Bigga Haitian
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Bigga Haitian

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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"Bigga Haitian - Sak Pase"

I first talked to Charles Dorismond, aka Bigga Haitian, in the summer of 2007. Laying claim as the first Haitian reggae singer to write and perform his own music, he was born in Born in Port au Prince surrounded by music. His father, Andre Dorismond sang for The Webert Sicot Group, an innovative band that created its own version of Kompa, Haitian dance music.

When his family moved to Brooklyn, NY, Bigga was dropped into the middle of a Jamaican neighborhood, exposing him to reggae, which had a profound impact on his own music. It wasn’t long before Bigga started appearing with reggae dancehall legends such as Shabba Banks, Cocoa Tea, and Junior Reid. Later, he crossed into hip-hop, opening for Lil Kim and Jay-Z.

In 1992, Bigga released his debut album, I Am Back, which was mainly a disc of dancehall beats. His second album, Bingh Man, didn’t appear until 2002 after he had signed to Ruff Stuff Records. This album plunged deep into roots reggae, offering more message-driven lyrics that often drew on Bigga’s Rastafarian spiritual foundations.

A single, “Gi Me Da Weed,” in advance of his new album, Sak Pase, that was out in 2007 on Walkup Records, was getting monster downloads from iTunes, Rhapsody, and eMusic well before the album was released. It also received heavy airplay on reggae stations.

Unfortunately, it was considered more of a novelty song that appealed to a lot of swag smokers. Bigga defended that recording, saying people just weren’t getting past the word “weed” in the title. “Weed is not something to get high on and bug out and act stupid,” he said back then. “Weed to us Rasta people is a meditation. It’s between us and the Almighty. Weed is a sacrament to us.”

Bigga wrote that song in honor of his brother, an off-duty security cop, who was shot by a New York City undercover policeman looking for a marijuana dealer. “They shot him dead over weed,” Bigga said. “I did that song for my brother to let people know that weed isn’t a bad thing.”

“Gi Me Da Weed” and other cuts on Bigga’s new nine-track album, Sak Pase, are laced with more of the unexpected and lots of color from musicians who sat in on this album. Most of the cuts are closer to roots reggae, though there are some dancehall tunes like “London Massive,” which features Yvad on lead vocals. But this is dancehall that isn’t offensive to women or other groups.

One real surprise was Bigga’s reggae version of the White Stripes’ tune “My Doorbell.” “I don’t think in a million years anybody would ever pick a song like that to put in reggae music,” Bigga said, but it was a suggestion by Walkup Records. There are two versions of that cut. The first features tenor saxophonist Craig Dreyer whose performed or recorded with Pete Francis, Warren Haynes, Joan Osborne, and even Keith Richards on the Grammy award winning Timeless album. The second version has a killer guitar solo by Mike “Angel” McLaughlin from the band Criss.

“Load the Chalice” features a sample from “Ke’M Pa Sote” by Boukman Eksperyans as well as guest vocals by Mecca aka Grimo, Bam, and Jimmy Two.

The label also brought in musicians to play throughout the record. Those included reggae saxophone great Cedric Brooks and members of the Ruff Stuff band who recorded with Robert Palmer and Burning Spear.

The first and last cuts are two different versions of the collaborative “I Am A Haitian.” Bigga wrote the lyrics and Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence wrote the music. The last one is an instrumental version that features reggae tenor saxophonist Jerry Johnson who played on Burning Spear’s 2009 Grammy record, Jah Is Real.

Sak Pase is a wonderful foray into new roots reggae and dancehall. Give Bigga Haitian a listen. - Skope Magazine


"Reggae Legend Bigga Haitian's New CD 'Sak Pase'"

New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Walkup Records) - The February 9, 2010, Walkup Records release of Bigga Haitian's Sak Pase on CD had been in the works for months. Following the earthquake in Haiti, Bigga and Walkup announced that they will donate all proceeds from downloads of "I Am A Haitian" from Sak Pase to Yele Haiti to assist with relief efforts. Of the devastation, Bigga says, "I feel like I need to do something and this is what I have to offer."

Bigga Haitian was born "Charles Dorismond" in Haiti to a musical family. His father, Andre Dorismond, was a pioneer of Kompa music with the Webert Sico Group.

Bigga has always exhibited his love for his native country in his music, starting over 20 years ago with "Haiti A Weh Mi From" and continuing through today with "I Am A Haitian."

Bigga's concerns are both national and personal: "It is a tragedy, so many people suffering. I haven't been able to get through to family down there." Walkup Records co-founder Brett Smith added, "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this disaster. We are humbled to join Bigga in his efforts on behalf of the Haitian people."

Produced by Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence and recorded from 2006-2009 in New York, Israel and Taiwan, Sak Pase features many outstanding musicians, including an all-star horn section consisting of Clark Gayton (Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Prince, Steel Pulse), Cedric Brooks (Skatalites, Bob Marley), and Kevin Batchelor (Steel Pulse, Skatalites, Shaggy), who last appeared together on the multi-platinum Rihanna album A Girl Like Me.

Sak Pase is enjoying airplay on reggae radio around the world.

The album features a cover of "My Doorbell" by the White Stripes, and collaborations with Yvad (current lead singer of The Wailers) and Mecca aka Grimo (signed to Wyclef Jean's label). One of these collaborations, "London Massive (feat. Yvad)," was featured in the series finale of the NBC drama The Philanthropist.

The CD includes a bonus instrumental version of "I Am A Haitian" featuring Jerry Johnson (Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Skatalites). Artwork by renowned designer Joshua Marc Levy (Aerosmith, AC/DC, Santana, Matisyahu) completes the package.
Sak Pase is currently available for download at iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody - anywhere music is sold online.

Bigga Haitian has been blazing up the stage for more than 20 years, appearing with reggae legends including Shabba Ranks, Sizzla, Shaggy, and Buju Banton. Bigga is known as the first Haitian singer to break into the Jamaican reggae scene, tearing down national and cultural walls and paving the way for the next generation of Haitian artists.

Walkup Records is a New York-based independent music company founded in 2006 by music industry veterans and childhood friends, Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence. Conceived during a jam in Brett's 4th floor walkup apartment in New York City, Walkup Records stands for a commitment to high-quality music played by real musicians and a determination to do things the right way. - Top 40 Charts


"Bigga Haitian Announces Release Date for 'Sak Pase' CD"

Bigga Haitian first grabbed everyone's attention in 2003, with his 'Binghi Mon' release. Since then, everybody's been waiting for a follow up, and according to eReleases, we won't have to wait too much longer. 'Sak Pase,' an album that was recorded in New York, Israel and Taiwan between 2006 and 2009, will officially drop on February 4th, although several tracks are already getting heavy air-time on reggae radio around the globe.

The CD notably features a cover of 'My Doorbell' by the White Stripes, and, most importantly, the single 'I Am A Haitian.' Bigga has announced that all proceeds earned from downloads of 'I Am A Haitian' will go directly to Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti organization to spur relief efforts. Said Bigga, "I feel like I need to do something and this is what I have to offer." Haiti will certainly accept it with open arms. - AOL / Shoutcast


"Hump Day Hip Hop – J. Glaze, Bigga Haitian, Gift of Gab"

Picture it now...

It’s a spring day and you’re standing at the top of the chairlift waiting for your snowboarding friends to do up their bindings. After deciding which direction you are heading, you pop in your earbuds and hit the play button on Skiing Playlist. A slow reggae beat kicks in just as you push off…oh man. This is the song…this is the soundtrack to the perfect day at the ski hill. (**note – also delightful while on the beach, walking down the street or slowrollin’)

J. Glaze, Bigga Haitian and Gift of Gab nail each of their parts in this song and get the job done swiftly and effectively. It doesn’t drag on, it doesn’t break into unnecessary instrumentals…all it does is leave me wanting a little more. Thank-you Apple for creating the ‘repeat’ button on my iPod. - The Meatysauce Review


"Sak Pase -Bigga Haitian- Walkup Records"

Released to widespread acclaim throughout the reggae music arena, the ultra superb works collected together form Sak Pasé, the album by Walkup Records signing Bigga Haitian. We at Springline feel this album with all its diversity and wonderfully played instrumentation deserves its place in being hailed as one of the best releases so far this season.

Featuring guest musicians and produced respectively by the very gifted Marc Lawrence and Brett Smith (Walkup Records founders) this album is simply superb, covering different reggae genres and fusions during it's traditional style running time of under 40 minutes, and covering them in fine style. There's no filler here. From the opening track, "I Am A Haitian," with it's haunting instrumentation acoustics alongside Bigga singing proudly about and on behalf of his land of birth - the words relative to us all no matter where we from - through to the last track, we are treated to a musical treasure trove of well written lyrics and reggae music alongside all its fusions.

Track 2, "My Doorbell" (1st cut) is a cover of the White Stripes tune features Craig Dreyer and a great horn workout with members of Steel Pulse and The Skatalites in fine style with Bigga's vocal keeping the whole vibe alive, with a feel good catchy 'summer's coming' almost funky pon top fashion. If there's any tune worthy of crossing over into the mainstream airplay, it's this. Next up a tune called "Empress," real Jamaican reggae vibes, this tune has a 'recorded live' sound to the mix and it is this tune where the vocal talent of Bigga shines the most for us, and again another Jamaican horn workout which takes center stage and as the song finishes and fades whilst each instrument departs leaving a touch of studio banter it got me thinking..the next single? Well it should be, with its pop-a-top shuffly organ and real live Wailers style drumming married with Bigga's distinct classic vocal, I'm gonna personally lobby Walkup for this to become a single! The fourth offering from the album is my personal favourite "London Massive." For me this is strictly from time UK fashion, taking one back to those 80's 12" collection days. This tune is put together in such a way that it's commercially a winner but at the same time keeping true to a certain genre from time with Bigga coming in on the mix deejay style lifting the vibe, this tune reminds me of something, a moment in time, all the elements are there. This cut features current Wailers lead singer Yvad catching yuh ear with some real sweet and highly infectious vocal work and thus keeping you tuned in throughout the track. Great stuff, I want a dub version of this!!

Following this is the single released before this album, "Gi Me Da Weed," which we playlisted heavily during its run on our station as well as being aired across hundreds of stations worldwide at the time, was a smash and still is. Good to see this included. Track 7: "Haiti A Weh Mi From" Doing dancehall proud again with the Walkup Records production team effortlessly bringing this classic bang up to date that feels very much at home on this album. This is the original version which has been remastered by Walkup to celebrate its twenty year existence as a recorded music work.

A superbly put together album, just right for the coming spring and summer, full of diversity and the musicianship is second to none. Completing the package is the wonderfully distinct classic voice and lyrics of Bigga Haitian. Great album. Feel good sounds. Infectious. It has been a long while since Bigga's last album but it was well worth the wait. - Springline Jamaica


"Sak Pase: Eclectic reggae and hip-hop sounds from Bigga Haitian"

Bigga Haitian (born Charles Dorismond in Port au Prince, Haiti) moved to New York aged 8 and on that journey brought with him a rich musical heritage, including the influence of his father who was one of the pioneers of a specifically Haitian dance music known as Kompa. Growing up with the rhythms of Haiti and the influences of Jamaica and the United States, Bigga has built up an impressive track record of performing for over 20 years at the crossover between reggae and hip hop. This, his third album, was recorded between 2006 and 2008 and it is no surprise that the numerous influences can be heard throughout.

The album opens with I Am a Haitian, a strong and slow song with mainly acoustic instrumentation and an effective vocal arrangement. This is followed by a version of the White Stripes’ My Doorbell, an initially surprising song to find here, though on balance it works with its upbeat feel and crisp production. Empress is an inspiring reggae tune, delivered powerfully, with a strong instrumental fade out in the style of a song that should have been played for years, a standout track. Then it’s into London Massive, classic reggae style featuring Yvad, recent vocalist with the Wailiers. The single release Gi Me Da Weed is included here too – Bigga’s “ganja anthem” – while Load the Chalice, with a number of guest vocalists, draws from both dancehall and hip hop in quite a potent mix. And – as if one version were not enough - the album closes with a further take on My Doorbell, this time with an additional guitar solo but otherwise not strikingly different.

Haiti Weh Mi From, probably Bigga Haitian’s best-known song, is also included here in a newly remastered version. Recorded in 1983, its ragga dancehall feel is definitely of its time but there is still a vitality in the way it sounds today. The other tracks on the album were all recorded in New York, with Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence featuring prominently in the mixing, mastering, engineering and production credits and also listed as writers of the music for two of the tracks. The music here is eclectic and committed. It would be interesting to hear more of it at full album length next time as there is history and depth in these songs. - United Reggae


Discography

Albums
2009: Sak Pasé (Walkup Records)
2003: Binghi Mon (BH Records)
1997: I Am Back (Royal Productions/Jomino/Roots International)

Singles
2006: Gi Me Da Weed (Walkup Records)
2006: Hail Up the King (Etaste Music)
2003: Tribute to Patrick Dorismond (Jah Life Int'l Records)
1994: Red Carpet (Big Ship)
1994: Sexy Body (Big Ship)
1992: Mad Over Jah (Justice)
1990: Gimme Mi Country (Flames Records)
1989: Haiti A Weh Mi From (Flames Records)

Compilations
2009: Focus Riddim (Raw Moon/Top Tier)
2009: Tribe of Kings Presents: Bigga Fiyah Mix (Strictly Vibes Vol. 3) Mixed by Dash Eye and - Hosted by Bigga Haitian (Tribe Of Kings)
2008: Ragga Kreyol (Chevry Records)
2007: True To The Tape Vol. 5 (DJ Dax)
2006: Love Roots & Culture (Gyasi)
1995: Best of the Best, Vol. 5 (Freddie McGregor Presents: Best of Big Ship 1) (RAS Records)

Photos

Bio

Bigga Haitian is known as the first Haitian singer to break into the Jamaican reggae scene, tearing down national and cultural walls and paving the way for the next generation of Haitian artists.

Born Charles Dorismond in Port Au Prince, Haiti, Bigga Haitian hails from a musical family. His father, Andre Dorismond, was the lead singer of The Webert Sicot Group, pioneers of Haitian dance music known as Kompa. Bigga immigrated to New York City at the age of 8 and grew up amidst the pulsating rhythms of reggae music in the vibrant Jamaican community of Flatbush, Brooklyn. In 1981, Bigga saw Admiral Bailey perform his hit tune “Big Belly Mon” at Manhattan’s Reggae Lounge and realized in that instant that he was destined to become a reggae singer. At this moment, reggae sensation Bigga Haitian was born.

Bigga has been blazing up the stage for more than 20 years, appearing with reggae legends Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Capleton, Cocoa Tea, and Junior Reid, to name a few. Bigga broke into the hip-hop scene in the 1990s, opening for the Ruff Ryders, Lil’ Kim, and Jay-Z at New York City’s Randall’s Island. Today’s most talented Haitian artists, such as Wyclef Jean and Mecca a/k/a Grimo, credit Bigga as an influence.

Many of New York’s most notable venues have hosted Bigga’s legendary performances including SOB’s, The Apollo Theater, McCarren Park Pool, B.B. King’s, The Lion’s Den, and Galapagos Art Space. He has also performed at festivals in Jamaica and the Caribbean, including a show hosted by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Bigga’s recent performances include New York’s Jamrock Reggae Fest with Shaggy, Mavado, Collie Buddz, and Buju Banton, and headlining slots at the 2008 Boston Spring Reggae Fest and the 2007 Lake Worth Reggae Fest, which drew over 10,000 people.

Bigga’s first album, I Am Back, features a remix of his dancehall anthem, “Haiti A Where Me From” which was a #1 single on the Haitian charts, and is still a staple of Haitian radio to this day. He followed this success with his second release, Binghi Mon, which includes “Tribute to Patrick Dorismond,” featuring Barrington Levy’s “Murderer” anthem. “Tribute” was produced by Jah Life, who also produced the original Barrington Levy recording. Bigga recorded two singles, “Red Carpet” and “Sexy Body” at Freddie McGregor’s studios in Jamaica which were originally released on McGregor’s Big Ship Records and later featured on Doctor Dread’s RAS Records’ compilation Best of the Best, Vol. 5 (Freddie McGregor Presents: Best of Big Ship #1). Bigga has also recorded tracks with artists including Yvad (current lead singer of The Wailers), Ken Boothe, and Denroy Morgan of Morgan Heritage.

Bigga Haitian continues to write, record, and perform future classics and recently signed with Walkup Records. His first single for the label, “Gi Me Da Weed” received high praise and radio play on over 50 stations across the U.S. and Europe. Walkup released Bigga’s third album, Sak Pasé, online in 2009. “London Massive,” one of the tracks on the album, was featured along with Binghi Mon’s “King of Glory” in the series finale of NBC’s The Philanthropist. Sak Pasé was released on CD from Walkup Records February 9, 2010.