‘Wesli played to the biggest crowd of the whole festival, such is his popularity… His prime time billing demanded a prime time performance – and we were not to be disappointed. Speaking and singing in French, Haitian Creole and English, it was a set that went on for a good hour with crowd participation and enthusiasm, summing up another successful edition of Festival International Nuits d’Afriques.’ Yousif Nur, Songlines 2019
Wesli’s musical journey has gone from stringing up an oil can with nylon fishing string to winning a JUNO for World Music Album of the Year. Born Wesley Louissaint in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he has grown into his role as a prolific songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Uniting a large cross-section of Montreal talent, his music links Haitian voudou and rara with roots, Afrobeat and hip-hop – guest spots on his albums include the likes of Tiken Jah Fakoly, Mes Aïeux and Radio Radio. Since being crowned the Revelation Radio-Canada for 2009-2010, Wesli has gone onto win the Babel Med Music Prize (2010), SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award (2016), and a prize from l’Académie Charles Cros (2019), the Juno for Rapadou Kréyol (2019) in addition to the Felix for Album of the Year – World Music (2019). He is nominated for a CFMA World Music Solo Recording for 2020. His touring calendar has taken him across North America, Haiti, Colombia, Brazil and Europe, with participation in WOMEX, Mundial Montreal, and the Atlantic Music Expo in Cape Verde.
Wesli’s unstoppable creativity led to two album releases in 2015: the star-studded Immigrand alongside the more traditional Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle. 2018’s Rapadou Kréyol will be followed by a new, electronically-infused album, Tradisyon; it will be released internationally by Cumbancha in the summer of 2020.