As the co-founder of the wildly popular Haitian music site Haitian Beatz, Moses St. Louis is on the grind daily, sharing scoops about Haitian music with his legion of readers and users. In Part One of the interview with the web entrepreneur, he revealed that he started the website after he had already garnered a load of experience in the Haitian music industry. Taking that experience and putting it to use, he recruited another Haitian music enthusiast Jean-Price “Jacobin” Vixama and Haitian Beatz launched! Here he looking back at the beginnings of Haitian Beatz, and discussing his plans for the platform’s future.
Kreyolicious: In the time you’ve been running Haitian Beatz, what would you say have been the most trying times? Bad news first.
A few years ago, the site was hacked and a virus was inserted into the server, and many of our readers’ computers crashed. We lost many members because of that. Even though we eventually fixed the problem, we were never able to get the members who were affected back, or maybe just a few have returned.
Kreyolicious: And what would you say have been your favorite memories? Good news, last.
But there has been some good times, like receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio on our anniversary event. Getting citations from the New York City Council and the New York State Assembly. We have become a household name in the Haitian music industry.
Kreyolicious: Technology changes at lightning bolt speed, and surely you’ve seen your share of changes since you’ve started as a webpreneur. What changes have you witnessed, and how did you handle them?
Joomla is the platform that we use for the site. It is very new and many people seem to think it is very hard to manage. To the contrary, Jacobin and I really enjoy using it for its simplicity. Even though it’s advanced, it’s very easy to manage. We are in the process of introducing something new that we are working on, but we will keep it a secret for now…[Laughter]
Kreyolicious: If you were starting this venture now, what would you do differently?
I would make social media a very active part of that project.
Kreyolicious: If you were recommending Haitian music to someone whose exposure up until then to Haitian music was minimal, or nonexistent, which artists, bands, and albums would you recommend, and why?
I’m a strong fan of Haitian roots music. I probably would direct their attention to bands like RAM, Boukman Eksperayns, Boukan Guinen, Azor…all their albums.
Kreyolicious: Where do you hope to take your brand in the next 5-7 years?
Well, I’ve been involved in this music business for many years. I’ve worn many hats as manager, promoter, and now media. I always believe in continuity. We would love to integrate some new blood into HB, to start taking the leadership of the site, under our guidance. One positive thing that is happening with the website now, especially on our forum, [is that] the members of the forum are [increasingly] the driving force of the website. I can spend a couple of days without signing into the website, but you’ll always see new topic discussions, generated by our members, which is very encouraging. HB is more member-driven lately.
This concludes PART TWO of the interview with Haitian Beatz co-founder Moses St. Louis. CLICK HERE if you missed PART I.