As part of Kreyolicious.com’s continuous efforts to diversify your musical taste, the site is going to present you with Under the Spotlight, in which we interview an artist, most likely musical…
Name: Steeve Khe Malak
Tell us about yourself.
According to what I’m been told, I was born on a little piece of the Earth called Haiti, in a city named Petionville, in the month of May, which is the month where flowers bud, the month that brings a lot of rain. I am the messenger of the Source that gives life, the one a lot of people refer to as God, Granmèt La, Jah—they give him a lot of other names too. I sung in a group that was really popular for its time. The band’s name was Sokoute. I’ve been living in Montreal for a while now. I have two solo albums. I’ve sung at a lot of great festivala all over. My music is all over the place. I have been singing with Djakout #1 since August of 2013, so I’m in my country Haiti as well.
How did you get the name Steeve Khe Malak?
Steeve Khe Malak means “Steeve Khe The Messenger”. Steeve is a name given to me by man. Khe is the name of an ancestor back in Africa. Malak is the Source of Life. When I asked what I came to do here, he confirmed it all to me in a dream. Inside these multicolor boots he had on…the left one, there was the word Malak—“messenger” in Hebrew. You could say that Malak is a version of Malachi.
Can you tell us about your first ever performance?
My first vocal performance was done when I came out of my mother’s belly. That first cry I made. That’s all I have to say about that.
What artists have influenced you the most?
First and foremost, Bob Marley. I like how he took his mission seriously. How he believed in divine love. He wasn’t the superficial kind. He was full of charity. He was a rebel. A messenger who always announced that he was on God’s side. He was a true fighter. He was someone who loved humanity, in spite of all the trials he met with. He was brave. There was a statement he made when they shot him in the arm that I like a lot. When he was asked if he didn’t fear for his life, he said, “The people that are making this world worse don’t take a day off, how can I?” And I can definitely say that he believed in his roots a lot. I still admire him a lot, after Jesus Christ. Second artist is Patrick St. Eloi. I love his voice. The depth in his melodies, how he wrote, the overall simplicity in his music. And with Michael Jackson, I liked his emotional side when he sung; the sincerity in his vocals. He was a beautiful soul, who loved philanthropy and carried himself with a lot of love.
Would you say you were born with music in you?
Since the music isn’t really from me, but comes through me, as I am a messenger, an artist, a servant. So I’ll say that the music that comes through me, is a music that’s here to nourish the soul, to make hearts happy, and fortify the spirit. I always give all the glory to Hallelujah. Everyone on this Earth comes equipped with everything, their talent and gifts, their potential, their career, so I can say outright I came with music embedded in me.
The rapper Jay-Z was once quoted as having said, I’m not a business man. I’m a business…man! What are some of the things you’ve learned about branding, marketing, and business that you’d like to pass on to up-and-coming musicians.
Jay-Z is unique is his own way. Me, I’m not a business, because I am God’s creation. I am not a commercial entity. I find this to be an offense to nature. Anyways, everyone talks according to the type of soul they have. On my end, I can say in this business you have to be watchful, vigilant. You have to observe. You have to put everything in writing…There’s a lot of people out there whose only interest is money. So, an artist must always have a representative that he trusts, who has a good connection with him. And of course, put God first. Talk with Him, since he’s the one who gave you the talent in the first place, so that you’ll know which steps to take, and what to do when whatever situation presents itself.
A musician is on the move—on the creative move constantly. What projects are you working on at the moment?
I compose. I work all the time. I’m thinking on my next personal project, and at the same time I’m working on the next Djakout #1 project.
Do you write songs?
I’m always writing.
Would love to hear about your creative process in terms of lyric creation and music composition.
The writing comes naturally, thank God. Any place, any time. It happens a lot in my sleep; I’ll be singing a new melody with lyrics. Even when I’m making love. [Smiles] Except when I get stuck, I pray and meditate a little, and the words come.
What are some of the things that you would love to accomplish in your musical career?
My career isn’t just about music. I paint too. I draw. I would love to use all the gifts that God gave me I would like to use them all to serve, nourish, uplift souls of lots of people. Get them closer together, and reunite them with the Source of Life. Thank you for thinking of me. May God help you, guide you, and spread love all over san gade dèyè. Even when things get tough, persevere. Lapè Bondye ak nou.