We had the chance to chat with Brooklyn, NY-based Haitian-American DJ, producer, and Engineering Graduate KatchUp who just dropped his latest single titled “Vini,” via his label TuGetta (together). “Vini” sees KatchUp display the full spectrum of his abilities while presenting the genre he invented “Ayimove,” a blend of Kompa, Reggaeton, Soca, and Pop.
Hi KatchUp, how are you? How have you been handling this past year?
2020 was stressful and hard to manage due to COVID and having to be quarantined. The only thing that kept me sane during that time was producing and writing music, and preparing to stamp my name in 2021 as an upcoming Haitian-American artist. I can only hope 2021 is better, I hope to be able to perform my song in front of my fans and I can continue to push my music and help people better understand and fall in love with my movement.
We really enjoyed listening to “Vini,” we loved it. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind it?
I am really excited to hear you all enjoyed my song, appreciate it. Vini is a long time in the making (about 3 years) my plan was to create a new sound for my Haitians. Too many times I have gone to clubs, and DJs would play music from all other genres, from all different countries, but would rarely, if ever play Haitian music. I saw the impact Afrobeats had on all listeners including me and how much the genre grew over the years, that is what inspired me to create ‘Ayimove.’ I want the same movement for Haitian music. My trip to Haiti in 2019 was the extra push I needed to finally finish ‘Vini’, the people, my family, the vibe of the country, their food, and listening to songs that I do not normally hear in the U.S. was the extra push I needed to finish ‘Vini’.
Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
Yes, as I stated earlier visiting Haiti, being around family, the fun my country offers and hearing new music my country had developed helped me tap further into finishing the genre. My sister is also an important surrounding that helps shape me in a creative sense. My creole which is incorporated in my songs is not that great, therefore, getting my sister’s input and translation of words from English to creole helps with my creativity.
How would you describe your musical style, please tell us more about the genre you invented, ‘Ayimove.’
I would describe my musical style as a mixture of modern pop, a taste of the Caribbean, and inspiration from our African brothers and sister through Afrobeats. I am heavily inspired by the international recognition gained by AfroBeats in particular. ‘Ayimove’ is a combination of Kompa, Soca, and Pop. I also used a similar style that Afrobeats use, which is the mixture of English and their African language in their songs, but instead I use creole my Haitian language Creole incorporated with English for ‘Ayimove’. I want ‘Ayimove’ to become a movement that allows music created with this genre to become universal and globally played and to become a revolutionary transformation around the world.
What are three things you look for when you see an artist play live?
Their energy, the creativity during the performance such as lights, fog, (extra effects), engagement with fans, the involvement of the audience by allowing them to sing along with and without the artist.
Who is your superhero alter-ego and why?
Real interesting question, never really thought about a superhero alter-ego. Off the top of my head though I guess I can say Spiderman. I choose Spiderman because his main objective is to save the world, meanwhile finding the time to make it entertaining as well. I would say that creating my genre and bringing out my music is an effort to help my culture’s music play worldwide and in clubs, meanwhile having fun during the process is part of what makes it enjoyable.
What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
‘I Wanna Know’ by Joe
Tell us more about your upcoming projects for this year.
Just know that this is only the beginning, there is plenty more coming soon!