Listen to the story.
Carol Hills: Haitian and Haitian-American performance artists are thriving.
Nathalie Joachim: My name is Nathalie Joachim. The name of my album is "Fanm d''Ayiti," and that means "Women of Haiti."
Hills: Some of her songs are traditional Haitian tunes, some more recent ones written by Haitian women long overshadowed by their male peers. Here's Nathalie Joachim to tell us more about her new album.
Joachim: I was inspired to make this album after the passing of my maternal grandmother because her voice was one that was quite important to me throughout the course of her life. And I was really contemplating the idea of women's voices in Haiti and what it means to my own heritage, but what it also means to the country's history. And so I started finding out about some very wonderful female artists from Haiti and found not only some very beautiful music, but also some really wonderful stories.
I would say that one of my favorite stories of my grandmother actually is very deeply connected to this album and is featured here. The song that her voice is featured on is called "Madam Bellegarde," which was, in fact, her maiden name. She was really criticized in her life because she became a widow when my mother was still an infant, quite young, and she never remarried. She really chose to live a life independently. And so she wrote this song and would sing it.
I think people in our farming community know her for this song because she used to sing it proudly, because she understood that she was judged for the life that she chose to live. But she also felt that she made the right decisions for herself and her family.
I hope that every young woman who listens to this album takes away the strength and the power and continuing to lift each other up, to find your tribe, to find other women, to look to your elders and find strength in their stories and to be sure to leave a pathway for those coming up behind you.
Hills: Nathalie Joachim has found her own path on her Grammy-nominated album, "Fanm d'Ayiti."