Songwriter's Corner: Jean Winer Pascal | Part 2


We're back with Part 2 of our interview with Jean Winer Pascal. Here, he breaks down song concepts and individual lines from some of his work for Beethova Obas, BélO and Emeline Michel.

Songs with Beethova:

Jwèt Mab - Beethova Obas

On this song, you compare love to a game of marbles, what sparked that idea?

When I was about fourteen, I loved to play marbles and I was good at it. I remember playing against a couple guys that were way older than me. I took one of the player out and as I reached down in the big circle (wonn) to collect my marbles, he kicked me in my stomach (kout pyé nan vant) and knocked me up side my head with his knuckles (Zoklo) and then he took his marbles back from the circle (wonn) (li fè koken) (li bay rémò).

I can tell you that it hurt badly, the sad part of it was that I could not afford letting my mother know about it in order to avoid more complication, like not letting me go out again and play. That scene stayed with me for a long while until the story of the song presented itself and there are similar terms in the game of marble that can be used to describe what was happening in the said story.

Can you explain this line: "Lékad dépi opa, boul pik kè-m toujou mò "?

Like most of your songs, this song is very melancholic. Why is that?

Remember that the love story that is being expressed in "Jwèt mab" is not my personal story. I used my past experience from playing the game of marbles and kind of sketched a new picture on the canvas. It is not that I am always melancholic, but I know that everyone has a moment where you feel that way. This world of ours is a painful world. It is a falling world. The fall is so smoothly organized that we do not even feel that we are falling and it just feels normal, even though it is far from being the way it should have been.

Pain helps you create, that feeling must be used as fuel, but, not as something that can bring you down. You are going to fall sooner or later, but, the most important thing is to have what you would call resiliency, a way for you to come right back up. You just cannot dwell in a falling state, otherwise your life would not have any purpose.

I laugh and I live, I leave behind the things that can bring me down and keep on going forward. A laugh is the best medication. You have to find a way to become your own doctor and manufacture your very own cure and live beyond the diseases of this falling world.

Koka Bò Kou - Beethova Obas

Can you explain these lines: "Gadé mak pyé-n bò simityè / M-konté la linn ak la pli"

Gadé mak pyé-n bò simityè
tandè bri pa-n koté-n konn fè
Sant kò-w rét sou kò-m, jou lanmou
mak bo, mak bouch, koka bò kou.

Sometimes, things can get so much out of line that you cross a point of no return. It is as if death is swallowing everything around you. But you have to let the bad moment run its course and wait for the sun to come up again. Be patient and you shall see a better day. Find a way to rely on the good memories in order not to fall into despair. That is why the two sentences after the first two sentences are very important.

"Sant kò-w rét sou kò-m, jou lanmou
mak bo, mak bouch, koka bò kou."

If it is what it is now:

"Gadé mak pyé-n bò simityè
tandé bri pa-n koté-n konn fè"

But remember what we had.

Life is stronger than death, because death is just a transitional moment. Your life story has to go beyond your death. You only die if you had never lived. I am talking about intentional living. Not living "vay ké vay" whatever happens. There is a finality at the end of these things, whether you want to believe it or not.

In reality, we are not here to die. But there is a force in this world that is setting an invisible net for people to fall and die for a long while. Dying is not my goal, living is my journey. Open your EYE and see for yourself, if you are searching, surely you shall find and life is available to every single one of us. Maybe, I left the context of the aforementioned text to take the discussion to another level, but, really, it is just a single language that speaks of different subjects and all is somehow truly connected.

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