Jean Belony Murat, or more commonly known and referred to as his stage name and by fans, Bélo, is a famous Haitian composer, lyricist and musician. He was born on 29 October 1979 in Port-au Prince in the area of Petionville where music plays a crucial role in the Haitian community. Belo always knew that he wanted to sing and started to perfect his melodious talent from a very young age, his musical sound is influenced primarily by jazz and reggae but is also subjective to other Caribbean styles.
Although Bélo is now popular across Europe and Africa, at first he had his hesitancies about approaching the world of music. He went to university in 2001 where he studied Accounting for four years before he decided in 2005 that he was ready to debut his first album. ‘Lakou Trankil’ or translated as ‘Quiet Streets’ in English, was embraced positively by Haitians who were delighted at the way Bélo had reflected the problems their country faced in his music. They liked how raw and real his lyrics were and how open he came across in his sound.
Elated with the response and success received both locally and internationally from his first album, Bélo released his second piece of work: Reference. In this record he still clung close to the sound of reggae but incorporated elements of pop and jazz. The depth and meaning behind the songs in this album were just as exceptional as the first, Bélo exposed the social problems of humankind such as violence, AIDS and homeless children.
Using his music to express society’s problems and making his followers morally aware of everything that exists in the world they live in, earned Bélo the title as an ambassador of the Haitian music, for showing such love and affection for his homeland. It is apparent that even in the future Bélo will continue to voice his ideas through his music to make his country an even better place by allowing his important music to channel through to his loyal supporters.