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The best kept secret in music



(Last call for Haitian music reviews, so drink up. How bout some Tonix? Say
what? Tonix (Tonix Productions) is the self-titled album by NYC-based
reggae/dancehall trio; that band members are of Haitian origin is merely of
passing interest because this is pure dancehall. So why mention them here?
Well, the cover art is catchy: soda cans marked Tonix brand lying in a pile
of ice on a sandy beach. Or maybe it's that, being outsiders, they might not
get mentioned as a JA dancehall act. One thing for sure: after a decade of
Haitian dancehall acts trying to sound Jamaican, some folks are starting to
get it right and these guys seem to be pulling it off with their own flavor
and style. (Brian Dring, The Beat, The other Caribbean)
Used with permission.


The self-titled debut EP by up-and-coming dancehall sensation Tonix is filled with upbeat Jamaican-style riddims. My favorite track is Hooked On Tonix. You've gotta love this one! Solid production and a catchy chorus section make this one a winner. Other standout tracks include Warnin' and
Shockin'. If this EP is any indication of what's to come, this group is going places. Get Hooked on Tonix! - CARIBPLANET


One-On-One with Wonder & Tonix
by WebMaster-Will
April 2003

How did you get the name Tonix?

(Wonder) One night in the studio I was drinking a root tonic and Burgla asked me if it was doing the job and General said to Burgla jokingly that I was hooked on tonics and we all started to laugh and since we didnt have a name for the group yet we decided on tonics except instead of t.o.n.i.c.s we spelled it Tonix. Later we also decided to write a song for the album called hooked on tonics ,kind of like our anthem.

Your self-titled EP has lots of great music. When can we expect a full-length CD?

Thanks for the compliment. Were still promoting this album as well as writing and doing pre production on new materials, so be on the look out for a full length cd soon.

This one's for Wonder. What's your role in the band, vocalist, songwriter, etc?

I wear many hats, on the creative side it's mainly vocals, songwriter and co-producer.On the business side I'm the go to guy.

What recording artists have influenced your style the most?

The foundation artists as we like to call them: U-Roy, Briggy, General Trees, Shine Head, Tenor Saw, Shaba, Super Cat, D. Brown, Charlie Chaplin, Sister Carol, Sister Nancy, too many to name. Also, some of the new cats like Capleton and Bounty. Finally, we can never forget Bob Marley and the Wailers.

What is the most memorable moment of your career?

The making of the Tonix album.

Are there any embarrassing moments you'd rather forget about?

None yet.

I understand that you are all Haitian-born but now live in the U. S. How long have you lived in the States?

(Wonder) I came to the states I was 10 years old. (General) in the 1980's. (Burgla) I was born in the states.

I find it interesting that a group of Haitians-Americans perform Jamaican-style dancehall-reggae. When I think of Haitian musicians, I immediately think of genres such as compas or zouk. Maybe that's just a stereotype, but you seem to have broken the mold. How did you come to perform dancehall? Is it simply that you love the music, or is there a story here?

We definitely love us some kompa it is the music of our heritage and yes we support Haitian music. The pulsating riddims of dancehall just spoke to us and the sense of it being rebel music is what attracted us to it. Few years back we had a small sound system in the South Bronx called Unity Hi Power and it was from that we got our schooling in the art of dancehall.

Wonder, in addition to your work with Tonix, you also have a solo CD. Tell us a little about it.

A labor of love. It was my first solo album and the birth of Cold River Records my indie label. Also, I record my solo stuff under my birth name Ralph Chevry. When no one wanted to give me a chance I basically stepped up to bat. General like the trooper that he is came through and co-wrote and produced the entire album.

The ladies will want to know, are you guys single/married, in committed relationships or available?

(Wonder) in a relationship.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers?

Thanks for your continued support and we will continue to make good music. Also, a special thanks to Caribplanet for bringing the caribbean massive together and for looking out for Wonder & Tonix.One love and see you soon.

Thanks for taking time to give this interview. It's been great getting to know Wonder & Tonix. Much success and Jah blessings. - CARIBPLANET


TONIX, 2003 EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


“ Haitians will rally, No we na dilly-dally
Together we will pull, help Haiti rise
So all of us too can rise
No need to come around shooting your weapons
It’s time for reconciliation
That’s what the ancestors would have wanted
One love, One heart, One Unity”
-From the song “Ayiti Cheri” (translation: Haiti, My Love)

Born in suburban Port-au-Prince, (Haiti) songwriter Ralph Chevry, now a resident of New York City, embraces his heritage the most unique way an electronic music fan could, through dancehall infused electronic songs and remixes focusing attention on the tumultuous upheaval that Haitians have endured throughout their history.

Since 2000, Chevry has released an album, an EP and four singles, each of which showcases his unique juxtaposition of upbeat; dancehall rhythms with stimulating politically laced lyrics. Musically, Chevry has stepped away from the typical musical export of Haiti, Kompa, which The Beat magazine took note of saying in a recent review: after a decade of Haitian dancehall acts trying to sound Jamaican, some folks are starting to get it right and these guys seem to be pulling it off with their own flavor and style. While Ralph is always a driven musician and spokesman, he found a musical kinship with DJ/Producer Will Taylor while working on his new album, which allowed him to partially hand over the reigns of the production and delve further into his soul for the sentiment behind the new album. He makes the beats, sets up the instruments and lays down the drum tracks while I arrange and do the vocals, explains Chevry.

While Ralph’s music is upbeat and the many remixes of his singles find themselves safely at home on dance floors across the U.S., his lyrics are those of his political passion and are sung in both the English and Kreyol languages. Kreyol is the native tongue of Haiti and a cousin to the more familiar Louisiana Creole. By using Kreyol and English in his music, Chevry is making an important distinction between his new brand of Haitian music and what has come before as well as expressing support for his ancestral brothers and sisters by singing in the indigenous language, which he takes quite seriously. Ask Chevry about his take on the crisis that faces the people of Haiti and you will get a condensed, albeit fervent, lesson in the countries political landscape and what life holds for many of the nations Black African majority. He details the class struggle, the corruption that runs rampant throughout the government and military and the interference from foreign interests as all playing a part in the sad state most Haitian families find themselves today. While Ralph had written some of the music to the new album in 2005, he was stymied by the lyrical content. I couldnt write anything to it so I just moved on to creating other tracks. January 2006 things changed. Watching BBC news and being aware of the ouster of Haitis former president, I knew that an election was coming. Election time in Haiti means, chaos, death and controversy. I was just taking in all this info passively. But, something sparked in me that made me want to write something about and for Haiti, I never did that before. Everything projected about Haiti was negative so I wanted to do something about that. Its that fervor peppered with his love for his homeland that thematically ties his forthcoming record together and showcases Ralph’s overriding concern for birthplace. My music is a movement. I want my music to entertain & educate, to help change the perception of Haitians about Haitians and the rest of the Caribbean and International communities. Haiti has a noble and heroic, but painful, past. My music is the therapy needed.

Moving forward, Chevry’s new single Ayiti Cheri, Kreyol for Haiti, My Love has been released to record pools and dance clubs throughout North American and will be followed by another single soon as the build up to his new album begins. Targeted specifically to the Haitian and Caribbean communities, Ayiti Cheri is part call to arms and part love song for Haiti which perfectly summarizes Ralph’s unique approach to focusing attention on Haiti and their shaky future.