“Born in Haiti, tempered in West Africa and Montreal, the guitarist and songwriter takes Haitian traditions like vodou, street styles like rara, and finds links with everything from reggae to quirky Acadian hip hop." - Rootsworld
"Wesli has won a broad audience with his mix of Haitian music with reggae, pop and rock. There's a huge enthusiasm, fine singing and playing and a real sense of joy. Wesli's star will soon shine far beyond Canada's borders." - Songlines
Wesli is the stage name of Wesley Louissaint, a Haitian-Canadian musician. In 2019, Wesli received a Canadian Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year. One of eight children raised in a home where music was a big part of daily life, it became a second nature to him, a way to escape the misery that surrounded him. Wesli built his first guitar out of an old NGO-provided oil can and nylon shoe lace when he was just eight years old.
Be it in an acoustic formation (guitar, voice and percussion) or with his bigger 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. Bringing together a wide range of Montreal and Haitian talents, Wesli's music unites Haitian voodoo and rara with roots, reggae, Afrobeat, electronic music and hip-hop flavors.
In 2021, Wesli signed with Cumbancha and released the upbeat reggae song and video "Le Soleil Descend." That was followed in June 2022 by the release of the single and video “Bontan Ilayéyé,” a fusion of Haitian voodoo chants and electronic music featuring African DJ and producer AfrotroniX. Both songs are part of an ambitious two-album project called Tradisyon, which explores the past and the future of Haitian music.
The first volume of this epic work, Tradisyon, which focuses on Haitian roots, acoustic and traditional styles, will be released digitally on July 15th, 2022, with a physical CD release on October 21st, 2022. It will be followed by Tradisyon, Pt. 2, a stunning exploration of new directions in Haitian music, blending traditional genres with electronic music, Afrobeat, soul, funk, hip-hop and more.
While each volume of Tradisyon demonstrates Wesli’s incredible talents as a composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, taken together Tradisyon and Tradisyon, Pt. 2 are an epic body of work that does for Haitian music what groundbreaking artists such as The Beatles did for rock in the 1960s and Stevie Wonder did for soul in the 1970s.
Wesli's CD Tradisyon is available now for pre-order. Click here to pre-order.