Haiti rapper Princess Eud signed a deal with music producer and record label mogul Steven Machat late last month. This deal, which also includes management representation, is viewed by many as the breakthrough the singer-rapper and fledgling fashion mogul was looking for to bring her career up to the next echelon. Here are five thoughts that I have on this deal.
1. So this is a record/distribution/management pact? So it is!
Steven Machat has quite a reputation in the music business world as an artist marketer, and as someone who has built, renovated many an artists’ careers. He’s worked with, among others, Bobby Brown and The Rolling Stones.
He even wrote a music industry guide entitled Gods, Gangsters and Honor. It The fact that he’s been working in the music business since for over three decades, and has witnesses so many shifts and changes in the music industry makes him an asset to Princess Eud’s team.
An artist should worry mainly about music. Having Machat’s firm guide her will take quite a bit off her shoulders. He has had experience in managing world artists like Cameroon’s Manu Dibango, and will surely increase Princess Eud’s reach on the music market.
As far as this being a management and a record-deal…It’s my view that management and record label should be separate. Record/distribution label and artist management should not be carried out by the same entity.
Above: Princess Eud vibing in Port-au-Prince.
2. Princess Eud’s new deal is a sign of the times.
There’s this shift that’s been going on in books, movies and now music. I mean it’s not really a shift, as there is nothing new under the sun. But there is this attempt by the mainstream lately to draw artists, films, and books from small niche markets and give them wide appeal.
In the cinema world, Disney’s release of Queen of Katwe, an underdog chess player story with Lupita Ny’ongo playing one of the leads. The story takes place in Uganda. In the literary world, there is the Diverse Books movement to portray characters of color.
Books by African authors are no longer seen as token books or oh-yeah-let’s-take-a-chance-on-this-one books on publishers’ list, but as “lead books” for publisher’s prime titles list. And in music, record labels—both mainstream and independent—are signing artists who wouldn’t have been an afterthought even—years before.
This would be either because they wouldn’t know how to market them, or they were convinced that they wouldn’t have mass appeal. But hey, it’s a new day, and thankfully unique artists like Princess Eud are savoring the fruit of this shift.
3. Princess Eud’s deal should serve as a reminder.
Yes, siree…a reminder to all artists and creatives no matter who they are, or where they are or what field they’re in…to be bold. Don’t be afraid of being original. And don’t sit there and wait for people to give things to you.
The artist had been guiding herself, marketing herself and producing herself by herself all this time. She’s obviously well-known in her home country. Princess Eud’s story should be a reminder to everyone—regardless of their fields—how essential it is to put in the work, to take the creative shovel and dig, and build.
We live in age where the record labels that are still in existence are looking for artists who’ve already built a platform and have a solid fan base—not someone who has to be built up from scratch. Do like Princess Eud, folks. Work, work, work creatives!
4. The work is done, but there’s more to be done.
Princess Eud ought to be marketed as a Pan-Caribbean, Pan-African Lauryn Hill, and the Machat team should book performances for her all over Africa and the Caribbean, not to mention Europe, where there is an increase number of multicultural families and demand for something different.
She should be placed on the festival circuit in Asia. To my knowledge, other than mainstream acts, there doesn’t seem to be a great formal musical exchange between that continent and the Caribbean. Emphasis on the word “formal”.
While I am not privy to the explicit terms of this deal, I hope it includes Princess Eud licensing her songs to ancillary markets like motion pictures and gaming, and streaming shows.
Above: Princess Eud alongside her musical cohort Ded Kra-Z.
5. Let this deal be the doing and not the undoing of this artist.
What got this rapper noticed by Steven Machat’s organization was her down-to-earth image and empowering music. It’s crucial that these two traits remain part of the Princess Eud package.
Of course, that isn’t to say that Princess Eud shouldn’t be a tidbit flexible when it comes to song choice and other aspects of production and image.
This deal will really widen her musical horizon, and with deals like this, it will afford her more opportunities to truly penetrate the world music market. And let’s not mention collaborations…especially with other female world artists (Zap Mama, Lira, and Lauryn Hill come to mind).
With new markets to be conquered, there’ll be new pressures, new temptations, and new challenges. What’s that saying? Oh yeah…what’s the point of conquering the whole world, but losing your soul in the process. May Princess Eud’s head continue to remain firm and tight on her shoulders, and may she never lose sight of the things that really matter.
It’s total Eudomination. World get ready.
Sounding much like a musical banquet, “Caribbean Love” is a collaboration featuring Ded Kra Z and Admiral T, an artist from the French Caribbean island Guadeloupe. Princess Eud has a lot of fun on this one.
“Tonight, I won’t be staying at home,” Princess Eud sings in “Mennenm Danse” (Take Me Dancing). This track has hip-hop layers, but it’s decidedly a dance track. There’s no other song like “Mennenm Danse” on Eudomination that suggests such a carefree attitude to life.
I was immediately taken by “Genlè W Se Madam Mwen (I Must Be Your Wife). The sarcastic title by itself was enough to draw me in. A woman is fed up with carrying the full responsibilities in a relationship. And on top of her assuming all the finances in the relationship, and managing domestic affairs, she’s also paying all the bills. To add insult to injury, she’s being disrespected by her mate. He won’t lift as much as a finger to help her. Oh! She’s got reasons to be outraged by this freeloader.
Those three songs “Fanm”, “Zèb”, “Je Rappe Fort” truly make a statement on the female condition in Haiti, and on the state of women in the rest of the world in general.
Haitian Fresh set things off in “Map Gade’w” (Looking at You). She’s crushing on him. He feels the same way too. But who will make the first move?
For “Voye’m Monte” (Put Me On), the Princess-Raptress turns to the producer Pipo Beat once again. The track is wild, and you can literally picture her jumping up and down in a studio, scratching sound boards, and perhaps even knocking down some instruments. “Hyprocrites be up in church/In your front porch/Pretending to be your bosom buddy,” she warns. The Princess sounds like she’s been gravely disappointed more than once in friendship.
Pipo Beat’s beats come in handy again on Eudomination. The song features the artist Mikaben as Princess Eud’s vocal foil. A title track is supposed to set the tone for an entire album. A title track is supposed to summarize an entire album just by its title.
A title track is supposed to represent an entire musical set. Eudomination does all of this and more. Did Princess Eud had her share of some good mayi moulin and pitimi before recording this song because she spits her verses out with a vengeance.
And then there’s “Konsole’m” (Cuddle Me). Princess Eud may be all about domination and uplifting other women. She’s a champion of women, so to speak. But at the end of the day she’s a human too, who needs to feel loved, who needs to be comforted. She’s the strong woman of the block who supports everyone, but who nonetheless needs her share of nurturing.
Eudomination is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s Princess Eud dominating the rap game; dominating her life, claiming her independence and her individuality as a woman. The album is about Princess Eud coming into her own as a woman, as a female artist, and more specifically as a rapper; a formidable being who demands respect.
Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by kreyolicious