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Stevie Wonder: “Everything that happens in the United States is unacceptable”

He hadn’t released a song since “Faith” with Ariana Grande in 2016 and his last album was fifteen years old. Stevie Wonder, 70, was believed to be in pre-retirement, slowly recovering from a kidney transplant in December 2019. But “the little wonder”, as he has been known since his debut at the age of 11, was in done in full work. And secretly preparing the release of two activist songs, prelude to a new album entitled “Through The Eyes Of Wonder”.

On the day of the 36th birthday of his second son and three weeks before the presidential election, the musician with the 25 Grammys and the 100 million records sold is holding a virtual press conference this Tuesday evening in which we participated, to explain how and why his two songs were born, one for peace, “Where Is Our Love Song”, the other for voting, “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate”.

“This is the first time in my career that I released two titles at the same time”, explains the legend with the dark glasses. His “Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate”, an almost seven-minute hot rap with four such names, Busta Rhymes, Corade, Chika and Rapsody, is the more political of the two. He speaks directly to Donald Trump without naming him: “You say you have had enough of us protesting / I say you don’t have enough to make a change / You say you believe that ‘all lives matter / I say I don’t believe what you’re doing. “

“Change is really now”

“We cannot put the vote back in the hands of fate,” comments Stevie Wonder. The universe is watching us. We must vote for justice and against injustice. This is he said his response to “systemic racism”. “Everything that’s going on right now (Editor’s note: police violence, the murders of black Americans) unacceptable. We cannot be a united people and live in this madness. The change is really now. “

Stevie Wonder goes even further. He wants “an atonement, not just for a few years, but at least three to five years.” “We cannot ignore and act as though things in this country did not happen… We cannot erase them from the history books. 1619, it happened (Editor’s note: the beginning of institutionalized slavery in the United States). The slave trade took place, reconstruction took place, 150 million blacks died, it happened. The only way I think we can fix it is through our love and respect. “

Stemming both from the “confusion and hatred” that reigns in the world and from the coronavirus pandemic, “Where Is Our Love Song” is more funky and pacifist. “It’s a love song that I started writing at 18 and came back to recently, trying to find words of hope for everyone,” explains this heir to Martin Luther King, who has always fought for civil rights and against the war, especially that of Vietnam. All profits from this song will be donated to Feeding America, the equivalent of Restos du Cœur across the Atlantic.

Stevie Wonder takes advantage of this rare speech to remind you that you have to wear a mask to protect yourself from the virus. He himself is a person at risk. But from the bottom of his Californian garden, seated in a large wicker armchair, he wants to be reassuring and confident ten months after his transplant: “I feel good, my voice is great. I say to my daughter Aisha: I’m going to be five years younger than you. I feel like I’m forty right now. “

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