Roobens Steve Diejuste, aka “Rooby Man,” is proof positive that hard work and perseverance pay dividends. The Haiti chanteuse’s energy and versatility have not gone unnoticed. He was recently recognized as “Reggae Entertainer of the Year” at the 31st annual Chicago Music Awards held this past January. Quite an accomplishment, but it has not been a cakewalk, either.
Your parents were not too keen on you being a music artist. Tell us about your transition from local island talent to major star?
I started [singing] in Haiti when I was 13 or 14 years old. I was invited to be part of the Haitian band called King of Kings. We were very popular in Haiti.
Eventually, King of Kings disbanded and I moved to Chicago. Once I got to Chicago, I was asked to join the local band Sakad, which was later renamed D-Lux.
I’ve got bigger dreams. I feel with my talent I could be an international artist. Three years ago I started my solo career and it has been a blessing.
What was it like being honored at the Chicago Music Awards?
Wow! [I] was like speechless. Like I always say when you work hard you can expect great things.
Your motto, “I’ve Arrived,” what does that mean?
You know I am from a third-world country. We have a great thing at home but people do not show that. They show the bad side of Haiti. So, when I say, “I’ve arrived” it means progress. “I’ve Arrived” is like you have a goal, you reach your goal, [and] you make your dreams come true.
What does the future hold for Rooby Man?
I meet people in the music industry in Chicago and they are talking to me as if I was some kind of hero, in the sense [of how] t people see me, how people love my music, how people enjoy my energy when I am on stage. Is there a future for me? I think so and God has shown me I just have to keep working hard.
For more information, visit www.roobyman.com. For music links, contact cdbaby.com or Virdiko.com.