Queen of Creole Music, Emeline Michel, debuts “Change”, a Timely Song of Embracing Hope and Change in these Uncertain Times
Haitian songstress, writer, and producer, Emeline Michel, recently released her new song and music video, Change, on May 14. This latest single from the “Queen of Creole Music” is a mediation on hope in the midst of continuous change and chaos. Although written a year ago, Change is especially apt in the current times and is a reminder for listeners to embrace the uncertainties of life. “The song is a reminder for us to always remain open to change and to not to be startled by the winds of change,” says Michel. The accompanying music video was filmed between two trips to Santiago, Chile, and Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Change is the first single off of Michel’s upcoming gospel and music biopic, “Aroma of My Land”. This latest project is a refreshing return to the singer’s gospel roots and is a complex, uplifting musical delight that brings listeners along on an exploration of Michel’s spiritual and musical journey. Spanning a range of styles, “Aroma of My Land” is a melting pot of deeply spiritual and emotionally-charged sounds, rich in textures and gospel-inspired grooves. Please see below our conversation with Emeline Michel.
Tell us a little bit more about your new song/video “Chanjman”. What inspired you to write it?
This song came to me at a crossroad when I had to make major decisions.I realized how paralyzing it can be to face change whether It’s love, career or adapting to a new location. Change can be unsettling especially when we are facing catastrophic events. My way of coping is through prayer and meditation. Meditation has helped me to eradicate the fear of not knowing. It was truly liberating to step into life with positivity and to remember that it is Ok to change plans if previous ones didn’t work.
Many people are resistant to change. What are some things you have done to cope with change generally, and also, especially during this pandemic?
First reminder for me is that “this too shall pass!” Building inner strength, patience, (this is the longest I have been sitting in one place). Through meditation, breathing exercises, regular floor exercises to keep my body and mind alert. I used the time to declutter, organizing some drawers that needed my attention.. It’s tedious but it helps lol
When I listen to the song, it feels like I am at church and at a Rock & Roll concert simultaneously. Could you tell us more about the process of producing the song?
I am blessed with the spiciness of a Caribbean musical heritage, but I listen to different types of music. A rock guitar for me, have always translated this “rage to live”. On Chanjman, I wanted newness of a rock sound blended with an afro groove and that happy hopeful flavor that my gospel background can infuse.
Dominic James who is a very talented musician helped me capture the vision in the composition.
I believe that Chanjman is more of a metissage and doesn’t really fit in a specific category which is why you felt like you were at church and a Rock and Roll Concert at the same time.
You have been writing, producing, performing for 30 years. What should we expect from this upcoming album? Have you ever experienced a period like the current one?
This is a “Full circle”
I started singing in church and the faith, the hope , the songs are anchored in my journey.
This is the first time I am embracing an entire Gospel / spiritual album.
I want to create something strong, empowering, healing.God has allowed me to be on this journey and I want the testimony to be as big as is bounty.
This project is very close to my heart andI am blessed to have the support of some amazing collaborators. I hope that the energy of light and hope that I felt when I was writing this album gets transferred to the listeners.
Do you have any word of advice for fellow artists (and people in general) who might not be equipped to deal with the change that the pandemic has brought and are currently unable to perform (in the ways that are accustomed to)
Changes can happen fast and I believe these events force us to accept that we are NOT here permanently. So dive in! reveal and share your gold! After all, we are here to learn from each other.
Is there anything else you would like to share with NAAHP?
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about “Chanjman” and my upcoming project.
Stay healthy, strong and let your inner light shine brighter!
Photograph by: Francesca Andre