Roserbie Theoc, the haitian music has a new voice
She is young, intelligent and has a long presence in the musical world. Her voice is currently the most popular in Haitian music, multiplying collaborations with Haitians artists while attempting a breakthrough in American music, her first love. But she remains a pearl to discover. Her immense talent has opened the doors of the studios of the best Haitian producers, but at almost thirty years old, her solo career still has not started. Discover a generous woman, a beautiful mind and with a thirst of success through this interview with Nationsoleil. I published in English in its original version.
Who is Roserbie Theoc?
Roserbie Theoc A.K.A Zerbie I was born on Feb 3, 1982 in sunny Miami Florida. I originally started singing popular music from the American genres, aspiring to be an American Pop star. I’ve always been involved in music. In school i sang as well as played the trumpet. I received a 4 year scholarship to attend St. Thomas University where i sang in a 13 piece ensemble. It was while I was in middle school I started my business as studio vocalist in HMI singing for many local bands and solo artist.
The first time I've heard you it was on the album Zenglen’s 5 Etwal in 2004, was this your first experience in the Haitian music?
Oh no, I’ve been in the HMI far longer than that i just didn’t get credit for my work, i’ve done work unknown artist struggling to make it in the HMI or often times my name was always misspelled. You may see Rosabee ,Rozabie all kinds of names other then my real name. Like I said some didn’t bother to put it either . My very first recordings were on Nicks solo project, I use to do jingles with him as well for radio station: Touche dous, Tropical etc Asad Franker (I don’t know if that the correct spelling)
You have collaborated as lead vocalist and back up singer on so many projects including artists and groups such Nickenson Prudhomme Zenglen, Richie, Kapi, Jean-Michel Daudier, in your opinion, what attracts them to you?
When I met Nick he was a kid like me very passionate about music, and just amazingly talented I have his past creations and when i play them i can hear the love for music so strong in his work. Kapi man everyone who talks to me about Kapi always say he’s one of my biggest fans, and I love Kapi he just such a great spirit, he always, always allowed and trust my creative ideas. He always encourages me. Jean another kind hearted person who very talented and soft spoken, always respectable, and historian i’ve recently learned!
How did you meet these artists?
Nickenson Prudhomme is the only one I’ve met before i started in the HMI. Nick is the one who’s introduced me to everyone. I met him playing for Dione Lamonte (I think that’s how its spelled) i was about 14-15 years old he was maybe 17-18. From that encounter we’ve been inseparable in the studio always creating (me i was always learning) he introduced me to his band Zenglen, from there it was all word of mouth. Many of them knew of me before we met. I must say it feels good to here, I’ve heard so much about you and I love your voice!. Gazzman a humble guy said that to me the first day i met him 2 years ago i sang for the band but i never met him in person.
Being a regular backup singer on a regular basis in Haitian music is a rarity, we know a single person who have participated in many projects as you, Jacqueline Denis. Do you know her?
I’m afraid I don’t know of her and the only reason I do know of her name i believe you wrote an article about her. I”m blessed to have so many clients that I do vocals for i this industry. I love what I do and GOD has blessed me to be good at what I do. From the time I’ve started I know the reason why I still receive business from past and new artist is because I always give my best. It’s always been word of mouth for me; I’ve never had to put an ad out for my services. For that I am blessed. But i definitely need to look her up.
In your experience, do you think that your quality of patented chorus, it opens doors for you or confine you in a role which it is difficult to escape?
I wouldn’t say that I’m confined, the world of HMI is male dominated, and the whole culture really is male dominated. The majority of listeners listen to konmpa again male dominated, for a woman to step out into HMI she must be either calculating, or she must sing just for the love of it. I say I am not confined because I chose not to come out as a lead singer.
My work has blessed me with jobs of doing studio work. I don’t consider myself as a background singer, I am hired to do background vocals, and sometimes lead in the studio. My clients are in bands that i’m not a part of. I’ve been asked many times to join some of my clients band, but I’ve always chose not to.
Tell us about your projects?
Right now I’m working on my album, at first I was going to do two separate albums each catering to both markets. But I’ve decided to merge them. Doesn’t mean there will be more music, but I will choose my best. My style isn’t konmpa (hope I spelled that right) it’s a very masculine genre. I will be doing the softer side of that which we call konmpa love mixed with pop.
Lol Zerbie Nation! Lol Zerbie Nation is my world, a movement my fans can be a part of. I always said that when I am famous and singing for millions, the one thing that I would hate to lose is the ability of knowing my fans personaly. I sing online in a virtual world called Second Life as Zerbie Magic. I‘ve been singing my shows online for almost 4years. I have fans all over the world; i’ve even flown to Canada to meet some of them personally. I know them by their name I know what songs they want to hear. And they know me. Zerbie Nation is a movement to keep my fans in the loop of what’s going on with me, so that they are always connected.
What you have proposed recently is more turned to the U.S. market, have you had any suggestions from producers about that?
Hmm the producers, I wouldn’t say that the producers tell me much about where I want to be, more because it is my choice. Dener Ceide, Milot Eliassaint , JBeatz, and Hilaire Charles are producers I can honestly say that have been more involved in my work in the both markets, Elie Lapointe another friend of mine who’s also a great encouragement and they all advise me to go towards the American market. One of the best advice I’ve gotten is from Dener who I always talk to when I’m in need of encouragement or guidance He told me no matter what market I am in , make sure my best is always show cased. He’s always tough on me he says, it’s because he believes in me so I take it as a compliment.
Interview conducted by Vallès Latry