Moonlight Benjamin | Discover her made-in-France selection with an exclusive video
We had the chance to spend a unique moment with Moonlight Benjamin to an exclusive interview with What The France. From the nostalgia of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, to the tenderness of Léo Ferré and the ‘girl power’ of Nina Simone, Moonlight Benjamin expresses herself through her made-in-France inspirations.
Moonlight Benjamin’s music can be described in many different ways : sensual and soulful, powerful, a mix of Caribbean voodoo rhythms and melodies and 70s blues rock. But most of all, she represents a journey through the Haitian soul.
The story began in Haiti, where Moonlight had been singing at her orphanage’s Protestant church since her childhood. Music was her reason for living, and she would run from recording studio to recording studio, contributing vocals to recordings by renowned artists. Meetings with Haitian artist Max Aubin and poet and storyteller Jean-Claude Martineau led to collaborations, with the latter writing several songs for her.
Moving to France in 2002, Moonlight Benjamin came to prominence in the band Dyaoulé Pemba, then launched her own project to celebrate the traditional songs and poetry of Haiti, the ‘suffering island’. For her last, electric album Siltane, she took up the challenge of renewing traditional sounds by injecting blues rock riffs. On the album she still adapts the work of Haitian poets, like Frankétienne, Georges Castera and Anthony Lespès but the quartet gives them a contemporary thrust and, singing in creole and French, Moonlight Benjamin provides an emotional representation of her national identity.
Moonlight Benjamin will be on European Tour next summer.