About Olivier Martelly

Olivier Martelly is a music producer and musician from Haiti, who goes by the stage name of ‘BigO’. He is the son of Michel and Sophia Saint-Rémy Martelly, who were the President and First Lady of Haiti up until February 2016. Olivier started working in the music industry as a youngster, and his compositions are a blend of Haitian Kompa rhythms and distinctive Caribbean pop.

Martelly’s discographies have not been widely distributed, and he has somewhat of a mystique about him as an artist. He released a song, during the Haitian presidential election of 2015, promoting the government endorsed nominee Jovenel Moise. This came in the aftermath of a song released by Wyclef Jean, which promoted Jude Célestin as a candidate. Martelly runs Big O Productions — a company that showcases a variety of musical talent from Haiti.

In a recent interview, Martelly outlined his plans to restructure the music industry in Haiti, commenting that he wants to play a key part in influencing the direction of the industry over the coming years. He attributes his focus and ambition to the karate training he received as a child. He began karate aged just four, and earned a black belt when he was thirteen. Karate, he says, taught him respect for others and self restraint. Also, it gave him the drive and discipline to aim high in both his career and private life.

Encouraged by his parents, Martelly played soccer during his youth as well. He says that soccer training allowed him to develop vital team building skills. It gave him the experience of working with people from a broad range of backgrounds too.

These days, Martelly is a dedicated family man, who enjoys spending quality time with his loved ones. He does not train in soccer or karate anymore, but he does visit the gym regularly. Also, he is a big fan of Haitian and Asian cuisine (in particular, lalo with home cooked rice). Like his parents, he is a passionate philanthropist, and is heavily involved in their charity the ‘Fondation Rose et Blanc’, which helps people from disadvantaged communities.

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