Désolé: Another Song for Haiti

Canadian singer Natasha St-Pier asked herself what to do so that Haiti won’t be forgotten, once you have donated to charitable causes and once the media wave that followed the earthquake of January 12 has passed. Her answer is music. In Paris, she has just recorded “Désolé,” a song performed with fifteen other artists for the benefit of the victims of the earthquake.

The initiative began with the Kery James (1977), a rapper born in Guadeloupe of Haitian parents. His lyrics for “Désolé” stress that compassion is not all and that (as blood continues to flow and hopes are crumbling) our conscience cannot be appeased by simply saying we are sorry [Peut-on se sentir léger, la conscience apaisée?/ Les espoirs peuvent bien s’écrouler/ Et le sang continuer à couler, devant nos télés/ Pour se justifier/ Tout ce qu’on sait dire c’est/ Nous sommes désolés].

The song will be released Monday, February 15 on the Internet, preceded by a concert Sunday night at the Bataclan in Paris. The proceeds will be used to finance a water treatment project in Haiti, through the Action against Hunger Project.

With this initiative, St-Pier and James join the efforts of other artists around the world who have worked on musical projects for Haiti, such Charles Aznavour, Grand Corps Malade, Passi, and others in Un geste pour Haïti in France; in the United States, Wyclef Jean and George Clooney (with “Hope for Haiti Now,” with the collaboration of numerous stars; the 2010 version of  “We Are the World” (with the likes of Bono, Barbra Streisand, Céline Dion, Lady Gaga, and many others) [see previous post Haiti version of “We Are the World” broadcast last night]; and in the United Kingdom, the new arrangement of R.E.M.’s Ëverybody Hurts” (including Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Mika, and Susan Boyle).

In Africa, similar projects are under way. The Senegalese singer Coumba Gawlo Seck is organizing the project “Africa for Haiti,” with leading figures of African music, such as Youssou N’Dour, Ismaël Lô, and Alpha Blondy, to be recorded in Dakar in early March.

For full article (in French), see http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2010/02/12/des-chansons-qui-restent-pour-ne-pas-oublier-haiti_1304886_3246.html#ens_id=1290927

In photos Natasha St-Pier and Kery James.

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