Today we’d like to introduce you to Inez Barlatier.
Inez, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a 1st generation Ayisen-American woman born and raised in Miami. My mother, a self-sacrificing provider. My father, a passionate artist of many mediums. Both from Ayiti (Haiti) but different people entirely. Between their mid-20s and early 30s, they bred over a handful of children that are nothing alike.
Our common ground is an artistic expression. The eldest an interior decorator and beautician. Another poet. Another a filmmaker and visual artist. The youngest two, producing and writing their own music while earning a little money for their comedy. Another a hip-hop lyricist and African palm guitar composer. And then there’s me, a performer through and through.
In 1991, the year I was born, music was played every single day, especially Tracy Chapman. This must be why my voice favors hers. Music was also performed in the 1st room of the house where the band would meet. Koleksyon Kazak, an Ayisen Jazz & Dance ensemble unlike any other band in Miami at the time.
Twenty artists and activists publishing their political music, poetry, magazines and occupying a public radio station. I was in heaven! Still in diapers, barefoot, fist in the air, big afro bouncing as I marched to the music. I had to be there even if I was fighting sleep.
It was easier to let the vibrations soothe me to sleep than to pull me away completely. I laid on our wooden floor, one ear pressed to the ground. When Peter Gabriel offered them a record deal, the band dismantled for several reasons. I didn’t hear music being performed for the next ten years. Instead, it blossomed within me.
I wrote my first official song at ten years old, and I only know this because my father had me sing it for anyone who would listen. At 12, I picked up my first guitar and slowly but surely music became the forefront of my life again. Fifteen years later, I am releasing my debut EP called MOUN|MOON on February 23, 2019.
Music and Miami – being exposed to rhythms of the world’s cultures is my biggest influence. It is to the point that if I don’t hear a polyrhythm, I’m not interested. Thus, African music is my absolute favorite genre. In my teens, I explored rhythm through dance at the Goddess Store & Studio in Hollywood.
I took African, Bollywood, Tahitian, Hawaiian, Oriental, and Tribal Belly dance classes. I joined an all-women’s drum and dance ensemble named Venus Rising. I performed with my father’s band, Jan Sebon & Kazak International. I formed a band of my own.
We called ourselves “Kazoots” in honor of our roots, Koleksyon Kazak. I’ve acted. I’ve taught. I’ve traveled. I’ve written more songs than I can recite. My vision is simple. I want to be the kind of performer that makes you feel, period. I don’t have any idols, and I do not dream of becoming one. I want to elevate to my highest potential in all areas of my life, especially in music.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I can’t say I’ve had struggles pursuing music. Music is a lifestyle. The Miami struggle is staying positive at your day job(s) to keep funding your dream job. Like any place, you must pay your dues, but I never see it like that. I am lucky enough to have been chosen by music, this invisible force that keeps me sane.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
What sets me apart is my vocal delivery. I owe that to African diasporic music. Listen to folk music from Africa, Ayiti, Brazil, Cuba, etc. They all sing from a place deep deep deep within their core. It sounds ethereal. To me, it sounds like the voices of ancestors. That is why I have fallen in love with it, and that is why I sing as so.
What I am most proud of is my ability to make people feel. I don’t do too well with praises as I have goals that people will never know. Still, I am grateful that I have grown into the kind of artist that my fans and friends want to support. I look forward to living up to their expectations and beyond.
What are you striving for, what criteria or markers have you set as indicators of success?
Success to me is ownership of your time. Yes, I aspire to be successful in the music industry, but that doesn’t mean I will be free. There are loads of dues I have yet to pay, and I will be paying with my time, sleep, energy, heart, and soul. That’s the fun part, the journey!
No two roads are alike, but If I were to mark my success, level one would be quitting my day job. When I pay off my mother’s house and support my family, I’ve reached level two.
When I move to Africa and only strategize to make this world a better place, I’ve achieved level three. Recognition, awards, money and all that stuff will come, but freedom is never promised, it is earned.
- Website: InezBarlatier.com
- Phone: 786 265 8922
- Email: InezBmusic@gmail.com
- Instagram: @inezbmusic
- Facebook: @inezbmusic
- Twitter: @inezbmusic
Photos with my hair up, wearing a white skirt and African print top are by Passion J Ward. www.passionjward.com Photos with my curly locs and yellow top in nature are by Gerry Laurore and the image of me with drums and a red background is by Erica Love Jones.