Wyclef Jean will released a new six song EP dubbed, ‘If I Were President: My Haitian Experience,’ on Tuesday (Dec. 7). Singersroom caught up with the world musician to to talk about the new project, his musical style, the Haiti presidential run, and more.
Singersroom: What would you do if you were president?
Wyclef Jean: If I was president, the first thing I would do is focus on two issues, which are the reasons I would even take the job. One is the reconstruction for Haiti with the youth population involved plus job creation through the reconstruction with the youth participating. The other part is education, a country with mass population, who can’t read and write is called modern day slavery. Two areas that I’m real passionate about.
Singersroom: So being an immigrant in the U.S., what would you say to another person going through the same situation?
Wyclef Jean: Listen to my music. Sometimes you think that you’re the only one going through somethingâ¦like you know how the girl come home and she’s crying because her man left her? And she go throw on some Marvin Gaye and he’s like “your not the only one baby.” Keep in mind; if you’re an immigrant, they’re going to kick you down. You gonna get punched at, you gonna get stabbed, you’re evening going to get shot at. But you can’t never back down cause those before you didn’t back down and that’s why we’re here. So much real stuff is going on in the world and immigrants are always at the center of it all.
Singersroom: So coming from the sun of a preacher, how did that mold the person you are now?
Wyclef Jean: You know the sun of a preacherâ¦it always reminds me of the Jimmy Cliff movie, “The Harder They Come,” because my father was as strict as that preacher in the movie (laughs). The choir director and all that; that was me in the church, similar vibes and all that. It was like a Gospel but Caribbean, Nazarene type church. But I would say the way it molded me is to just know the scripturesâ¦it’s important to know the scriptures. You can’t move forward without having knowledge.
Singersroom: What’s you relationship now with Pras and Lauryn Hill?
Wyclef Jean: I don’t have no problems with either Pras or Lauryn. I wish them the best but Bono always called The Fugees the hip-hop Beatles. I’m like John Lennonâ¦I’m just in my own space and my space falls into politics and music.
Singersroom: So do you miss the dreads?
Wyclef Jean: Man listenâ¦I look at my pictures when I had the long hair but I never had dreads on purpose. Like you can’t plan to have dreads, it’s just a natural pure vibe. I just felt like I was getting heavy man and then I cut my hair and I felt like a bald eagle for the first couple of weeks. I would say my daughter helped me adjust to it. She be looking back at the pictures of when I had the dreads and she’s like, “Daddy I like you better with short hair.” That made me feel goodâ¦(laughs).
Singersroom: So in a time when the divorce rate is so high, how do you keep home happy with all the things your constantly doing?
Wyclef Jean: And all the rumors you see about me right? I’m just a realist man, anything I’m going through I express it in my music. The thing about Clef, I never lied to the public. Certain artists gotta lye to do things; what you see is what you get. I met my girl when I was 19-years-old. As intuitive as I am and what I wanted in life, I chose like a best friend. I chose someone that I wanted to sleep with and continue. My girl is that best friend. Everyday in my life I try to make it right but the key to a real relationship is you have to be friends first. Don’t just do it because it feels good. When you get married, you’re going to face two personalities in the house whether you want it or not. Sometimes I know I get on my girl’s nerves and sometimes she get on mine but we are like best friends at the end of the day.
Watch the video piece of this exclusive interview with Wyclef below:
—— By: Interview By Gary G.