“It’s very authentic and all about the vocality, making people feel and reminisce off of that sound they love but combining it with new sonics.” – Wyclef Jean, on his new music
Jean, who was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, would later move to Brooklyn before his family relocated to both Newark and East Orange.
Along with South Orange’s Lauryn Hill and Irvington’s Pras Michél, Wyclef Jean co-founded The Fugees, one of the most influential and genre-bending artists in rap music.
After the trilogy broke up the band in the late 1990s, Jean would launch his career as a solo artist with “Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival” (1997). He’d go on to collaborate with Celia Cruz, The Neville Brothers, Carlos Santana, Shakira, Whitney Houston and many others.
Throughout his career, Jean has been known as an activist for Haiti. In 2001, he founded Yéle Haiti, a charitable organization which would provide scholarships and funding to Haitians suffering from humanitarian crises in Haiti. The organization would later shutter due after allegations of mismanagement of funds and tax filing issues.
In 2010, Jean planned to run for president of Haiti, however, the country’s electoral commission said he did not meet the “constitutional residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the November 28 election.”
In 2016, Jean was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Since then, he has focused primarily on his recording and producing career. In February 2017, he released “J’ouvert,” an E.P. featuring the songs “Hendrix”, “If I Was President 2016”, “The Ring” and “I Swear”. In September 2017, he released “Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee”, a new collection of songs which will be featured on his upcoming tour.
Jean continues to look forward. “The music I’m making, it’s sounding like the ‘90s meets 2017,” said Jean. “It’s very authentic and all about the vocality, making people feel and reminisce off of that sound they love but combining it with new sonics.”
Visit the Wellmont Theater’s website for all ticket and performance information.