By Durrant Pate
American R&B legend Stevie Wonder has ended his six-decade-old tie to Motown Records where he started his singing career in 1961 at just 11 years old.
Born Stevland Hardaway Morris, Stevie Wonder today announced his departure from Motown, revealing that he will be setting up his own recording label, So What The Fuss Records. The new label is established under the Republic Records/Universal Music Group umbrella.
The announcement of Wonder’s exit from Motown’s Tamla label was made during a virtual press conference, as he spoke of his improving health condition after being “blessed with a new kidney” last December.
Along with the new label declaration, Wonder introduced two new songs,’Where Is Our Love Song’ and ‘Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate, which will be distributed through So What the Fuss. All proceeds from ‘Where Is Our Love Song’, which features Grammy-winning guitarist Gary Clark Jr., will benefit Feeding America.
Rappers Busta Rhymes, Rapsody, Cordae, and Chika appear on ‘Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate’ and Wonder said he plans on including the songs on a new EP. Wonder had been a Motown recording artiste for his entire career.
Looking back at his departure from Motown, Wonder remarked, “even though I have left Motown, I never leave Motown. That’s Detroit. So I’m sure that we can figure out how we can do some things at Motown. Maybe I’ll do my ‘Gospel Inspired by Lula’ with Motown. We’ll work it out.”
He was referring to a gospel project named after his late mother. The musician said he is working on potentially putting out a compilation EP that would include the two new songs, and will be releasing a new solo album ‘Through the Eyes of Wonder’.
Referring to one of the two new tracks, ‘Where Is Our Love Song’, Wonder said, “it is a song that really I started working on when I was 18, not even knowing what the song was going to be about, but I had the melody. Then this year came all the confusion and all the hate and all the east versus west, left versus right”.
Of the latter track, ‘Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate’, Wonder added: “I was thinking about where we are in the world. And I was thinking about how this is a most crucial time. Not just black people or people of colour, but young people everywhere are going, ‘This is not acceptable.’ Change is right now. We can’t put it in the hands of fate. Ain’t nobody got time to wait.”
Earlier this month, the black American music legend opened up about racial tensions in the US and the failings of United States President Donald Trump in an impassioned new video.