His Music Rules in Haiti

Sweet Micky's provocative music moves Haitians with an infectious beat and political overtones

"Unfortunately I came from a family that was involved with the Duvalier regime, so I was accused of wanting to overthrow the government," Champagne says. "But as far as I know you don't overthrow the government with handguns." He swears that neither Martelly nor Raymond had any connection to his business and that it was a purely commercial venture.

Martelly shrugs at the charges against his friends, pointing out that Aurelien is innocent until proven otherwise. "I still don't know anything," he says. "When I dealt with him, it was about music." But he is sure that Champagne was not involved in any political plot. As for himself, he's obsessed with staying clean. "See the label I have?" he asks, referring to the scrutiny he is subject to for performing during the coup years. "If I was doing drugs, if I was involved in anything bad, I would be caught already."

Night is ebbing, and Martelly is still doing his show at a club in Miami. He has momentarily stopped playing keyboard and is singing solo to the crowd. "Come and listen to what I heard from St. Michel," he croons. "One day after Carnival I got a message. He said when you have time come and stop by, because I have things to tell you."

The song is about a real incident. After the angry scene at Carnival this year his mother had a dream in which she was visited by his patron saint. When Martelly went to church he received a message while there, and it is something he wants to share with his fans.

"Micky, you have to lay low some times," he sings, relaying what the saint told him. "You are not supposed to judge the people." The song is included on his new CD, Aloufa, which will be released in June. Martelly thinks it will surprise his fans.

"I want to show them I have something better inside," he says. "To most of them I am more like a motherfucker. They don't think that I am the type of person who would go to church, or who would pray. But I probably pray more than they do. To be honest with you, this is probably the real Micky.

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