His birth name is Louis Pascal Juanitho Beaubrun. But call him Wanito. And listen hard to his album Biografi Mwen (Peacetones), a 10-track album that touches on everything from the frustrations of slum living in Haiti, to an unplanned pregnancy, to community strife (“Aprann Konnen”), to poverty, and spirituality (“Disparisyon”), and, inevitably, tragic young love (“San Doudou”).
Wanito’s Biografi Mwen easily earns upper percentile ranking among the musical works that have been released by Haitian artists in recent memory. His folksy style is unadorned by artificiality, and his lyrics speak unpretentiously of everyday situations, or rather situations hit with a Wanito touch. And what is the Wanito touch? It’s spoken word poetry set to music, practically; it’s the chronicling of pieces of life in urban Haiti with a humor that belies sometimes ugly circumstances.
“Yon Jou La Jou” starts off bemoaning the burdens of a country donkey, but in later verses it is made rather apparent that the burrow reference is a mere metaphor for Haiti. Wanito, accompanied by a lone guitar beat and a non-interfering bass, sings:
It’s they who don’t stop eating secretly
When your neck is long and scrawny
They curse you as being worthless and dirty
They ask on your behalf, but you will never get any of the treats
Why are these people playing exploiting games
Each time you give your heart away, you regret it afterward
In reality, this never should have happened. [. . .]
Listen to “Biografi Mwen” here:
For original review, see http://kreyolicious.com/music-review-wanito-biografi-mwen/3398/