Wyclef Jean has announced the release of his new album, Wyclef Goes Back To School, out March 2019 via Heads Music. During the 2018 Carnival Tour, Wyclef visited various colleges around the U.S. At these visits, Wyclef and the students had a positive impact on each other. This impact has led Wyclef to recording the “Wyclef Goes Back to School” album, which will feature student collaborators from each of the schools. The students who made the album will perform with Wyclef during the Heads Music SXSW showcase.
Wyclef Goes Back To School features album art designed by an artist from Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelancers. Listen to the first single “Baba” featuring Kofi Black and Sejahari Amaru Saulter-Villega here.
During the promotion of his latest album, “Carnival III,” Wyclef visited various colleges such as Howard, Temple, UCLA, USC, NYU, UMass Lowell, and more. Each of his visits were wildly successful. Not only did Wyclef give a masterclass at each school, he quickly connected with students and made an impact on them. In turn, those students also made an impact on him. He describes the experience as “going back to school” as he learned as much from the students as they learned from him. The content captured on this journey has not only impacted the lives of the students Wyclef chose to mentor, it has also inspired viewers to follow their dreams in a positive and healthy way. Because of this positive impact, Wyclef has been recording the “Wyclef Goes Back to School” Album. The album will contain all original songs produced by Wyclef, but will feature students from each of the schools visited either as musicians, side artists, etc. Through this project, Wyclef is striving to create a platform for undiscovered musicians and artists with raw talent who may not have millions of views on YouTube or followers on Social Media. For him, it is ALL about the talent.
In addition to to working with college students, Wyclef also collaborated with Fiverr, an online marketplace for creative and digital services, to offer consulting services to freelancers selling music and audio services on the platform. He hosted a masterclass in L.A. for the company’s community members and industry folks and mentored several up and coming professionals on the platform. It’s because of his work with Fiverr that he ultimately decided to work with Fiverr freelancers on both the design and animation for his new album cover.
Additionally, Netflix will make a CG-animated feature film inspired by Wyclef’s childhood in Haiti. Greg Silverman’s production company Stampede is partnering to produce the film. Script will be written by Justin Marks, whose credits include The Jungle Book, its sequel, and Top Gun: Maverick. “I grew up in extreme poverty but I was rich with imagination,” Jean said. “Now to see that imagination turn into reality with Netflix and my producing partners makes me want to tell the kids from the slums around the world to never stop dreaming.” The project is being shepherded through Netflix’s Kids and Family division.