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Medhy Custos

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Zouk/Afro-pop singer Medhy Custos was born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadelupe. Growing up in a working-class family, Medhy discovered a love of performing at the age of six, when he encountered the MJC de Pointe-à-Pitre. The various workshops introduced him to elements of song, dance, and comedy. These pursuits occupied a good part of his childhood, punctuated by the gift of a piano by his mother for his 14th birthday. Like many of his generation, Medhy's adolescence was infused with hip-hop and rap culture. His first public performances came about in 1989 in local cafes, and he formed the zouk and hip-hop-inflected group Kwebee in 1991. Medhy and his group, including songwriter Jimmy Devarieux, interpreted material from a variety of popular French sources. The band became well-known beyond the borders of its native Guadeloupe, all throughout the West Indies. Custos' grassroots success earned him opportunities to work with more established artists such as Jean-Claude François (aka Dicktam), Christian Yéyé, and Willy Blombou. As Custos distinguished himself as a behind-the-scenes player in the zouk and Afro-pop world, chances arose for collaborations and guest spots. One such duet with vocalist Jane Fostin on the hit song "Pas de Glace" became a national hit. Custos' debut solo album, Serial Lover, became one of the best-selling zouk records of 2004, clearing 20,000 in sales. His self-titled follow-up release reached European audiences in 2007, with tracks like "Elles Demandent" making Billboard's European Hot 100. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadelupe, France

Years Active: