Wikimizik is what happened when two techies (later joined by a third), with a love of Haitian music, came together. Florida State University graduate Guignard Vilmar, Florida A&M University grad Darryl Dieudonné, and South Florida-educated Sergio Seide are the webpreneurs behind Wikimizik, the fastest growing Haitian music lyrics site on the internet.
There was a previous interview with Vilmar. Now, it’s Boston-bred Darryl Dieudonné’s turn. A self-described “lover of all things konpa”, who will never have enough sòspwa in his system, the one-time public relations student primarily takes care of the communications aspect of Wikimizik.
Kreyolicious: Did you have any educational/work experience that has helped you in running Wikimizik?
My background in storytelling, advertising and branding has been a huge help. Whether it’s designing our logo and identity or coming up with new ways to push our brand. For example, we amplified our launch with “From Hi to I Do”—a short story that uses different songs to propel the narrative.
Kreyolicious: Did you come across any obstacles as you prepared to launch?
Figuring out the technical details of the site’s architecture and functionality gave us a few headaches. We were fortunate to connect with Georges Dugué. With his help, we were able to iron out the kinks. Some lyrics were impossible to decipher and when we’d ask artists to send the text, we’d get a Soundcloud link in our inbox.
Kreyolicious: What sort of feedback have you been getting from users of the platform?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive. People are excited about the platform’s potential and how it puts the focus on the drama in the songs, rather than the drama in the bands.
Kreyolicious: What are your favorite lyrics from a Haitian song?
Nu Look, Souvenirs. When Arly belts out, “Ou se yon istwa, yon istwa ke gòm lavi a pap janm efase menm si ou pa bò kote mwen” [You’re a story that life’s eraser can never erase/Even when you’re not around] I’m usually singing along. Pirogue – “L’Escalier”. This Hans Peters classic distills so much wisdom. These are words to live by: “Tout otan w pa mi, pa jwe ak lavi / W aprann pasyans, aprann lasyans / Dlo lavi ka pouri w, dlo lavi ka beni w. [Don’t mess with life/If you’re not old enough/Learn patience/Learn some science/Life’s water won’t rot you/Life’s water’ll bless you].
Kreyolicious: Do you think Wikimizik has gone as you envisioned it?
Our primary goal is to elevate the conversation and we feel that we’ve been doing just that. We’re able to provide historical and personal context that enrich people’s understanding of their favorite songs.
CHECK OUT THE WIKIMIZIK TEAM AT WORK BY CLICKING HERE TO VISIT THE WIKIMIZIK WEBSITE!