Beethova Obas was born in Haiti, in Port-au-Prince. He is the second child in a total of five boys. Their father, Charles Obas is a renowned musician and painter. With a passion for Beethoven, he chose for his son the name Beethova.
During this time, Haiti was under the terrible dictatorship of Charles Duvalier. Charles Obas was opposed to this repressive regime, but forced to remain silent like all those who valued their lives. In 1968, under the orders of Duvalier, a cousin was shot along with 18 other officers accused of trying to organise a coup. For Charles Obas this was too much. He marched to the national palace, demanded to see François Duvalier who knew the artist personally and owned several of his works. Without consideration, Charles Obas was views as an assassin, and was at once stopped and tortured. No-one knows the date of his death, we will not examine it further, his body will never be returned to the family.
Beethova quickly becomes aware of his responsibilities to his brothers. In his father’s diary, he discovers that Charles’s great wish was for him to become a singer. Was his first name a premonition? Beethova has adored music since his more tender childhood, when he stood to sing on the tables of his nursery school.
Then, when he wins the “Concours Découvertes 88” he knows that he will soon be able to denounce the abuses and the injustices that his country has undergone during 30 years of dictatorship.
His music becomes the symbol of sweetness and serenity. Between softness and bitterness, richness and poverty he denounces the injustice without anger, but frankly. It is impossible not to cling to the power of his sentences, to the colour of the words. Never do feelings of hatred, rancour or revenge inhabit his work, despite the tragic disappearance of his father.
Beethova would give a lot to see mankind lay down arms forever, abolish frontiers and spread respect and love throughout the planet, inspiring in future generations the values which lead to Peace…
Thanks to his multicultural upbringing, he has captured the African soul of music. And naturally, the CUBHABRA, a subtle mixture of Cuban flavours, Haitian rhythms and rich Brazilian chords, all through the medium of jazz.
His first album "Le chant de liberté" (“The song of freedom”), is released in 1990. It is dedicated to his father. Very quickly his fame reaches beyond the borders of the Caribbean. His album "Si…" hits the top and is even whistled in Europe.
Other albums will follow. Like "Pa Prese", that contains Gainsbourg's famous song "Couleur Café", more fiery and spicy in Beethova’s adaptation.
"Planèt la" is a masterpiece! Not well known due to a modest distribution in Europe. Always avant-garde, Beethova sings of the importance of protecting the planet.
The artist's serenity grows over the years. "Kèm Poze" which means "I am serene" demonstrates a style which is now Beethova's signature:
His more and more frequent tours lead him through the French-speaking world, from the French Antilles, through France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. Next: The United States where he lived for a long time, Tunisia and Japan.
Never in a hurry, never intoxicated by success, Beethova believes that each thing takes as long as it needs. Each event or change which occurred in his country affects him strongly, directing him towards an artistic reflection of which he alone has the secret.
In 1988, he wins the "American Airlines" contest, and the song “Lagé-l” interpreted by his brother Emmanuel, becomes a popular anthem. The same year, he is the laureate of the "DECOUVERTES 88" contest organised by Radio France Internationale.
In 1989, in Curacao, Beethova receives the prize of the International World Troubadour Festival, “INTROFESTICURE”.
In 1990, his album "Le chant de Liberté" stays in pole position on the waves of Haitian radios.
He sets off on international tour with the famous Martinique group Malavoi in 1992. The musicians, captivated by one of his compositions “Nou Pa Moun”, invite him to take part in the production and the international tour of the “Matebis” album.
In 1994, his album “SI…” confirms his talent.
He performs at the "Printemps de Bourges" festival in La Rochelle and the "Francofolies" festival.
On two occasions, he shares the stage with Césaria Evora.
"Planèt la" is released in 1999. In the song "Nèg Kongo", he forms a sublime duet with his brother Emmanuel.
And the tours pile up, with a memorable concert in 2000 in the Lincoln Center festival. The New York Times pays him an emotive homage. During spring 2001, the public of Seine Saint-Denis in Paris applauds him during the eighteenth anniversary of the "Banlieues Bleues" festival. At the same place, he conducts the "Choeur des Ateliers des Banlieues Bleues" and his album "Planèt la" is classified in the selective discography of the festival.
2003. With “Kèm Poze”, Beethova hits the news once again. Many songs denounce the creeping political situation and an obvious insecurity; not to mention the ironic derision of the primary, secondary, and adult education systems. Once again, he goes back over environmental deterioration, the conscience of which is, alas, not universal.
In 2006, Beethova is appointed Ambassador of Peace by the OAS (Organisation of the American States). Through a single with the title “Gad Devan”, he proposes that all the Haitians turn to the future.
Travelling through countries and continents, in concerts and on tours, Beethova continues to scatter stars of happiness. In his quest for the absolute, the warmth of his voice sings for the whole of Mankind. He repeats that life is a miracle, and that motherhood rhymes with love. When he scans the horizon of all the soil he has walked upon, when he thinks about what he has been through, of his daydreams of a linked multicultural world, his heart is humming an internal refrain: Bravo Manman! He was only seventeen when his mother joined the stars in the sky, yet she has inspired in him the sense of forgiveness and love.
The birth of his daughter, Brayna, gives him a new rhythm; as he discovers and savours the joys of paternity. Music still lives on inside him. He takes the time to be with his family, but music forms part of his daily life.
As he matures, he becomes increasingly demanding of himself. This is why he takes time to polish his new album. One can smell CUBAHABRA of course, but now one will taste a range of new flavours…
In short, the album will bear the impression of the 21st century, resolutely turned towards the FUTUR!
A “Best Of…” gathers together the more popular songs of his twenty-two-year career. The choice is essentially made via the Internet; fans and amateurs having carefully selected their favourite songs.
After the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, Beethova commits himself with determination to humanitarian initiatives for rebuilding his country. With his wife, Dominique, he runs the IFF association (Investment for the Future).
For the album “FUTUR”, violins are recorded in Poland, with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra. A highly emotional moment! The Poles are touched by the drama which struck Haiti. A press conference organised by the mayor of the city, called on Beethova and his brother Emmanuel to highlight the secular, historical and musical links between Poland and Haiti.
On 18 January 2010, in the French daily "Libération", Beethova pays tribute to his country, in an article entitled "Non, tu n'es pas maudite".
On 21 January 2010, he is the guest of the "Grand Journal de Canal +" and shares the set with Jamel Debouzze.
On 24 January 2010, Beethova Obas is Jamel Debouzze's guest of honour on the stage of the Bataclan, accompanied by his brother Emmanuel. The funds collected are paid back in full in Haiti. He is one of the 50 artists invited within the framework of the exceptional solidarity concert live from the Zénith in Paris, organised by France 2 and France Inter, in association with the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Concert in the Bataclan
Full concert "Pour Haiti" on France 2
Beethova Obas takes part in the broadcast "Internationales" of TV5 Monde and RFI.
On 2 February 2010, Beethova is the guest star during the support concert for the victims of the Haiti earthquake, organised by the mayor of the 15th district of Paris. Philippe Lavil and Emmanuel Obas are also present.