- Who is Reginald Cange?

Who is Reginald Cange?

Haitians are all over the web. Finding information such as biography of any Haitian, is a hard task. Reginald Cange or Reginald Cangé is a Haitian singer. A very fine one if I may add. If you do a search on his name, you will not find much information about him.

What follows is my recollection of an interview that Reginald Cange, the lead singer of the Haitian music group ZAFEM gave in 2006 just before the annual Haitian Music Awards. This interview pretty much summed up his life up until that year.

Who is Reginald Cange?

Reginald Cange was born in Port-au-Prince on January 18, 1978. He was raised in Carrefour, a southern suburbs of Port-au-Prince. Due to insecurity and transportation issues, Reginald always avoided Downtown.

His father’s name is Michel Cange and his mother is Adeline Délima Cangé. Reginald is the youngest of a trio of three brothers on the side of his two parents. His father, who was a hot rabbit, had at least three other children.

Haitian Musical Career

Reggie’s musical career started when he was still a kid in primary school. Right about the early 1990s when the Haitian people lived the bubbliness of the election to the presidency of the priest of the poor, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

At that time, the trend was militancy and he played drums in a Racine group called “ALOMANJAHYE” most of whose members were young academics charmed by the beautiful speeches of the candidate priest and the hope that projected their childhoods.

A few months after the election, the beloved priest was overthrown. After the coup d’état of September 1991, the group had to sneak away, it was a question of staying alive to be able to ascend again in the future.

Life in Haiti

Young people were dying like crazy in Haiti during that period. Despite his young age, his mother did not hesitate to let him go to this group of young people because they were all wise, non-smoking and non-alcoholic people. It is with this band that Reginald recorded for the first time in a studio at Toto Laraque.

ALOMANJAHYE absent from the music scene for an undefined time. Reginald dropped his drum to devote himself to his studies. At that time, a group of Carrefour musicians, mostly well known today, had formed the group FAXED. He thinks it was because of its geographical location, this group too did not last long.

Reginald’s invitation to join Zenglen.

One evening, after a recording session, while Reginald and some friends gathered around a table to talk about the rumors circulating in the Haitian musical world. It was a heated debate at that time.

The issue of Gracia Delva’s ban on entering the US was front and center. They were discussing the difficulties Zenglen had been facing after Gracia’s departure.

At the end of the discussion while Henry Jean-Louis was taking him home, Henry asked him if he was aware that the managers of Zenglen were looking for a new singer. Reggie quite confident at that time told him that if Zenglen were to recruit a singer living in Haiti, he was sure to be on their shortlist.

He made this statement without a second thought with the unwavering faith that always animates him. Reginald did not even know that Henry Jean-Louis had already been approached by the members of Zenglen.

Shortly after, Reginald was treated to an extraordinary ovation from the public during a very popular performance at the “Tempo Plus” club in Pétion Ville.

At this party, the manager of Zenglen Georges Bellande at the time was there. Reggie was not aware of the manager’s existence at the event. The faultless performance he gave that night played in his favor. He quickly contacted Henry Jean-Louis who did not have any difficulties with this new opportunity that was offered to him.

Zenglen negotiations began

Maestro Jean-Richard Hérard(Richie) met Reginald several times to inquire about his price to join the famous Haitian music group Zenglen. Reginald replied that true talents are not fruits or products waiting for a buyer.

If Zenglen really wanted his services, they had to understand that his integration within them implied his departure from the country with all that it involves in terms of expenses and abandonment of his family, especially of his mother who was to a certain extent depended on him.

Reginald made the choice not to negotiate an amount and did not want anything to keep his freedom. Reginald will remain a bird who wants to fly at the whim of his heart and live in the nest that suits him. This of course meant that he did not want to be tied to a contract.

A few weeks later, Reginald left for Florida. They went to Georges Bellande to pray and eat together. Reginald left with a tape of the group that he auditioned in his new apartment rented for him by Zenglen.

- Who is Reginald Cange?

The next evening, during his first performance with the band, Reginald amazed the audience with a sublime interpretation of the hit “5 sens + 1”.
A few weeks later, they told him that they wanted to add a second singer next to him.

It was a question for the group not to be dependent on a single singer, as it was the case of the time with Gracia Delva. Reginald understood their motivation and agreed on the principle.

They kind of had already discussed it before his departure from Haiti and their choice was then on Frérot. Because of the difficulties faced by Frérot in obtaining his immigrant visa for the USA, they were thinking instead of another singer already in the States.

Reginald suggested they wait a few more days because he knew that a tag team of Frero/Reginald would explode in the industry. Indeed, Frérot joined Zenglen a few days later and immediately made a positive impact on the group. Reginald did not pretend that he was better than anyone else, but his performances spoke volumes.

Conflict between Reggie and Zenglen

This is a subject Reginald does not like to talk about. But, Reginald was frank on his answers to the rumors. The press, quite often, decorates conflicts. It could be denied. Zenglen is a great institution, but people are not perfect.

There had to be some issues especially when you have people with different views in an organization. It was therefore quite normal that some disputes took place a few times within us. As a proud son of Carrefour, a zone of revolutionaries, Reginald does not allow anyone to play with his respect and his personality.

Forget about the rumors Reggi replied, the best thing for Zenglen at that time was to keep singing and keep the Zenglen movement going.

On the question of his satisfaction in Zenglen, Reginald did not say if he was pleased or displeased when it comes to his position in the group.

Reginald’s private life.

He simply stated: “Well … Reginald se yon moun maryé wi li yé!” We married the music, our fans and a woman. God paved the way for him to come to the United States. The singer chose not to live with his close relatives to face life as difficult as it may be.

Mr Cange is the friend of those who respect themselves and respect him. He do not seek the good grace of each other by the thickness of their wallet. Reginald is the man of everyone in a certain dimension.

On Haitian musicians and wealth

To answer this question in the affirmative would be to walk in the footsteps of some musicians that are lying to their fans who are entitled to the truth. Haitian music allows those who practice it truly to meet their basic needs.

In fact, music only provides friends, knowledge and the joy of crossing borders. A Haitian musician who claims to own a villa (mansion) and own millions thanks to the fruits of his music does a lot of harm to himself and his fans because they are just lies.

On the best memory of his career

The best thing that has happened to him does not go back to the past. It is a happiness present in his life. It is to be able to live again thanks to the music, to be able to still sing Kompa which Reginald adores with all his heart, to have a set even of limited fans who support him always.

On regrettable memories

Unfortunately, yes there was one regrettable memory. It happened at the very beginning of his integration into Zenglen. Neither Frero nor he liked the way the group was running. Unlike Frérot, Reginald does not hide his bad mood when his interests are at stake and Reginald defends the beak and nails.

We both temporarily left Florida. It was our choice. We did it just to show Zenglen our disagreement. On our return, there was a meeting and we were forced to face our accusers and defended ourselves from their false assertions.

The worst and regrettable thing was the fact that Reginald had to apologize to people who did not follow the right path and who were far from being role models for society.

However, Frérot and Reginald informed them that they were not happy and that they should expect their partings if the same situation presented itself again a second time.

In fact, music only provides friends, knowledge and the joy of crossing borders. A Haitian musician who claims to own a villa (mansion) and own millions thanks to the fruits of his music does a lot of harm to himself and his fans because they are just lies.

Reginald on Zenglen’s next album at the time

In the past, Zenglen’s inspiration came from a single source and this only brought good things to the group. Currently, the production of writings is open to all members of the group and we will have a wider range of topics and thoughts to propose to the public. Reginald thought that would be even better for everyone.

Favorite musical style?

Not really! Reginald likes all types of music. As long as it makes his soul vibrate, throb his heart and cuddles his eardrums. Reginald was raised near a peristyle and all the rhythms of our country, from yanvalou to petro, impregnated him.

On Kompa’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Despite the fact that many people dance the Kompa around the world, a long way is still to go and the delay in the internationalization of our rhythm does not lie in a question of rhythm or language. Our weakness is mainly due to the weakness in the promotion of our music around the world.

A word for your fellow musicians?

Open big doors to give new talents a chance! Nobody can steal the show or replace you. Help those in need, do not try to hoist those who are already at the top even higher. Be human! You have been given your chance, do the same for the young people who are called to take over!