Anie Alerte and Riva Nyri Precil, two songstresses from Haiti, have joined forces for a musical performance commemorating Women’s Month on Friday March 3, 2017. Kicking off the annual celebration which also corresponds with International Women’s Day, Anie and Riva will perform an intoxicating fusion of traditional Haitian songs, Soul, Afrobeat, and Jazz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cafe (BAM). BAM Cafe is a world-renowned multi-arts center which showcases the work of emerging artists like Anie and Riva and engages communities locally and from all over the world.
The singers have both studied under several pioneers of Haitian music such as Yole Derose, Emeline Michel, Toto Bissainte, and express the beauty of their cultural heritage through a range of artistic pursuits. Riva is the founder of Love NYri, a jewelry company, and recently released her solo Creole album Perle de Culture. Anie has just finished touring with her all-female musical group, Haiti Coeur de Femme, is working to release her solo album in 2017, and has recently released her music video “Pi bon Zanmi”, a song celebrating sisterhood, love and friendship.
So mark your calendar and come experience this delicious blend of musical genres, as Anie and Riva take you and your loved ones on an exciting, one-in-a-lifetime musical voyage.
1. Tell us a little bit about your music, inspiration and purpose.
RP: My music is quite a fusion of sounds. I have many influences from both sides of my heritage, including Haitian and American sounds. Having been born in the US and raised in Haiti I pulled bits and pieces from each soil. Jazz and RnB have a special place in my heart but what speaks loudest to my soul are traditional Haitian songs. My overall purpose remains where the need is greatest and that lies in Haiti. My intention is to uplift, support, and promote all the beauty that Haitian culture has to offer.
AE: Music is my life, it is in my soul, runs through my veins and is my being. I am inspired every day by life, the environment around me ,the incredible people I meet and especially my mother. I could not imagine life without music or doing anything else other than singing from a little girl. It uplifts my sprits when I am down, God gave me a gift and it is the only way I know how to express myself. I have been inspired by other wonderful women such as Yole Derose, Eric Virgal, Tina Turner, Toni Braxton, Edith Piaf, Emeline Michel, Orlane, Leila Chicot, Erykah Badu, Mizik Mizik, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Tank, and Leela James.
2. If you weren’t doing music, what will you be doing?
RP: I studied music therapy in undergrad so perhaps if I wasn’t putting so much of my energy into performing and visual arts I would be working as a therapist in a private practice. I still would like to do something along those lines in the future.
AE: . I would be a lawyer because I use my voice through music to defend and fight for others so naturally it would fit me. Many of my songs when I write are defending the rights of people and protecting other causes, with my voice I am honored to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
3. What’s your favorite beauty regimen?
RP: I’m a big, all natural DIY fanatic. I love a good sugar scrub followed by an egg mask and finished with a raw honey mask.
AE: I love my body and working out to build my stamina and maintain my body and voice. I watch what I eat and really focus on inner beauty, which allows it to shine through to my skin… I am natural.
4. As an artist, how important is fashion to you?
RP: Fashion is of great importance to me, especially as an artist. It’s a form of expression, it’s a great platform to communicate the times to one’s audience, and it’s a very influential tool. I love to be bold, daring and tribal in my fashion choices. It generally starts a conversation about the history of certain garment choices.
AE: Being in the music industry fashion is relevant, but I want every artist to understand it is okay to be unique and create your own style…be an individual. You must feel comfortable in your own skin and it must make sense to you. I love my fans support of me and want my fans to be happy with the trends I set.
5. What’s your super power?
AE: My Voice- I use it to impact and change the world
6. You are scheduled to perform at the renowned BAM CAFE in Brooklyn for women’s month. How have you used your voice to uplift women?
RP: I do my best to always live in my purpose and stay true to my path and I believe I’ve influenced other women to do the same, to figure out what makes them magical and ride that wave fully and unapologetically. Being Haitian, being strong, being magical, is nothing to be ashamed of, it should be celebrated!
AE: I make my best effort to do it every day, it is the way that I live my life. I am inspired, I sing, I write, every day. I am a woman, I want to lift up every woman through my music. I mentor young women and on my page I give advice from my life and hope that I help others in similar situations, upbringing and life situations. I have counseled young women in Haiti and I continue to use my page and online feed to provide advice even when I am abroad.
Interview by Francesca Andre
Photography: Francesca Andre/Gustavo Torres
Producer: Fanm Kanson Network
Wardrobe: Sophia Bonnie
Makeup: Melisa Martin
Location: Kinanm Lounge & Bar
Location Managers: Nadege Fleurimond and Sheila Georges.