Port-au-Prince, Haiti-born, Montreal-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Wesli— born Wesley Louissant — has had the sort of musical journey that should be made into an inspiring biopic: he’s gone from stringing up an oil can with nylon fishing line to becoming a critically applauded, award-winning artist who has developed and honed a sound that features elements of voodoo, rara, roots reggae, Afrobeat and hip-hop through the release of three albums 2011’s Liberté dans le noir, 2015’s Immigrand and Ayiti Ètoile Nouvelle and 2018’s Rapadou Kréyol. Those four albums have found him collaborating with a talented collection of Canadian artists including Tiken Jah Fakoly, Paul Cargnello, and Malika Tirolien.
Since winning the Radio Canada Revelation Award back in 2009-2010, Louissant has collected a bevy of various awards including the Babel Med Music Prize in 2010, SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award in 2016, an award from the Académie Charles Cros in 2019, a World Music JUNO Award in 2019, a Félix Award for Album of the Year in World Music and a Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) for World Solo Artist of the Year in 2020. Adding to a rising international profile, Louissant has toured across North America, Colombia, Brazil, Europe and his native Haiti while playing sets at WOMEX, Mundial Montreal and Cape Verde’s Atlantic Music Expo.
Louissant’s fifth album, reportedly will be more electronic leaning and is slated for a fall release through Cumbancha Records. But in the meantime, his latest single “Le Soleil Descend” (The Sun Goes Down” in English) is an infectiously upbeat and breezy synthesis of reggae, traditional Haitian music, reggaeton and hip-hop centered around the rising Haitian-Canadian artist’s easygoing vocals, shimmering guitar, a rousingly anthemic sing-along friendly hook and a equally good times/good vibes verse from Paul Cargnello. It’s a summer anthem that evokes the irie vibes that we all need right this moment.
The recently released and gorgeously shot video for “Le Soleil Descend” follows Louissant through Port-au-Prince and the Haitian countryside as the sun slowly starts to set. The visual offers a simple yet beautiful slice of every day Haitian life, as we see Louissant walking down the streets with his guitar, digging the scenery around him. How can you not fall in love with beautiful young Black folks in a beautiful place trying to live their lives with dignity and joy?