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Unofficial Guide to South By Southwest 2015 has ended
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11,217 official + unofficial events during SXSW
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avatar for Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Hard Knock TV
Dir/Journalist
Musician. Poet. Technologist. Producer. Songwriter. Philanthropist. Raconteur. When seeing Clef in his element, on stage; so completely comfortable, it’s easy to see him only as performer. A short dive into his history reveals we are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg. Wyclef Jean, the oldest of 5 kids born to a Nazarene minister in Haiti, moved to the projects in Brooklyn at the age of nine. The murder of his cousin in Brooklyn nudged the Jeans out to New Jersey to provide a better life for the kids. When Clef’s mom gave him a guitar to stay out of trouble, little did she know it would be the first of many instruments Clef would pick up and that music would absorb him and provide him an multi award-winning and storied career that continues to this day. As Clef honed his skills arranging for his high school jazz band and playing with various groups, he drew upon incredibly diverse musical influences, from Hip Hop to rock to reggae. The flashpoint of his career ignited when Clef teamed with Pras Michel and Lauryn Hill to join the band that would go on to become the record-breaking group, The Fugees. After their debut album was certified gold, The Fugees dug deep and Clef immersed himself in the technology. What emerged from the sessions in his uncle’s basement was the 3-time Grammy nominated sophomore album, The Score. The Fugees took home two Grammys that night, and The Score went on to sell over 15 million copies and was listed in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Those Grammy nods weren’t the last for Wyclef. His first solo project, The Carnival, dropped and spun to Platinum certification and earned three more Grammy nominations. The following year, Clef, won another Grammy for his work on Santana’s Supernatural. The eclectic blend of Clef’s influences inspired a truly unique sound with worldwide reach. Collaborative work had become a signature of Clef’s and top artists clamored to work with him to infuse their work with his trademark sound. In addition to his solo work, Clef emerged as prolific producer, developing the breakout single “No, No, No” for Destiny’s Child and the platinum single, “My Love is Your Love,” for Whitney Houston. Over the next decade, Wyclef hit the Grammy’s 3 more times, receiving nominations for his collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Jerry Duplessis, and Shakira with her “Hips Don’t Lie” reaching the number one spot on charts in 55 countries, including the U.S. BillBoard Hot 100. Clef’s collaborations read like the who’s who of the music industry, including Michael Jackson, Nora Jones, Bono, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, The Black Eyed Peas and countless more. Clef’s work around the world and his broad musical background have put him at the forefront of world music. He collaborates with world artists to highlight the value of their music and shine a light on the issues that surround their countries. It’s not just insight and awareness that Clef brings to the table. He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work, bringing relief to Haiti and running for President in his native country in 2010. His upcoming single, “Devine Sorrow,” was just announced to drop as a part of the Coca-Cola (RED) Campaign to bring global awareness to AIDS solutions. Clef is currently working on his 7th studio album with Tim Berg a.k.a. Avicii, so get ready to hear the Wyclef’s “Ecleftic” style drop again early next year.


My Bands Sessions

Thursday, March 19
 

12:30am