Wesli

SOCAN “Hagood Hardy” Prize for World Music 2016
Galaxie Rising Star Award London 2011
Babel Med Music Award France 2010
CBC Revelation 2009-10

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) built his first guitar out of an old NGO- provided oil can and nylon shoe lace when he was just eight years old. Coming from a family of 8 children where music was a daily food for the soul, it became second nature to him, a unique and vital way out of the violence and misery found in the surrounding ghetto. Wesli’s musical journey started in the gospel choir of his local church and then he adopted the guitar as his main instrument.

Wesli and his guitar

Ever since, Wesli has worked relentlessly, perfecting his art, his only hope for a better life. Very early, he took part in serious projects such as the afro-roots Jazz 4ever quartet and SoKute. He performed in many of Haiti’s concert halls and traveled abroad with Kreyol Mizik company. In his teens, Wesli produced and recorded the album Horizon with SoKute. Their soul music gathered wide success and even made them famous outside Haiti.

The release of his second album, Liberté dans le noir, in December 2011, has confirmed those affirmations. The 17 tracks feature duos with many major bands and artists: the great Tiken Jah Fakoly, Mes Aieux, Radio Radio, Paul Cargnello, Boogat and Karma Atchykah.

Already it has gathered much success:

  • Top 25 Album of the year 2011, Voir.ca newspaper (barely 6 days after its release) Top 3 World
  • Music Album of the Year 2011, Le Devoir newspaper
  • 4.5 stars Album Ranking, Voir.ca
  • 4 stars Album Ranking, 24h Montréal
  • The song « Né sous le soleil » was Top #1 for over a week, followed by Top #2, right behind La Bottine souriante over the Holidays 2011, EspaceMusique.ca

Moreover, Wesley Louissaint has produced, composed and arranged musical creations for films, including CBC’s documentary about Dany Laferrière. He composed, with Arianne Moffat, Nomadic Massive and Doba, the popular song « Nap chante pou Ayiti » the day after the earthquake in Haiti, on January 12th 2010.

He also collaborated with other Montreal artists as an artistic director and composer, namely for Senaya (Garde la tê̂te haute, 2005) and Sara Rénélik (Aube, 2006); as well as working as a musical director for Line 1 Company.

Be it in an acoustic formation (guitar, voice and percussion) or with his big band, Wesli consistently delivers a rich, festive and uniquely engaging sound. He conquers the heart of his audience through complex musical arrangements and universal messages of hope, truth and peace. Critics have crowned him “the strongest world creature Montreal presently has to offer internationally” Alain Brunet, La Presse.

Wesli was also featured on the cover of Voir Saguenay in August 2011.