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.
Since it is Valentine’s Day - my intern JJ Adrian wanted me to channel some “love.” So here goes...
The Things I’ve Learned About Love From Muddy Waters
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about love through one of Fathers of the blues, Muddy Waters. His songs have helped me with my love life, so I’m here to share some of my favorite tunes of his.
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
Confidence is key. It is important to know your self worth and to not forget how badass you really are. Hoochie Coochie Man is the absolute anthem for self reassurance! If you ever need a little ego boost before a big date, give this song a listen to remind yourself just how amazing you are!
(Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/3KSchPNSklO5McIqRH3qYX )
Got My Mojo Working
One thing I learned from The Mud is that sometimes you need to look in the mirror and get your own mojo fixed. Whether that means getting a new haircut, eating healthier, or even switching up your wardrobe, there is no shame in self improvement! Be the best possible you you can be and get that mojo working before you set out on the quest of love!
(Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/7GSa90z6YJnvpIJTL0Mfnk)
Champagne and Reefer
Champagne and Reefer taught me the importance of staying in with your special someone. Nothing beats ordering in and enjoying quality time in your comfiest sweats. And sure, a little champagne and reefer definitely doesn’t hurt the party!
(Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/08qvu3UECQf0c5gkW8aEgS )
Baby Please Don’t Go
The Mud taught me that if you really love someone you’ll never stop fighting to make it work, and Baby Please Don’t Go is a classic example of that. Yes, love isn’t perfect and sometimes things get rocky, but it’s something worth fighting for.
(Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/4wx3Bm1USG3i4WPJ5lcJwd)
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.