Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo
This nine-person band was born during the aftermath of Haiti's horrific 2010 earthquake and the cholera epidemic that immediately followed, the idea being to give Haitians something positive to focus on while enduring the long process of healing. Now Wa Di Yo brings that upbeat vibe to the rest of the world, and upbeat it is. French music is one of the main influences on Haitian music and opening cut "Poze" finds the band in a jubilant mood, whipping up an accordion-fueled dance tune that would be right at home in Louisiana's Cajun country. "Anba Sinklon" on the other hand pays homage to Haiti's African heritage while "Bade Zile" utilizes a rhythmic chant that nods at a voodoo ceremony and "Tanbou'n Frape" is done in a folky singer/songwriter style. The group's sole female member, singer Nadine Remy, gets her turn on lead vocals for Lakou Mizik's bouncy take on the traditional cut "Pran Ka Mwen," another tune guaranteed to get hips swaying. The lengthy title cut closes the album and even though it is sung in Haitian Kreyol (Creole) like the rest of the album, listeners don't need to understand the words to feel the music's uplifting spirituality.