History-making music diva comes to town

A queen of a popular form of Haitian music never before showcased in Britain is coming to London for a special gig this Saturday.

Phyllisia Ross, an internationally acclaimed konpa singer, will perform at the Forge venue in Camden Town for a historic one-off event.

Her first hit single Konsa was released in 2014 and has been followed up since with six more konpa chart-toppers.

Paula Maurency, one of the Konpa London organisers, said: "It's quite a coup for us to have been able to get Phyllisia to come to Britain to perform. We hope this will be the beginning of new era of the exciting music becoming as popular here as it is in other parts of the world "

Child prodigy Ross, who has a US biology degree, started playing piano and singing at the age of three.

Known for her mesmerising vocals, she has sung worldwide in English, French, and Haitian kreyol.

Among the other stars she has worked with are Jamaican reggae singer Jah Cure, US artists R&B's Ne-Yo, and rapper The Game.

Konpa first emerged as a musical genre on the Caribbean Island of Haiti almost 70 years ago. It is a modern méringue music accompanied by a two- step ballroom dance normally performed in pairs. Konpa was first sung in 1955 by Nemours Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian saxophonist, writer, and band leader.

Tours by konpa bands have popularised the style particularly in the French-speaking Caribbean as well as Dominica. 

Whether called its successor zouk in Martinique and neighbouring Guadeloupe, or konpa in places where Haitian artists have toured, it is also influential in Portugal, Cape Verde, France, and parts of Canada, of South and North America. Next stop London, UK.

The spectacular evening will be hosted by Haitian compere Carel Pedre, and London-based DJ Christo will be spinning the hottest tunes, keeping the energy high and the dance floor alive.

Tickets are selling fast but some are still available here. Hurry and grab yours now.