The Father of Funky Konpa Had a New Vision for the Island of Haiti
Clinton Benoit is a singular visionary driving toward a better future for Haitian Music. After performing with top of the top Haitian Bands, Clinton Benoit is convinced that Funky Konpa is the future of Haitian music. On July 19th, 2022, Le Nouvelliste and Ticket Magazine, two of the most influential Haitian newspapers and entertainment magazines, published a front-page article title (see link below) “Clinton Benoit Remplaçant en Or,” which in English means “Clinton Benoit a Gold Replacement” for his talent, courage, and dedications to making positive changes into the culture. For Clinton Benoit, quality is paramount for advancing any culture or subculture.
How is Funky Konpa Come About?
Inspired by unconventional bands such as Zéklè, Magnum Band, and Tabou Combo, Clinton Benoit performed with later in life. Changing the traditional way of playing Compas Direct has always been the goal of the Haitian star. Clinton wanted to fully move Haitian music toward a more “friendly intentionally” vibe. The Funky project possesses a hefty spirit that can bring any audience to their feet. It moves away from hardcore Compas Direct to embrace a less heavy bass style as moody and percussive. Still, the addictive syncopates are evident on the entire album. One has to experience it to get it. Funky Konpa was developed as an alternative lighter form of Compas Direct with a more heavy metal guitar-based and more sensitive chords. Funky Konpa has been in rotation lots of New York City’s night clubs and other European countries such as France, Germany, and Spain.
Respect To The Legends
Bringing the successes of Haitian music to life is a passion that drives the singer. Clinton offered the Haitian public three singles and video clips Respect to Zèklé with his Kreyol Alternative project as a tribute to Zéklè and Tante Nini, a tribute to Boulo Valcourt and The Caribbean Sextet, two legendary bands from the island of Haiti. Another track is Sabine, a soft rock in collaboration with the Velvet Shelter, a heavy metal American Pennsylvania-based band.
The Kreyol Alternative Project
Kreyol Alternative is a pooling project Clinton Benoit himself has set up. He carefully chooses the top musicians based on their experience, such as Jean Max Valcourt, Makarios Césaire, Shelly Abraham, Claude Marcelin, Bobby Raymond, Meredith Augustine, Yahio Ikawa, Ralph Conde, Jimmy Jean Felix, and Reginald Policard as the new style requires a lot of musical mastery. Kreyol Alternative celebrates the sound and feel of the original bands Clinton inspired, such as Zéklè, Caribbean Sextet, Magnum Band, Tabou Combo, Skandal, and Sakaj. Kreyol Alternative is not a traditional nor a full-time band. According to the star, it is primarily a side gig; it works better for him that way due to his professional commitment.
Flashback to the Early life of Clinton Benoit
Clinton Benoit was born in Jacmel, Haiti. For him, music has been a powerful medium since he was a child. He grew up as a fan of Zéklè, Magnum Band, Caribbean Sextet, Tabou Combo. Metallica, and The Backstreet Boys. Along with being a musician, Clinton is a Social Worker, Therapist, and Police Officer. He holds a master’s degree in social work and criminal justice from Temple University. Clinton toured with Tabou Combo, a famous Haitian band after their lead singer Roger M. Eugene alias Shoubou got sick just two days before the tour was planned to start. Clinton has also performed with other very famous bands including Magnum Band, Zekle, Mizik-Mizik, Phantom’s, D’zine, and Dola Mizik.
The Non-Stop Passion for Music
Clinton Benoit’s latest project is a Kreyol Alternative album. He is working with many well-known New York-based producers to complete it. A single La Vida No Es Complicada is in the making soon to be released by Exit Level Records. On June 26th, 2022, Clinton Benoit was awarded the top 25 Artists Award of the year for his creativity by the “5 Continents Academy Awards” in New York City for his contribution to the music industry. According to Clinton, he will never stop producing quality Haitian music…it is good for the soul and the only way out.
Awards & Recognition
In 1998, he received “Best Haitian Carnival Innovation” of the Year for “SalsaNaval” by Television Nationale D’Haiti and by Ticket Magazine
In 1999, he received (MIA) Most Influential Artist of the year by the French Institute.
In 2010, he received Best Creativity Album of the year “Funky Konpa” by CE-Magazine
In 2014, he received an award for his contribution to the Haitian Music Industry by Albano Inc
In 2016, he received “Reliable Haitian Artist” BY the French Kompa Festival
In 2022, he received the top 25 Artist Award from “5 Continents Annual Academy Awards.”