Wyclef Jean "If I Were President: My Haitian Experience" EP Due Out December 7
Wed, 03 Nov 2010 13:27:43
Columbia Records will release If I Were President: My Haitian Experience, a new, six-song EP from Wyclef Jean on December 7, 2010. It will be available across digital platforms.
If I Were President: My Haitian Experience includes "Election Time," a provocative new universal song written in the wake of Wyclef's recent attempt to run for president in Haiti, which generated a ton of media attention, criticism and death threats.
"This song is inspired by Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall,' with the chant, 'We don't need no education,'" said Wyclef Jean in a statement. "It is also inspired by Fela Kuti's 'Zombie." It's the voice of the youth. It is the voice of this generation. It's the artist once again doing what the politicians should be doing. This is about inspiring the voice of this generation." That description makes me want to check out the song for sure.
"Election Time" arrives with an extraordinarily powerful and beautiful video lensed in Haiti. Wyclef teamed up with a Haitian director, Steve Halloun, to co-direct the clip. Halloun, a former student of the University of Miami Film School, is, like Wyclef, deeply concerned with helping Haiti on all fronts. The video created jobs for local residents, including the actors and technical staff, while showing the world unfamiliar pictures of his native country.
"I have to show all the sides of Haiti," Wyclef Jean says. "There is still beauty in Haiti and I have to show the beauty and the ugly reality that is going to change. It will change."
November is "Election Time" in many countries around the world including in both of Wyclef's countries--the United States and Haiti, where the November 28 general election holds great historic importance, even though 'Clef was barred from running due to his permanent residency in New Jersey; it's always Jersey's fault. "It means the rebirth of my country. It means that the young people can bring about change," said 'Clef. "I would want to tell the youth of Haiti to go out and vote. We have had a long history of dictatorship in Haiti. It's not a Haitian right to vote that we are talking about. We are talking about a world right. Take your right. Your true weapon is your voting card. Use your weapon and use it wisely."
If I Were President: My Haitian Experience is a family affair, as it was co- executive produced by Wyclef and his brother, Sedeck Jean. The two started together and then went separate ways in their careers until the earthquake of January 2010 reunited them musically. Sedeck Jean is also featured in the "Election Time" video. I am sure Sean Penn, who was vocal in his opposition to 'Clef's presidential campaign, had nothing to do with these endeavors.
Wyclef describes If I Were President: My Haitian Experience as "the life story of an immigrant. It's for everyone who has had to leave one place and adapt to another. It's about the refugee in all of us trying to fit in. But it's not all sorrowful. In life, there is love and hate, war and peace. It's both sides. This is the continuation of my music and it represents both sides. It's for all my fans. It's for those who love me for 'Gone 'Til November' and 'Hips Don't Lie,' too."
Furthermore, 'Clef said, "Every great album to me is inspired by real events. It's about what you've seen and experienced. They were done by the greats who came before me: Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Fela Kuti. The music has to be real. Fela Kuti used his music as a tool for development of his people. You need to relate to the culture. If I Were President: My Haitian Experience is about relating to the culture of Haiti which translate to the world."
Wyclef Jean plans a world tour in 2011. "The Haitian Experience" tour will include, "the music, the art, the culture and definitely the carnival," says Jean.
Are you going to check out this digital EP? Are you interested in what 'Clef is doing and the spotlight he is shining on his native Haiti?