United States President Donald Trump is enmeshed in yet another firestorm after allegedly referring to a number of countries as “shitholes” while discussing a bipartisan immigration deal in the Oval Office. Trump singled out El Salvador, portions of Africa, and, particularly, Haiti — for which the president allegedly remarked, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”
Over the weekend, the backlash from politicians, media professionals, and celebrities have been overwhelmingly harsh. The latest musician to join the conversation is Joseph Ray of NERO, who shared a number of personal experiences from the six months he spent living in Haiti. The Grammy award-winning producer and Oxford grad discussed the country’s rich culture and it’s connection to music:
“Spending time in Haiti and digging into the music has truly opened my mind. The poverty in Haiti is obviously widespread and profound, and probably what most people think of when they hear the country’s name, but by only focusing only on that, you end up leaving out most of the picture. I’ve traveled the world with Nero, but the place I’ve gone back to most is Haiti. Beautiful, alive, complicated, mystical, musical..it’s all of that. One thing it isn’t, is a “shithole.”
This month, Ray returns to Haiti to continue working on a musical collaboration with a Haitian band called Lakou Mizik. He plans to reveal the project sometime this year.
Featured photo: Billboard