Gone for Seven Novembers – The Wonder Wyclef Returns
Video by shootmepeter.com
Wyclef Jean is a kid in a candy shop right now. As he arrives at the Gibson Showroom in New York City for his A-Sides session he’s told he can choose any guitar he wants to play. Shortly thereafter, he leaves the studio and disappears for a good 30 minutes. His publicist lets me know at that time that he’s ready when we are. See, in that whole span, Jean has been trying out just about every instrument in the showroom, and once he steps into the studio he continues his exploits. He sits down on a stool and starts singing and playing Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” He gets up, and starts playing piano. He quickly goes back to the stool when he’s told we’re ready to roll, and starts playing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” And then it’s showtime. “I’ll do whatever you want,” he tells us. “I’ll play whatever,” when we ask him if he’d like to perform one song on piano. Once we lift our jaws off the ground from the self-taught talent we’ve witnessed, the session begins. But, let’s first share some background on why Jean is sitting in this room at all.
The Grammy-winning Haitian rapper and musician is back after a seven-year hiatus with a 13-song EP (yep, 13 songs) called J’ouvert. The EP is a taste before a planned full-length album titled Carnival III: Road To Clefication expected this summer on the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking debut The Carnival. The multi-instrumentalist is back after focusing his attention solely on his native Haiti following the horrific Hurricane Matthew in 2010, its fallout, and the continuing strife in the county. (In 2012, he published his memoir Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story.) But let’s got back to his the music, which finds Jean as honest as ever. It’s among his best work, and is a cause of celebration.
A talent this big shouldn’t stay away for so long. Anyway, watch another track below – “Life Matters” – which couldn’t be more appropriate for the times in which we live in, and an appropriately lengthy interview with the music master below. Oh, and snag the album.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman – thisisasides.com
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Elle King, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.