LIFE IS GOOD !
Belgo-Haitian singer-songwriter Dyna has a unique power to transform into a earth-shattering, majestic creature on stage. Like most famous African-American divas, soul is second nature to her and a spontaneous groove allows her captivating personality to burst forth when she performs. Discovered at the age of 17 during the “Sources” tour by choreographer Nono Battesti when she sang and danced alongside Didier Laloy, Dyna has a strong stage presence, as well as a great ability to move an audience, much like Nina Simone, Ayo, and Tracy Chapman. Without question, the audience is dazzled as soon as she opens her mouth. Dyna performs her own songs in both English and French, accompanied by Benoit Minon on guitar and by Fabio Picchi on piano.
Interview with DYNA
What makes you sing?
Life in general. When we look around us, we realize there are hundreds of subjects we have something to say about. This can range from the rain, the weather, to our feelings. We can even speak about someone else's life. There are also times where it is easier to express ourselves by singing, rather than having a conversation.
Dance is still present in my life, but much less than before. I continue to dance in shows put on by my brother, dancer choreographer Nono Battesti, such as "DOUBLE". I sing and dance live alongside other really talented artists and I love it! We will be performing at the Avignon Festival in July 2016. As for my concerts, the audience quickly notices that I am also a dancer...
What triggered you to want to sing?
I do not remember exactly how the desire to sing came to me, but I have been singing since childhood. And having brothers and sisters and parents who are artists also plays a role...
You've had an international touring experience. How did that happen?
I was hired by MAYUMANA company and stayed with them for nine months and it was great.
In fact, it began when a friend who was already in the company told me about it. I learned they were in Madrid and asked my parents to go see them. So we went to see the show but my friend had completely forgotten that I had come to see the show that day. Fortunately, he caught a glimpse of me in the audience and, at the end of the show, took me to meet the company officials. The next day I had an audition where I was asked to sing and dance. They asked me to come back for a formal interview that took place a few weeks later. So I went back to Spain and I got the gig.
I really did not expect it. There were at least a hundred people trying out for it and in the end, they took me.
My first audition and I landed my first contract! I was 17.
You are very young and yet, you have already performed many concerts in Belgium and abroad
Well, I'm very lucky! Between my concerts and performing in my brother's shows, I've done 45 show dates per year for five years. I love touring and traveling, discovering the people and new landscapes. France, Haiti, Belgium, Spain and now Germany. I look forward to discovering more places!
I see being an artist as a long journey. As long as I am meeting new people, seeing new sights, and have a place to sleep and eat in the evening, I am happy! I'm not eager to reach the end of the trip...
You were born in Haiti. You grew up in Belgium.
What does it mean to you as a young woman, to have left your culture behind?
I was adopted at the age of one and a half along with my brother Nono, who was four, so I have no memory of my childhood there. We are in touch with our Haitian family regularly though through our adopted older brother Benjamin Struelens who is a photographer. Actually, he speaks fluent Creole and is married a young Haitian woman named Gina. And of course, they go back to the country often. In fact, people say he is the most Haitian person of the whole family! I had the opportunity to return to Haiti a number of years ago, accompanied by my Belgian family. My brother Nono and I had the opportunity to meet our biological parents and it was a beautiful moment for us both. We have gone back since then and performed a tour there in 2012 where we did "Sources" and "Dyna B".
What are your musical influences and who are your favourite artists?
I do not have a specific musical style preference. I listen to everything, from classical, jazz, hip hop, reggae, rap, soul all the way down to rock.
As for my favorite artists, I can mention several favourites: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and many others...
You sing in French and English. Why?
I do not pay special attention to the language in which I sing and compose. Like I said before, I choose songs based on what I'm feeling. If a song in Spanish or Hebrew touches me, I might very well decide to sing it. As for writing, I do not think too much, but am more guided by my spirit and imagination. Therefore, when it comes to singing, I change languages easily, just like children who have parents who speak different native languages.
Where is your dream home?
Since I was little, I've dreamt of living in an English-speaking country. Until now, I've had the opportunity to go to England and the United States, and my choice would probably be America, Los Angeles in particular.
I was fortunate enough to spend four weeks there for a dance workshop and I loved it immediately. The people there are lovely, warm, and welcoming. I met incredible people. I think so far it's the best summer I've ever had!
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