Friday August 21 2020
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) built his first guitar out of an old NGO- provided oil can and nylon shoelace 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.
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 Mikiz 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 Aïeux, 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. Moreover, Wesli has produced, composed and arranged musical creations for films, including CBC’s documentary about Dany Laferrière. He composed, with Ariane Moffatt, 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 and Sara Rénélik as well as working as a musical director for Line 1 Company.
Be it in an acoustic formation 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.