiti’s French colonizers and funk from the American soul era to James Brown for good measure. The mixture of all these influences makes for a serious bass line that brings new meaning to the word bottom; layer upon layer of accents courtesy of drums, percussion and congas; the constant intertwining of two guitars with the feel of West African Soukous topped with bright piano riff and the brassy sound of a 3-man horn section.

Tabou Combo got started in 1968 in Petion-Ville, a town just outside Port-au-Prince, by Albert Chancy and Herman Nau and some friends, all in their teens. They began by naming themselves “Los Incognitos” because they were unknown at that time. They changed to Tabou Combo in 1969, in order to bear a name closer to the Haitian culture. That year, the band won first prize in a televised talent contest, gaining a national reputation in Haiti, and by 1970 it was one of the island’s leading bands. Then the Chancy’s parents stepped in, and Albert, the band’s guitarist, and original, leader was sent to college in Montreal and gave up music. The band dissolved and its members drifted to the United States. Early in 1971, however, an unexpected meeting led to a Tabou reunion with rhythm guitarist Jean-Claude Jean as the leader and the band has been together, with a few changes, ever since.

Employing the repetition and breaks of Afro-American gospel music, TABOU COMBO entices the listener to become listener and dancer. Almost four decades after TABOU COMBO’s establishment, the band has audiences dancing everywhere from concert halls to the streets and in nightclubs around the world. Says Fanfan, the band’s background vocalist and main songwriter, “We want people to dance and forget their sorrows.”

There is no doubt, the music is made for dancing, but Tabou also features lyrics that focus on social issues of the day. For example, the lyrics from the title cut of the group’s 1991 release ZAP ZAP deal with uplifting the image of Haitian people in the wake of bad press connected to the AIDS epidemic.

It was 1974 when the band captured Europe’s attention with its million-selling hit single NEW YORK CITY. Tabou steadily has been building its international followers ever since. The 1989 release, AUX ANTILLES (The Antilles), topped European and Caribbean charts for six consecutive weeks. AUX ANTILLES also won Best Album for Haitian Dance Music at the 1991 1st Annual Caribbean Music Awards at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater. Tabou’s release, KITEM FE ZAFEM (Let Me Do My Things), was voted among Beat Magazine’s Best of 1988. In 1989, KITEM FE ZAFEM, along with ZAP ZAP were used by the film director Jonathan Demme in his movie MYSTERY DATE. The song JUICY LUCY was chosen by French movie maker Maurice Pialat for his movie POLICE (1985). In 2002, world known guitarist Carlos Santana recorded the song MABOUYA (Foo Foo) on his album SHAMAN.

After traveling around the world with Tabou, Fanfan says he has found that people everywhere are all the same and they all love music. TABOU COMBO seduces the people with rhythm that does not let go. Konpa’s unrelenting dance beat is contagious and there are plenty of witnesses. Many of the thousands of TABOU COMBO fans around the world eagerly will testify… that is if they can stop dancing long enough to talk!





Based out of Hollywood, Florida, Dat7 is a Haitian band with a style deeply rooted in the finest tradition of Compas Direct with Zouk and R&B influences. Dat7 came into existence in late 2014 when former bandmates and longtime friends, Ricot Amazan (conga drums), and Eddy Viau (percussionist), join forces and created the band. They were later joined by Vladimir Alexis (drums), and Olivier Duret (vocalist), to complete the ensemble. Dat7 has created quite a stir since releasing their debut album VERDICT in October of 2015. Having been awarded the “Revelation de L’année 2015” award and the Haitian Academy Award in 2017, Dat7 continues to position itself as one of the most notable new bands, especially for their superb live performances.




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