Singer Gaya has got some solid vocal game. You should check out some of her songs, especially the song “Amoureux” (In Love), in which the Canadian of Haitian descent songstress sounds like a Millennial Roberta Flack. Her voice husky, sensual decorates the song “Kingdom”, like a silk tablecloth for a Sunday dinner. Let’s all get to know her, and her journey as an artist!
Kreyolicious: How did you come to be involved in the music business?
Gaya: As far as I can remember, music was always in my life. I was brought up in a protestant christian family, so at the early age of 7, I joined the church choir for the first time. I sang with them until the age 16. When I turned 17, I joined a Montreal-based professional touring gospel choir named Jireh. Jireh offered me my first experience as a lead singer and the chance to minister the word of God around the provinces of Quebec, Ontario-and even in France-for five years.
Gaya: At age 21, I left the choir to start focusing on a personal career. At that time, I founded a all female band with four musicians and two vocalists, including myself, called Les Garçons. This clever concept didn’t last long, but it helped me get discovered by Quebec’s music scene as we ranked high in famous Canadian music contests. I then started doing back up singing for Canadian artists such as Karl Wolf and Wesli Louissaint/Wesli Band.
Gaya: I stayed along Wesli’s side for over six years! We performed across Canada, Morocco, the USA and we even performed at the Carifesta 2015 in Haiti. The band was placed in the “Coup de Coeur” category at this amazing event.
Not long after, I was dreaming of bring my career to its full potential. So, in the 2011, I decided to take a risk and put music as a Plan A in my life. I was 23, I left a good-paying day job to hustle! Blessed me, not only was I working with Wesli, but I had the amazing faith to meet up with the Boogie Wonder Band.
Kreyolicious: And from all this you learned…
Gaya: Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to gain in life. Boogie Wonder Band is a legendary Disco Band for which I became a lead singer in 2011. As a young adult, this was by far the biggest commitment I had ever done and in the long term. It gave me such a strong stage experience! Not only would I get to perform with the funkiest ten-piece band alive, but I was also their official choreographer and I would take part of the artistic direction. For four years I toured the USA, from Vermont to Miami, New York city to New Orleans. We hosted the Sugar Bowl and performed twice at the famous Bacchus party for Mardi Gras. We had a steady night every month in New York City, and went as far as performing in Italy. My alter ego in the Band, Honey Jazz Jackson mainly known as Honey Jaz Jackson was a real funk queen. Funkadelic by day and indigenous by night.
Kreyolicious: You call yourself Gaya…why?
Gaya: Gaya Is a mission of life. I call my self Gaya to be reminded everyday of my purpose on Earth. Composing music has always been one of my favorite things in the world, but I stopped for quite a while. I was busy singing other people’s songs and I was not in touch with my own creative side which is the main reason why I love music. In early 2013, a younger cousin of mine was killed ,and I could not find the words to express my pain. So, one day, I started singing…a brand new song. Something nobody had ever heard before…and this song made me feel better. That song led to another one, and another one, and to a special one called “Chache Gaya”, a song about me…my purpose…my quest for freedom…my quest for that special thing that will heal my soul.
After composing “Chache Gaya”, I called myself Gaya because that beautiful word that was [mentioned] to me in a trip I had made to Haiti that year, automatically made me feel gaya. Now the name Team Gaya is my way to include every truth-seeker in my journey. Gaya is for everybody. Gaia is the ultimate Goddess. She is female. She is black. She is strong. She is Life. Gaya is that stage where you are healed from what ever was killing your body, your soul and your self-esteem, your motivation or your history.
This year, a song made the word “gaya” very popular, and I thank God for that! It won’t be forgotten. It’s not a momentary hype. Gaya is a key. I don’t do music to write my name in history. I do it to deliver a message and it starts by the word “healing”…Gaya.
This concludes PART I of the interview with the singer! Look out for Part II. Be sure to watch the video below and the links below!
[Photo Credit: Deydey Fine Arts. Main pic: Maxeau Mercier]