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The Story of GAYA: A Song That Bridges Hearts and Lands

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

By Stephanie Remy




In the heart of Haiti, there's always been a silent divide between those living in the vibrant cities and those from the serene countryside. Often, the urbanites view their provincial counterparts as detached from the latest trends, like the newest songs, fashions, and catchphrases.

Enter "Gaya," a song produced by R3VOLVE HAITI, which became an anthem of unity and pride. The music video for "Gaya" is a vivid tableau of men and women dancing with abandon in the verdant fields of the countryside. Their attire, reminiscent of a bygone era, celebrates Haiti's deep-rooted connection with the earth and its cultural heritage. The rhythms, the melodies, and the visuals of "Gaya" seamlessly stitch together a narrative that resonates with both city and country folks, urging them to embrace and take pride in their shared legacy.

Marie-Line Toussaint, born in a quaint province, experienced this divide firsthand. She frequently accompanied her parents to the gardens, observing their meticulous care for the earth. But as the years passed and Marie-Line moved to the city for her studies, the hustle and bustle of urban life slowly overshadowed her country memories. Her new friends, city trends, and urban habits became her new world.

However, the echoes of "Gaya" stirred something deep within her. One day, amidst shared laughter and playful banter with her friends, the topic turned to their roots. "Why don't we ever discuss where we come from?" asked a friend. Marie-Line, with a hint of hesitation, replied, "I've become a city girl." But Samuel Priviose, another friend, with the soulful chords of "Gaya" probably playing in his heart, countered, "Every time I hear 'Gaya', I'm reminded of my roots, and I feel a surge of pride. It's a testament to our ancestors and our unbreakable bond with the land."

Curious, another friend inquired, "What does GAYA mean in the song?" Samuel, with a smile, said, "GAYA is more than just a word. It signifies deep respect, our deep connection to the land, ‘Gaya’ is a way of life."

The popularity of "Gaya" transcended boundaries. Its universal message urges Haitians everywhere, whether from the bustling streets of Port-au-Prince or the tranquil meadows of the provinces, to stand tall and take pride in their rich heritage.

For Marie-Line, the song became a bridge back to her past, reminding her of the land's timeless embrace and the importance of cherishing and honoring one's roots. After all, no matter where life leads, the heartbeats of "Gaya" remind every Haitian of the land that nurtures and sustains them.

Marie-Line's perspective shifted that day. She realized the importance of recognizing and honoring her roots. No matter where life takes us, we must never forget or be ashamed of where we come from.

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About Me

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In 2010 I visited Haiti with my dear friend Sean Penn and his organization JPHRO now known as CORE. He and his team showed me a side of Haiti that a simple guest or tourist could not see. I saw the beauty and resilience of a people held down by capitalism. I saw people struggling to pro-vide the most basic needs for their families. Haiti is meant to be a safe haven for 'freedom seekers' and the 'Pearl of the Antilles'.  

The challenges are great but like all Haitians, I am not deterred by challenge.

Haiti represents HOPE to all struggling peoples and one day Haiti will be a beacon of light for all underdeveloped and supressed countries in the world. This is why my family places our focus and importance on Haiti. She deserves the chance to shine. We all do.

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