Jessie Woo Invites the World To Haiti in “Vacation” video
By Rachel George
Everyone’s favorite Seester, singer and TV personality Jessie Woo sent the world a personal invite to pull up and party like Haitians with the visual for her brand new music video, “Vacation” of her EP Moods of a Cancer. Shot in Cap Haïtien, the video celebrates the island’s beauty, exploring historical monuments, and showing us why Haiti should be our next travel destination.
“Vacation” intermingles R&B, and pop, with a Kompa breakdown, while connecting back to the vibrancy of the island. Haitian producer, founder of KSR Records, and co-writer of Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” Shaft, is responsible for crafting this infectiously contagious dance mashup.
Jessie Woo is the unofficial ambassador of Haiti. Born in Montreal and raised in Miami where French was her first learned language, at home, her mother and grandmother spoke Creole. She gained a mass following on social media from her comedic viral videos about “zozo appointments” and her Haitian culture. Her comedy led to hosting BET Breaks and eventually being cast on Love and Hip Hop: Miami. This summer, she released her debut EP.
If you’re looking for a place that looks like paradise all year long, where the weather is always sunny, and impromptu history lessons are always available, Haiti is the place. Jessie Woo mirrored a Haitian superhero riding in a bright orange and royal blue carnival-like ensemble with historical buildings and 18th-century cannons serving as her backdrop. The Citadelle Laferrière fortress sits on top of a 3,000-foot tall mountain, built by Henri Christophe, a leader in the Haitian Revolution that led to their independence. Dîner en Blanc was held at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, also known as Port-au-Prince Cathedral.
“We love to gouyad, we love to dance with our entire bodies, with passion, she said. “When we party, we party with passion. Everything we do is with passion,” she said. “ But to see so many Haitian people come together and know all the words to my song, it was amazing.”
Moods of Cancer intentionally embodies Haiti’s culture, Caribbean style, and traditional Kompa music with a taste of R&B and Haiti’s slang.
“Creole is a beautiful language and you don’t want things like that to get lost,” says Woo. “It’s like our slang, the language you speak when it’s time to relax, around your homegirls or friends. My grandmother spoke it to me all the time, so I didn’t forget.”
In the video, Woo is standing in the shallow center of the ocean, which about a 30-35 minute boat ride to get to. If you appreciate gorgeous beaches, go to Labadee Beach, on the northern coast of the island. “You would think it’s the Fijis. Plus, if you think you’ve had good lobster, I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong and there’s nothing like Haitian lobster,” she said.
The Haitian triple threat brings light to a culture and country that has fought for various causes in history, taking back the narrative of her homeland through her Haitian content.
Woo realized she was living her ancestor’s wildest dreams while watching the breathtaking view atop of the Citadelle. “Our story isn’t done being written. We still have a long way to go and a lot left to be told.”
Jessie Woo is currently working on organizing annual trips to Haiti for an upcoming Seester retreat. She hopes to inspire other young Haitian girls to embrace themselves and recognize they are royalty.
“If you are of Haitian descent, you gotta know you are royalty, As black people, we are going to be welcomed and treated like the kings and queens that we are there. You’re gonna get that same hospitality,” she says.
Check out the beauty of Haiti in Jessie Woo’s “Vacation” video below.