Jocelyn Hubbel, known as “Lenlen”, a well-known former Mèt Ka, has been forgotten. Many meet him in the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre but do not know who he is… To pay tribute to his talents as a musician, his birthday will be celebrated on Saturday October 30 by tanbouyé.
Kariculture.net : Can you introduce “Lenlen” to us?
Patrick Nérini : Jocelyn Hubbel, also known as “Lenlen”, was born in Basse-terre on October 26, 1954, when he was 7 years old his parents took him to the island of Désirade. He worked in a bank, he was the first drummer-ka to own a car, they carried his drum, they called him “Don Lenlen”, he was a “king”…
Kariculture.net : Why did you decide to honour him today? Who is accompanying you in this tribute?
P. N. : My partner is accompanying me in this tribute.
For some “Lenlen” is a product, everything is a product. I want to show that he was a human being. Honouring Lenlen is symbolic. “Lenlen” symbolizes all the people who were rejected in Guadeloupe… as I was too, because I don’t go into politics or religion, I don’t get into the “system”. I believe in God, so I also believe in human beings. My job is to bring objective elements to the people so that they can make up their own minds : vox populi, vox dei. People know that “Lenlen” is in the street, those who put him there will explain themselves one day… How can we Guadeloupeans behave like this with a man who has done a lot? “Lenlen” is not a tramp, he doesn’t drink alcohol, he returns home at 7:00 pm… He just sits down on the street and waits to be recognized. The big drummers of today know him very well, the people less… Yesterday he didn’t have a cent, the day before yesterday he didn’t have a cent, he lives with his sister who, after a domestic accident, is currently in hospital, we are helping “Lenlen” to do some work to fix the flat because there was also a fire…
Kariculture.net : How will this “Lenlen Mèt Ka” event take place? We already know that it will be online… Will “Lenlen” be present to celebrate his 67th birthday?
P. N. : Yesterday Lenlen told me that he will come… In any case he will be at home, the birthday party will take place not far from his flat, so we hope he will be there and that he will agree to play Ka.
The Facebook live starts at 2:00 pm sharp and will end around 4:00 pm. Normally it is a jam session, everyone will come with their drum to play for “Lenlen” but I preferred to have a tanbouyé band and they will start the celebration. For the moment, two or three people have assured me that they will be there and William Casse will be in charge of the stage management.
I hope that the tanbouyé will be numerous ; some people were so “violent” with the guy (Lenlen); the “Takouta” sound belongs to “Lenlen” who, in 1973, went to the island of Désirade with tanbouyé, they stayed there for two and a half years, they lived with his parents…
I hope that the event will be seen by Europeans, Americans, as many people as possible.
The patron of this event will be Rémi Mondey, “the man with the accordion” who has travelled a lot, a producer, a soundman (including the podiums of the Cycling Tour of Guadeloupe, of Ibo Simon’s podiums etc), you don’t meet a guy like that no more, a marvel…
Kariculture.net : Two years ago your association Nou A Yo also paid tribute to another Mèt Ka, Marcel Lollia better known as “Vélo”, why is it important to make this cultural heritage known to the young and not so young? This work has not been done before because Gwoka suffered from a lack of recognition, it is never too late to do the right thing?
P. N. : You have to manage to present these people from an angle. A guy phoned me to tell me that I was collecting “dry wood”. Yes, I collect the ones that have been thrown away in the rubbish bin. “Lenlen” was Guy Konkèt’s marker-drummer on the track “Baimbride cho” and on the internet I saw that they put a drawing of “Vélo” on the cover… Célini, the producer, didn’t know about it… I didn’t start my actions yesterday : in 2004, I sponsored with others the record that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the death of “Vélo”…
We need a minimum of justice : they forget to say, for example, Patrick Nérini developed solar water heater in Guadeloupe, but I was not the first.
Kariculture.net : What do you expect from “Lenlen’s” birthday?
P. N. : Nothing.