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|Years active||1980–2011 |
|Past members||See Past members below|
System Band is a kompa band formed in 1980 by former members of Les Frères Dejean. The band broke up in 2011, after some twenty albums. In 2014, the group leader Isnard Douby announced their come back as System Band #1. In June 2015, they released their album "Nou pa pè". The band consists of Isnard Douby (lead singer), Darbens Chery (singer), Reginald Benjamin (lead guitar), Martial Bigaud (Congas), Ernst Vincent "Tines" (bass guitar), Jean-Maurice Mathurin (drums), David Salvatore Rizza (percussion), Rody Apollon (Keyboard).
Debuts and career
System Band was formed in 1980, by Isnard Douby and Harold Joseph, former members of "Les frères Dejean". They surrounded themselves with musicians who became the core of the band. Since its creation, the band has become a major player of the Kompa music industry. Led by Isnard Douby, System Band has released a great number of hits, which has come to be classics of the Haitian and Caribbean musical repertoire.
"Complainte" was the first hit of System Band, written by Isnard Douby and Harold Joseph, the song was from the album "Bam Passé" in 1980. In 1982, they released the love song "Chagrin d'amour", by the same duet Douby-Harold. This year was also the beginning of the collaboration with Marc Chevalier, the band manager.
In 1983, the song "Vacances" made a splash and became a summer holiday hit, today synonymous of fun and amusement. "Pa Pile" from the same album and written by Isnard douby was the song in which System Band introduced for the first time the groove sound "Kitel maché" in the Kompa Music industry.
In 1988, System Band met the talented songwriter Michel-Ange Bazile, that meeting has impacted significantly the group's evolution. His music brought the band to the next level, with much more powerful songs, and lyrics profoundly influenced by the events affecting the Haitian population, as the song "Move Souvni" in 1989, inspired par the death of Jean Baptiste Edouard, the keyboard player of the band. The tune "Fierté nationale" in 1991 is an other example of this musical evolution, as it was composed in the context of the Haitian general election, first democratic electoral process in the country. System Band's music became more personal and increasingly marked by the Haitian roots, a change highly acclaimed by the fans.
System Band has authored a large number of Kompa music hits, several band's members are the source of those tunes. Reginald Benjamin, the groove touch of System Band, composed many songs, like "Anita" in 1986, famous for this memorable guitar groove. Two years later, "Ou pa kampe sou ayin" by the same musician, introduce a new Kompa style. In 1992, the romantic music title " Rencontre inoubliable" and "Moun mélé" in 1993 are also songs written by the lead guitarist.
The guitarist Ronald Smith, has also written many System Band hits like "Bam pasé", "Innocent" in 1986, "Dom Laj" in 1993 or "Ou fe'm rele". An other who has to be mentioned, is Michel Blaise, a very versatile musician who could sing, and play drums as well as percussion or congas. He's also the songwriter of plenty of hits like "Beeper" from the album "Koté ou yé la-a", from which is also extracted the famous title "AVEG" written by Michel-Ange Bazile. Michel Blaise wrote the tunes Viagra and Baton Moise respectively released in 1999 and 2001.
It is quite impossible to not mention System Band without a mention of Fritz Bernard Frédéric aka Ti Mitou, legendary singer and musician. He joined the band in 1981, et got involved in every albums of the group not only as a percussionist but also as a singer, from the 1983, year of the tune "Systemania" in which Ti Mitou sang the melody. He was the voice of a few hits of System Band including "La Vie" "Ou Sou Bloff", "Toujou Zanmi", composed by Lucien Céran, or the hit "Rele Sou ko ou" composed by Ernst Vincent. in 2001, he had to stop perform with the band for medical reasons. He died in February 2007, an important loss for the band and for the fans.
As a Kompa music and Haitian scene major figure, System Band does not hesitate when it comes to depict Haitian society or be present during events highlighting life in Haiti. For example, the song "Ou Trompe'm" in 1987 which became iconic in electoral context. The title was so widely used in the country that it ended up being the symbol of Haitian people left in disappointment. In the same vein, the band also showed its support to Haitian when the country suffered from the ravages of Jeanne hurricane in 2004. It was the same in 2010, System Band was there during the tragic earthquake in Haiti, which inspired the "Goudou goudou" song.
On another note, other songs such as "Loulou" in 1988, composed by the bassist Ernst Vincent and Isnard Douby, brought a brand new word in the Haitian Creole vocabulary. Loulou is now commonly accepted as a term describing a man left by his wife who has been seduced by another man. The tune "Cesar" by Michel-Ange Bazile in 1990, is a different example of System Band's impact. That song introduced the word "cesar" as a synonym for money.
Split and reunion
In 2011, System Band released an album entitled “Se Nou’k Kon’n Fè’l”, including 12 upbeat tunes. This album is also Nido Noel and Jame Douze's first steps as System Band singers. The band's come back has been announced in 2014 by Isnard Douby, after a few years separation for administrative reasons. They performed for the first time as reunited with Tabou Combo in New York, and continue with a Miami bal in June 2014. They signed their official come back in March 2015, with the name of System Band #1 and the debut album "Nou pa pè" recorded in the Final Mix Studio, produced by Ernst Vincent, Jocel Almeus, Darbens Chery, Saubner Thomad, Michel-Ange Bazile, Emmanuel Tuffet, Marc Lubin, Ronald Smith, Mario Michel, Dély François et Reginald Benjamin. · 
Music and identity
Ambassador for Haitian culture
System Band is a core group of the Haitian musical landscape, and equally a true ambassador of this music on the international scene. They performed in Paris in 1998 and 1999, but also at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The DeWitt Clinton Park and the Boys and Girls High School in New York.
The group shared the stage with some caribbean and international music industry's great names such as Kassav' at the Ritz Theatre in 1992, or Mighty Sparrow and Queen Latifah, in front of a multiethnic audience of 100 000 people. At different times and diverse setting, they also performed some different music style like soul music, Jazz, R&B or Latin music. System Band have equally released a couple of Soca tunes, a music style from Trinidad and Tobago.
Style and particularities
The System Band style is a modernization of the original Kompa of Nemours Jean Baptiste}. This style is very distinctive and consists in the creation of a guitar groovy sound mixed with chorus sound. System Band's songs are mainly catchy and influenced by the Haitian Rasin music (Mizik Rasin or roots music, rasin means roots in Haitian Creole), and Funk Music. These melodies are accompanied by a percussions hard beat. This style, typical from the System Band, has been named " Kompa Machiavel", by the group.
Beyond the musical content, the band is famous for the slogans created by the group members. Those slogans, become signatures of System Band, are actually some phrases that are either arrogant and cheeky or melancholic, sad and caring.
The band's bassist Ernst Vincent "Tines" has played a major role regarding Kompa music transformation. He's the one who introduced bass lines, slapping and bass triplets, these modernizations had an important impact on Kompa and Haitian music.
System Band is one the Haitian band that brought the most modernization and innovation to Kompa Music industry. They received many nominations (including the Caribbean Music Award for the song "Se ou'm vle") and awards, including the Appollo Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts, for what their support and their contribution to the promotion of Haitian music. They have been also rewarded with the Best Band Haitian Music Award in 1997.
As of 2016, members of the reformed band "System Band #1" are
- Isnard Douby (Leader and Lead vocals)
- Darbens Chery (vocals)
- Réginald Benjamin (Lead Guitar)
- Ernst Vincent "Tinès" (bass guitar)
- Jean-Maurice Mathurin (drums)
- Martial Bigaud (congas)
- David Rizza Salvatore (percussions)
- Rody Apollon (keyboard)
- Frantz Bellevue (guitar)
- Frantz Carries (trombone)
- Harold Joseph (vocals)
- James Douze (vocals)
- Lesly Douby (vocals)
- Alvarez Perez (vocals)
- Sabrina Koljohnson (vocals)
- Fritz Frederic (vocals and percussion)
- Jean Joel (vocals)
- Dely Francois (vocals)
- Nido Noel (vocals)
- Paulette Celestin (vocals)
- Gerald Balan (guitar)
- Ali Dieudonne (guitar)
- Claude Cajuste (guitar)
- Rene Jn Pierre (guitar)
- Ronald Smith (guitar)
- Jn Baptiste Edouard (keyboard)
- Kenny Legagneur (keyboard)
- Frantz Adeclat (keyboard)
- Richard Masse (keyboard)
- Wins Delmas (keyboard)
- Roody Delpe (keyboard)
- Jordanny Petitfrere (keyboard)
- Rigor Antenor (bass guitar)
- Garry Legagneur (bass guitar)
- Michel Delva (bass guitar)
- Michel Blaise (drums, percussion and vocals)
- Shedly Abraham (drums)
- Roger Laurent "Marechal Tito" (drums)
- Jean Vansky (brass)
- Phil Stockle (brass)
- Chris McIntyre (brass)
- Syd David Judah (brass)
- Paul Henegen (brass)
- Tom Mitchell (brass)
- Luckner Mede (brass)
- Gerard Andre (brass)
- Tony Borero (brass)
- Guito Gonzalez (brass)
- Albert Leusink (brass)
- Sam Hoyt (brass)
- Jonathan Powel (brass)
- John Walsh (brass)
- Jason Colby (brass)
- Larry Galispy (brass)
- Yvon Celestin (brass)
- Jean Carnes Duversaint (brass)
- Lucien Ceran (saxophone)
- Fritz Bonheur (sound engineer)
- Fritz Pierre Louis (sound engineer)
- Carl Rosenthal (percussion)
- 1980 : Album Bam passe, LP
- 1981 : Album Gladia, LP
- 1982 : Album Ou Lague Ko ou, LP
- 1983 : Album Title: Vacance, LP
- 1984 : Album Jacqout, LP
- 1986 : Album Anita, LP
- 1987 : Album Ou trompem, LP
- 1988 : Album Systemania, LP
- 1989 : Album Ti Anita, LP
- 1991 : Album Fierte Nationale, LP
- 1992 : Album Cesar, LP
- 1993 : Album Moun Mele, CD
- 1994 : Album Live Lot Dimensyon, CD
- 1995 : Album Kotem ye La, CD
- 1996 : Album Live, Feeling Bal, CD
- 1997 : Album Live Vol. 1, CD
- 1997 : Album Jan'l Passe 'l Passe, CD
- 1998 : CD Live, Kraze Beton
- 1999 : Live Assowsi, CD
- 1999 : Album Viagra, CD
- 2000 : Album Live, CD
- 2000 : Album Live Manman Pemba, CD
- 2000 : CD Live, Viagra
- 2001 : Album Baton Moïse, CD
- 2001 : CD Live, Baton Moïse
- 2004 : Album Cumberla'n, CD
- 2006 : CD Live, 2006
- 2007 : Album Nan Building Nan, CD
- 2008 : Album Best Live Ever, Chay Fanmi, CD,
- 2009 : Album Dadalacious, CD
- 2010 : Album Live a Paris, -09 /2010, CD
- 2011 : Album Se Nou 'K Kon'n Fel. CD
- 2015 : Album Nou Pa Pe, System Band #1
- 2015 : CD Live The Best Of # 1
- 2015 : CD Live The Best Of # 2
- 2015 : CD Live-Heavy Weight Forever