Having been on the cusp of big things for a while now, Irish producer Welshy is in the midst of a breakthrough moment with his track ‘Haiti’. Playlisted at Radio 1, Kiss FM, Kiss Dance and Capital Dance, the crossover house track has already amassed over 4 million streams and has just hit the Top 20 of the UK Shazam Chart. His profile is also exploding at TikTok, where he has added 25,000 new followers in just a month, resulting in 1.3 million likes.
The young artist’s momentum continues to accelerate as he today shares the track’s official video. A young woman steps into a café and orders a coffee. So far so normal? Sure. But hearing ‘Haiti’ inspires her to film an impromptu dance video for TikTok. Her vibrant mix of contemporary choreography and traditional Irish dance is a sight to behold, and she completes the shoot before the coffee is served. It puts a playful spin on the lyrics, which are based on a Haitian folk song in which a young boy’s trip to sell coffee at the market goes wildly askew.
There’s also a fascinating reason why she grabs a rugby ball. Welshy was demonstrating to his followers how drastically sound can be manipulated by sampling a rugby ball hitting a microphone. That proved to be the initial idea behind the song’s thumping beat.
Welshy commented, “My favourite part is that it features part of my story. ‘Haiti’ originally started as a fun video I made of me slapping a rugby ball and turning it into a beat, and you’ll see some references to that in the video. TiKTok played a huge part in this record getting recognition, so it was so cool to see those references too. I also love the amazing Irish dancing, which is a nod to my background. This was such a fun and rewarding experience, and I hope you enjoy it too.”
Even prior to releasing ‘Haiti’ on Insanity Records, Welshy (real name Ross Walsh) was independently hitting big numbers, exceeding 41 million streams and earning praise from star talents such as BTS, Kygo and The Chainsmokers.
‘Haiti’ first came to attention as a bootleg, and was eventually reworked when Welshy tracked down the Haitian vocalist Coralie Hérard in Montreal. He re-recorded the topline that he’d originally sampled with the help of Lewis & Neave (Joel Corry, 220kid), giving the song a new vivacious organic feel.
The track has since been remixed by two other rising dance talents in the shape of Nathan Dawe (‘Lighter’, ‘Flowers’) and Robbie Doherty (‘Pour The Milk’).