It was the 80’s, a quiet suburb of Port-au-Prince, where three friends who were destined to make history in Haitian music met. Every afternoon, a young Brutus would sit on his front porch and play the guitar. Garry Didier Perez, and his friend Patrick Martineau, often noticed him and one day invited him to come over Patrick’s house. They would meet every afternoon to listen to all genres of music and interpret their favorites. During one of their rehearsals, some beer bottles fell off an amplifier that was vibrating and shattered into a million pieces. The guys laughed at the fact that Patrick would have a hard time cleaning up the many tiny pieces off the granulated floor. They all exclaimed ZENGLEN (which means tiny pieces of broken glass) and from that day on this was their band’s name.
In 1989, the trio recorded “Koule Tan” (the color of time). Once completed, they took some tapes to several radio stations where hosts and listeners would become fans and fall in love.
Zenglen became one of the wonders of the early 1990’s as they released the hit song “Fidel” off of the album “An Nou Alèz.” In the song the band said that “change” is never easy and always faces obstacles, and resistance, but that they pledge to remain faithful (Fidel) to their mission which is to improve and modernize the Konpa rhythm.
The Konpa world was introduced to their new found stars like the guitarist and singer Brutus Derissaint and the lead singer Gary Didier Perez among others. In the song “Fidel” the band said: “Sé konsa se konsa se konsa la vi ya ye lè ou vle met chanjman reziztans tèt chaje.” Unfortunately after a U.S tour most of the band’s members abandoned ship and the band broke up into pieces like a real Zenglen.
In Miami Brutus never stop caressing the dream of keeping some of the pieces alive and had moved on with some attempts like the Zenglen Plus and a few solo albums in the 1990’s. Many musicians tried to help him to collect the pieces, but they often moved with their own projects like the creation of the band D-Zine. Nevertheless Brutus never lost faith and still remained fidèl (Faithful) to his mission by hiring more talented musicians each and every time. At the end of the century the acquisition of the drummer Richard Herard (Richie) and then singer Gracia Delva took Zenglen to the level of a very competitive Konpa band in the demanding market as they released the album “Easy Konpa” with nothing but major hits song that were going to move the band to the front burner of the industry. Ever since that time Zenglen hasn’t looked back despite the so many changes of personnel that occurred.
The album “Easy Konpa” was introduced to the public with the release of the video of the hit song “5 Dwèt” which boosted Zenglen to the top of the konpa scene. The song “B.S Productions” got the attention of the public as the song talk about unqualified show producers damaging the reputation of the bands. On that same album the band touched some subjects until then taboo as they talked about lesbians in the society in the song “Flannè Femèl” and drug used in the song “Ti Poud.”
In the following years Zenglen continued to amaze the Konpa fans all over the world with the releases of the albums “Let It Groove,” “Do It Right,” “5 Etwal.” The latest album, “5eme Vites,” sung by current lead vocalist Kenny Desmangles, touches subjects on society, relationships with top notch konpa, and proved again why critics have praised them as the Konpa University.
Over the years the Konpa observers have seen broken pieces that continued to break in even more pieces, but the band remains solid and true to their mission: Zenglen doesn’t change…Zenglen improve. Like they often say in their songs “Sé pa changé nou changé, se pi bon’n vin’n pi bon.”
Edited by l3no1rblack on 25 Oct 2011, 14:08
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