Stevie Wonder has emerged from more than a decade long musical hiatus to deliver two socially relevant tracks that cut to America’s morale core regarding racial justice protests and the coronavirus.
The legendary songwriter released both “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” through his new label So What the Fuss Music. It’s a departure from Wonder’s long standing relationship with Motown Records, an agency he worked with through all of his career.
Wonder held a virtual press conference to dish on details about his latest project and updated fans on his health. The singer took a break from performing last fall to receive a kidney transplant. “Since I have been released from the hospital, the nurses have made sure I’ve taken my medicine on time and I’m going to do it for as long as I have to, even if it is the rest of my life. I feel great. My voice feels great,” Stevie bragged.
“I feel like I’m about 40 right now and I just thank everyone for the prayers and the love.”
For more than 50 years, Stevie says he’s been sitting on the track “Where Is Our Love Song.” He says the song holds stronger relevance today, than when he was 18-years-old. Then came this year, with all the confusion and all the hate and all the east versus west, left versus right. It’s just a hard break.”
“Change is right now. We can’t put it into the hands of fate. Ain’t nobody got time to wait,” he emphatically charged. The track features guitar star Gary Clark Jr.
“Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate” features and even larger cast of contemporary musicians like Busta Rhymes, Rapsody, Cordae and Chika. Wonder says the track’s original meaning concerned a relationship, but he updated the lyrics after “thinking about where we (are) in the world and thinking about how this is the most crucial time.”
“I don’t care what color you are because actually I don’t see your color. You see color, don’t act like you don’t see color, you do,” he pointedly commented, with regard to several racial justice protests in the past year.
Lyrics make direct reference to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's racial justice protest movement, which saw players from around the league take a knee during the National Anthem.
“But I don’t see your visual color. But I do feel your soul. I do feel your spirit. I see the color of your spirit and soul, and I’m seeing too many spirts and souls that are not about the love that we’re supposed to have and feel for one another.”
This marks the first time in Stevie's career he's released two singles simultaneously. It falls on his oldest son, Mumtaz Morris', 36th birthday.