Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: HMI World
|Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:05 am Post subject: MIA LOPEZ "HMI PEOPLE" SPOTLIGHT: READ INTERVIEW!
HMI "PEOPLE" segment: MIA LOPEZ!
MIA LOPEZ is one of the most recognizable figures/names in the HMI today due to her involvement in many different aspects of the business. Check out this interview we had with MIA in our "HMI PEOPLE" segment as we get her to talk like no one else can. (LOL) ENJOY!
HMI "PEOPLE"...Because everyone has a story.
1) KM: Hi MIA, we know that you did not start off in the HMI, but tell us how you got your feet wet in the Haitian music business?
MIA: Well Patrick, when we started Sakapfet almost 10 years ago, it was as a means to share our photographs and updates with our family all around the Haiti, US and Europe but the website took a whole different turn and intrigued others. As the popularity of the site grew so did my presence in the HMI be it by helping groups like T-Vice or when Rodney Noel opened the door for me at Compas Festival.
2) KM: For those of us that might not be aware, why don't you give us a little resume of the many HMI festivals/events that you have been or continue to be a part of?
MIA: Well there are a lot of projects that I have had my hands on both in the public eye like popular events, Compas Festival, Rasin Festival, Haitian Independence Festival, Festival of the Island in Santo Domingo, Carnival on Champs de Mars, Haitian Flag Day in Tampa, Orlando Independence Day Kompa Festival, Festival de la Musique Haitienne de Montreal, but there are a lot of other committees and organizations I take part in that are not as public.
3) KM: Are YOU the most powerful female in the HMI today that is not an HMI manager?
MIA: In all seriousness. Why or why not? Patrick you know I am far from a boaster, all I can say is that I work hard, I keep my head up, I know my value and I demand respect, which is extremely tough in this business. Most powerful? Nah.
4) KM: Why do you think you connect/appeal to so many people? Is there a secret that you might want to share with others?
MIA: Well to be honest I don’t know if I appeal to SO many people, especially here on KM (lol) but I can tell you that my family and friends who know me best say that my honesty in all matters, both good and bad, make me genuine. And now that I think about it a little more, I’m real, simple as that, what you see is what you get, nothing more and nothing less.
5) KM: What has so far been your BEST HMI EXPERIENCE? What about your WORST HMI EXPERIENCE?
MIA: Actually Patrick that’s a tough one, I can’t sum them all up into one but I will tell you that the best thing about being in the HMI are the artists I’ve met, Sakapfet.com has helped me meet and interview people like Edith Lefel, Orlane, Emeline Michel, Celia Cruz, Eric Virgal, Beethova Obas, Sweet Micky, Roberto Martino and so many others, to me that’s special.
In 2005, I received a Kompa In Accion Award for my contributions to the HMI, that was my very first official recognition, defiantly a highlight to. Now my worst experience has to be hands down the 2007 Carnival Fiasco and that’s because I am a very private person and I hated how public it became.
6) KM: If I did not know MIA LOPEZ, describe YOUR personality to us. Any flaws that you think you need to work on?
MIA: Personally, I think I’m bubbly, goofy at times but I know I’m strict and I could be very “severe”, when it comes to work or my family, at home I have garnered the nickname “Dictator,” I kind of like it but others might not (lol). Flaws, ayyyyeee Papi, that would take a whole page but the top one flaw is that I have no PATIENCE, none and specifically no time for foolishness, ignorance and incompetence.
7) KM: What is your favorite current HMI band? What about ARTIST? Tell us why.
MIA: Oh come on Patrick, how can I choose from so many bands? Plus several of my current clients are reading this interview – I love them all!
But I can answer the Artist, Mika Benjamin, from the first time I met him his talent in free styling, his lyrics and his passion for music is insatiable, he is one of the most underestimated artists out there whose potential is not being highlighted and pushed as much as it could or should be, but I do understand his love of being in a group like Krezi, him and David are a great pair…
KM: You've branched off into the singing part of the HMI. How serious are you about that, or is that just a "take it as it comes/when it comes" hobby?
MIA: Well actually I haven’t branched out, for years I have helped some of my friends and clients with background vocals for fun, but an artist named Ayenn is the first person that I sang with and actually did some live performances with, which was cool but nerve-racking at the same time. Djazz La 6 was twice as cool with Shedly and Arly, as well as being able to share in the writing of the song.
I respect musicians so very much for the work they do and I would never make a mockery of their dedication and commitment. I love music and singing just comes with that same love, if someone produced a song that was just irresistible I might dabble in the studio with it, but do not expect me on tour because that is so not on my agenda AT ALL.
9) KM: Name the HMI musician that tops your list in the following categories and tell us why briefly.
MIA: Looks- Wow, I’m so picky… hmmmm… even though him and I are good friends, I have to say that James Cardoso is a sight for sore eyes.
b) Intellect – Carlo from CaRiMi and BelO, I can talk to them both for hours
c) Business savvy- Richard Cave and the CaRiMi trio, they are the ones whom I know have invested outside of this business and who have a good sense within the business aspect of music all together, producing, collaborations, writing, etc…
d) Marriage material – all the ones that I would choose are already married so let’s move forward (If a family member or friend wanted to marry a musician of course...lol)
10) KM: Can we expect to see you back on the Haitian Compas Festival team in 2009? Is there something that went down between you and the festival in terms of differences?
MIA: Business is business to me which means anything is possible. I believe that there are no sentiments and emotions in business as long as respect is always a priority. So, we shall see, I was asked this year to assist minimally but had to decline, you never know what 2009 may bring.
11) KM: Did you take any classes/courses pertaining to the field(s) of the HMI that you are currently involved with, or did they just come naturally?
MIA: I studied Broadcast Journalism, which includes Television, Radio, Marketing and Public Relations in College. I am actually thinking of returning to school to continue pursing a degree in Mass Communications in the Winter, and cross your fingers that I can juggle, 3 full time jobs and 2 kids plus school.
12) KM: Your best advice to aspiring young ladies that would like to join the business known as the HMI.
MIA: The best advice I can give anyone is to know who you are, know your value, know your worth and don’t be afraid to work hard for what you believe in. This particular business is extremely difficult, we are living in a male dominated world and as women we have to work ten times harder to earn the same respect a man would find with just a hello, so be prepared for that.
If you love music, if you have a passion for Haiti and if you want to really make an impact you can – and never let anyone tell you differently, believe in yourself, at the end of everyday that is all that matters.
13) KM: What made you decide to start M.I.A. MEDIA, and does that take away from the time that you devote to Sakapfet?
MIA: Actually Patrick, Rodney Noel pushed me to start M.I.A. Media, Inc., I was working for the Compas Festival and Rodney had some friends and associates that needed some Public Relations work, some Press Kits that had nothing to do with the Festival and he referred me to them and as such he was like “you need to start your own company so you can take care of these things too, pa selman festival la.” So I did.
As far as taking away from Sakapfet, no I have learned to multi-task very, very well and Sakapfet will always be up there in my list of priorities, she’s my baby in a way, Sakapfet opened the door for everything else today.
14) KM: Is there money to be made in the HMI? I figure you might be the right person to ask about that. (Lol)
MIA: Patrick, there is so much more money that can be made in the HMI if people truly believed in it. I know a lot of etrange and wealthy people that want to invest in this industry because they believe in our music, but it is so difficult to get our musicians, our promoters, our producers and even our fans to realize its potential. Its one of the reasons I have stuck with this community because regardless of my work pro-bono or with a big paycheck, I know that we can be much farther than where we are today.
15) KM: I figure I'd ask for the many people that would want to know. MIA LOPEZ's love life and current status is....
MIA: Patrick, my private life will always remain private.
16) KM: MIA LOPEZ record label producer (Helping produced talented female artists): Is that a pipe dream, or something that is perhaps down the line? What about MIA LOPEZ "MOVIE STAR" as in Haitian movies?
MIA: Producer? Come on Patrick, I didn’t go to school for that and I have strong convictions that I do not start an endeavor without being well educated in the subject. Do I go to the studio with 80% of my clients to listen to what they are doing, do people take my opinion to heart, yes, I have been blessed with a great ear and I cherish that my opinions and suggestions matter but producing no honey, but I do work with Record Label Producers…
Movie Star? Patrick, you have a great imagination, who wants to see me in a movie? Let’s leave the acting to the actors, though I did take 4 years of drama in College and loved it. J
17) KM: COULD YOU give up all that you have and do in the HMI in a heartbeat if you had to?
MIA: Without ever looking back, for my kids YES! YES! YES! But is music and Haiti in my heart, YES, it is in my blood, but my family will always come first no matter what.
1 KM: People have the wrong impression of me when (Complete the sentence)
MIA: When it comes to who Mia really is
19) KM: If you had to do it all over again in terms of the things that have happened to you throughout your HMI career, are there certain things/experiences that you would change or not?
MIA: Every single last thing that I have been through, experienced and lived have led up to this very moment, I wouldn’t change a thing – the good has made me happy, the bad has made me stronger and everything in between has just fulfilled me. You can’t press rewind on life so you can just stay on PLAY!
20) KM: Any final words?
MIA: Woooooooooooooo… We are done? FINALLY… Ha! Ha! Ha! I loved the interview Patrick, thank you for making me think... Seriously, I am humbled by your inkling of a desire to want to interview me… it makes me feel special and that doesn’t happen very often… so Thank you!
HMI "PEOPLE": Because everyone has a story
(Conducted by PATRICK DESVARIEUX for KOMPA MAGAZINE)
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