It's a rare occasion when two influential artists from different sides of the world meet and talk about what they both love most: music. Francis Magalona recently met Wyclef Jean, the Grammy Award-winning musician, producer, hip-hop pioneer and humanitarian who founded the legendary ensemble the Fugees in Hong Kong. Wyclef is currently promoting his latest album The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.
The enigmatic performer who founded Yélehaiti, a humanitarian foundation, describes his work as a "social entrepreneurship where it's bigger than just the music. We use the music as vehicle to bring awareness to what's going on in poor [communities] around the world." He adds that "Yélehaiti is basically similar to the Philippines. The area I grew up in was a ruin area. Sometimes we were so hungry we ate dirt from the floor. I started this foundation to bring self-esteem for kids. Currently I give scholarships to 10,000 kids and feeding over 30,000 people."
Aside from his humanitarian work, Wyclef is also proud with
the release of The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, his first
full-length album since his third solo album, Masquerade. He gave his
fans their first taste of The Carnival II with the release of the
album's lead single, "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" and now with his
second single "Fast Car" with whom he collaborated with the legendary Paul
Simon of the duo Simon and Garfunkel.
When asked about the song Wyclef says, "The song is a deep song, it's like life is a fast car. The video of ‘Fast Car' I directed it myself. I wanted to make the video simple for a kid so he can think when he's watching it like playing a video game. It's almost like the kid is getting a message but he's busy having fun. It's almost like you gotta make it hip, cool but you still got to put a message to it."
Another highlight of the interview was the impromptu collaboration of Francis M with Wyclef Jean who took his guitar and strummed as Francis M rapped. Wyclef Jean also held an amazing and jampacked show in Hong Kong's MO (Mandarin Oriental) Bar where he played several instruments and performed songs from the new album.
The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant is now available in all record stores nationwide under Sony BMG Music Entertainment.