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Thursday
Apr172014

An update (and lookback) on POWER SURGE

POWER SURGE gives HIP an update

HIP editor Shadine Ménard one of Haiti’s most notable talents under 30…

 

Power Surge in Haiti in 2014 (fb, Serge Turnier)

The last time HIP spoke to Power Surge, it was 2009 and he’d been mostly thriving in the American music industry (AMI) as his career in the Haitian music industry (HMI) had just started taking off (You can read that interview below). Since then he’s moved back to Haiti and worked with big names like T-Vice, Mikaben and Flo Rida. After a successful stint as a producer at Baoli Records where he produced J Perry’s debut album and led him to perform like the Zumba anthem Boujé on international tours that included gracing the same stage as Victoria Justice and Sean Paul during the Zumba tour. Never one to stay stagnant, Power Surge – known to his friends and family as Serge Turnier – is already making new moves. Here is what he’s been up to, in his own words (as told to Shadine Ménard).

 

 

 

 

 

“My main focus now is Power Surge Music Group (PSMG). Ever since I started producing - in the AMI and even in the HMI - I was always working for other people and felt it was time to have my own. This is just a good time to have my own. There are certain things I wanted to do with Baoli Records and I wasn’t in the position to call those shots because I wasn’t an owner in the company.

 

PSMG roster: (from top to bottom): FRAP La with Power Surge; PSMG logo; VIAOTEK logo; Dj ValMix; Power Surge (all photos: fb, Serge Turnier)PSMG has FRAP La as a group and also signed to PSMG is ValMix; he’s the official DJ of PSMG. There’s TMD; he’s actually the singer of that song Kite M Ba Ou Love. He’s part of FRAP La, but also a producer. So he’s also the producer of the label cause we’re still producing for other people. (Our sound) is urban and still commercial. The first single that we dropped is like a fusion of Zouk, Compas and dancehall. And you have the hip hop flavor because of the rap in it. PSMG, the vision is like a Haitian Young Money. It’s this label that’s just doing everything young. We’re going to focus more on just making music for the younger generation.

The younger generation (in Haiti) is so Americanized now because they have access to that society. Before we didn’t have that internet boom that we have in Haiti now so everybody now can see what’s going on in the States. They can relate to it so they want to live like it. They want to get into that world so that’s why we’re so Americanized, I think. I might be wrong. The language, Creole, makes it Haitian. We’re going to add words (lyrics) in different languages: English, French… We’re actually going to add Portuguese in it cause we have a couple of people that are liking the record and listening to us in Brasil. So we’re going to try to reach as many people as we can, but we’re still going to keep it Haitian. We’ll never go away from that.”

 

What did take Power Surge’s focus and keep him away from Haiti for a while was attending Full Sail University. He tells us about the experience, its importance and what it’s taught him.

 

“Going to school made me a better producer because I was in that environment 24/7 and I paid a s*** load of money for it; I didn’t have a choice. (laughs) I was always focused on doing something. I always had a vision, I always had a plan. It just happened that when I was in school was the time for me to actually put it in motion. Honestly, it’s not going to school that’s going to make you a better producer or whatever. You have to have it in you, it has to be a sixth sense almost. When I went to school it was for the technical stuff. They showed me how to use the gear, how to (behave) in the studio, and the working environment. How to deal with the egos. How to keep your job basically. Those classes were for people that are more in the technical side of the industry cause I went to school for recording engineering. So they just taught us how to use the gear, how not to interfere with the recording process, how not to be the person that annoys the artist. You have to learn how to be a fly on the wall. Your job is to basically be a machine. You’re just the guy that pushes the buttons. That’s what really (being a) recording engineer is about.”

 

As for what’s next for PSMG’s CEO, he confided the following to our editor:

 

“I recently launched a social media marketing company (VIAOTEK) and what we do is help businesses in Haiti get exposure online, get profiles on all social media platforms. I decided to do that because I was doing it for myself as a producer. I thought that business would boom and when I decided to launch it, I was right. (HIP has learned that Barbancourt is one of VIAOTEK’s clients). I honestly don’t know where I’ll be in five years. I’ll be wherever life takes me.”

 

We’re sure that wherever that is, it will be a productive place.

 


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LOOKING BACK on POWER SURGE


The following interview was conducted by Shadine Ménard in January 2009 when the young producer was still heavily involved in the American music industry and riding high from the success of "I'm loving My Life", a track he partially produced for Haaitian artist Mikaben. Shortly after this interview, Power Surge became the host of a radio show on Radio Éclair in Haiti and appeared on the cover of Ticket Magazine. 

 

Serge Turnier was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and moved to Florida in April 2004 to pursue a higher education. Introduced to the keyboard at the age of four, the producer-slash-performer has been involved in music ever since. From Fat Joe to Barikad Crew, the talented young producer dubbed Power Surge has been making serious moves. Here, he takes a time out to talk to HIP about what those moves are. 

 

 

top: with J Perry and Drake in St Martin in 2012 and with Carlos Elie, Michael Brun and J Perry at the Sandy Ciao party at Presse Cafe in Haiti in 2012 ( both photos: Serge Turnier, fb); 2nd row: with Mikaben, Ti Lionel and Oli D at Parc Canne-a-Sucre in Haiti in 2011 and with Corneille at same location in 2011 (both photos: Homere Cardichon from Ticket Magazine, fb); bottom: with Fat Joe and DJ Khaled at DJ Khaled album release party in Miami in 2008 (both photos: Serge Turnier, fb).HIP: What exactly do you do as a producer? 

P.S.: “The producer’s job is to take a beat and find the right artist to be featured on the beat, write the perfect melodies for the artist’s vocals [in some cases, you get a songwriter] then you arrange the lyrics, vocals and delivery to express what was envisioned for the song and beat. I happen to also be a beat maker so I also make beats. 

HIP: Why is it beneficial for a producer to have a manager? 

P.S.: “The reason why I would need a manager is that there are a lot of things on the business side that I don’t really know and I don’t want to make mistakes while working. Also, for representation, getting with the right people, making sure I get paid. My manager is more than a manager to me. He treats me like his son pretty much, gives me good advice {not only in music}.” 

 

HIP: Your list of the greatest producers in the AMI, HMI or any other music market you choose. 
 

P.S.: “For me, Timbaland is one of the best, if not THE best. The way he works, what he does, the sounds he uses, how he’s always innovating, coming up with new stuff. And I would say Fabrice Rouzier is so talented as a producer.” 

 

HIP: Do you have your own stamp or do you completely let the artist take over your tracks? 

P.S.: “I use a lot of percussions, like congas, congo. As far as a signature sound…I don’t do it purposely, but people recognize my music when it plays cause I have that little jazzy vibe. It’s really freestyle music when you listen to it and you can pick it up easily.” 
 

HIP: On Vin Jwenn Mwen (song featuring 509), you actually get on the mic. Are we going to see more of this for you? Will you stick to producing or step into the limelight like Diddy (laughs)? 

P.S.: “In the future, I would definitely see myself as a producer/rapper/singer, kind of like Diddy, as you said. The reason why I do that is because sometimes I hear something in my head and I hear it a certain way and I can delivery it better than certain artists. So it’s like ‘why not’, but it’s not a question of fame, it’s just for fun. And in the future if I can make some money with that, why not? 


HIP: Who is your biggest influence when it comes to music? When it comes to life? 

P.S.: “In my music, my biggest influence is Ansyto Mercier. He’s produced almost all of Sweet Micky’s hits and Sweet Micky has a lot of hits. In life …GOD. But, right now, I’m grateful I have my manager.” 

 
HIP: Right now, which tracks are you truly feeling? 

P.S.  (Singing) “I can put you in the condo…” (Can’t Believe It, T-Pain, 2008) That’s hot man, chante sa a krezi. Heartless (Kanye West, 2008) is cool, it’s different. There’s the whole Ron Brows movement in the East Coast, it’s like off-beat, off-key. I’m not really deep into house, but I like 75, Brazil Street. I also produce house. As far as Haitian music, I’m feeling T-Vice’s KPK (2009) which I partly produced. 

HIP: Which songs always make you want to party? 

P.S.: Kè m pa sote (1990) and Koman nou ye (1992) from Boukman. That was my shit. Ballin’(Jim Jones)…it’s the movement (does a flick of the wrist like he’s throwing an invisible basketball- laughs). 

Gandhi Dorsonne nous explique « Kilè Li Ye » »

Reader Comments (1)

Love the article! They have a dope sound.
April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRicky Zea

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