Michel Martelly

Michel Joseph Martelly February 12 196, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Martelly performed under the stage name Sweet Micky for over a decade, making him one of Haiti’s most popular musicians. Martelly has moved between the United States and Haiti several times for business and musical reasons. Martelly mostly stays in Florida when visiting the United States. In response to Liliane Pierre Paul, a famous Haitian female journalist in Port-au-Prince, Martelly returned to his former band and sang a carnival méringue entitled “Bal Bannan Nan” (Give Her the Banana).

Sweet Micky is known for his Kompa music, a style of Haitian dance music sung primarily in the Haitian Creole language, but he blended it with other styles. Using synthesizers and electronic instruments, Martelly popularized a “new generation” of compas. Over the course of his career, Martelly recorded over a dozen studio albums and many live CDs. When Martelly was a musician and club owner in Haiti during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he became associated with the neo-Duvalierist Haitian police and military, including police chief Michel François, and supported the coup d’état against Jean Bertrand Aristide in 1991. Following Aristide’s restoration to office, Martelly’s name appeared on a hit list of coup supporters, and he stayed away from Haiti for almost a yeaIn this period, he released a song entitled “Prezidan” (on the album Pa Manyenin) in which he called for a president who played the accordion.

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