HB- Who is Papa Jube? What inspired your passion for music and who has been there supporting you from the beginning?
PJ- Greetings Moses, Music for me began in church. Both of my parents are Baptist Ministers. My Dad was an accomplished musician, piano player, choir director (may God bless his soul) and Mom was a singer in church. So, church was the foundation for me. My older brother, Harold, was the one who supported me the most. He taught me [how to play the] bass and guitar.
HB- How do you feel about the Haitian Music Industry today?
PJ- Hmm…It’s hard to say how I feel about the HMI, because from my perceptual view, the HMI is lacking structure and doesn’t function like a real industry. Contrary to the AMI, where artists live off of their mechanical royalties, and other revenue sources, our artists in the HMI are obligated to constantly perform live since that’s their main source of revenue. So, I would love to see some changes being implemented in the HMI in establishing a basic structure for our music. I would love to see the rise of some new acts and talents, specifically, with female artists. We need more successful women in the HMI.
HB- Were you a musician at any time in your past?
PJ- Absolutely, I started music as a bassist. I played bass for many successful Reggae and R&B artists during my years in college, from YellowMan, to Sister Carole whom I still produce music for (I have 4 songs on her last album released 2 years ago), Israel Vibration, Shine Head, Junior Reid etc…and not to mention my first introduction to kompa music which was with a band called “DIFE” created by Fabrice Rouzier during his years attending University in Maryland, I was a bassist for that group. So, yeah I paid my dues as a musician.
HB- Why did you quit performing as a solo artist?
PJ- Well, I am a musician before everything. I became a solo artist with the inspiration and support of Fabrice Rouzier, whom I started my solo career with. I can give Fabrice most of the credit for me becoming a producer today. During my years as “PAPA JUBE & THE JUBELATIONS”, I feel we accomplished what we set out to do. We were a conscious band, lyrically engaged, fighting for equal rights and justice musically. With that project, we toured all over the world, we played with STING, Peter Gabriel, Youssou n Dour and Baaba Maal. We traveled to France, Africa, North America etc…After10 years of [continuously playing] music, I felt a calling to get into music production, like my mentor “Fabrice Rouzier” has taught me. So I laid down my microphone and the rest is my story.
HB- What is the greatest thing about working in the Haitian Music Industry? What would you change if you had the opportunity?
PJ- The greatest thing about working in the HMI is dealing with some of the musicians whom I find very cool, and actually watching the fans, especially non Haitians enjoy Haitian music is definitely a great feeling.
HB- From your experience so far, what have you found to be most challenging and how are you dealing with it?
PJ- The most challenging aspects for me in the HMI are how to get new talent to climb the ladder of success? How do we get more female stars in the HMI? How do we monetize and maximize the potential of our music? I deal with it by continuing to breed new talent, be open to new acts and for the most part HOPE for a better day.
HB- Share with us your proudest moment in your career so far?
PJ- I would say one of my proudest moments has to be when I met and worked with my favorite music producer in the world “TREVOR HORN” who has produced the artist “SEAL” amongst many others. That was a real treat for me. I love him as a producer so that was cool we met and had a chance to jam a bit.
HB- What does SOBS represent to music in general?
PJ- Well, SOBS is an Iconic music venue, known and respected all over the world. It’s been around for 32 years at the same location, never closed down. The fact that SOBS is such a small venue in size, [yet] with the roster of artists that have performed there, it really speaks for itself. Think of : Stevie Wonder, late Celia Cruz, late Tito Puente, Los Van Van, Luther Vandross, Jill Scott, Eryka Badu, India Irie, Mariah Carey, Drake, Jay Z, Snoop Dog, Wyclef Jean, Prince, Kassav, Tabou Combo and all the HIM bands, all the top Reggae bands, top Soca bands, top Brazilian bands etc… SOB’s reputation is world renown. It represents the crossroad for artists that are on the cusp of success and established artists as well. It’s the Home of Universal Music in New York.