On Thursday evening, The Source Magazine caught up with Wyclef Jean at a special screening of Magnolia Pictures’ tennis documentary “Venus and Serena,” which gives audiences a very intimate look into the lives of the world famous tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and chronicles their rise to greatness. Wyclef Jean composed the score for the documentary. Check out our interview with Wyclef Jean from the red carpet and check out our EXCLUSIVE video of Wyclef in the studio working on the music for the film (using very unorthodox methods). Special thanks to the film’s directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major for the video.
Q: How did you first meet Venus and Serena Williams?
Wyclef Jean: My relationship with Venus goes back to “Iconoclasts” where I basically was teaching her how to play guitar and she was teaching me how to play tennis. It developed then. Then I wrote a song for her called, “Your Name is Venus, Ruler of the Universe,” and then six months later I saw Serena in the club and she’s like, “Where’s my song?” And just connected with them. So, when it was time to do the score, it wasn’t hard, you know, because I was a fan, watched them, and I just based the music around triumph.
Q: Congrats on your new mix-tape “April Showers”.
Wyclef Jean: Yes, and it’s killing the house. You know what I mean? I say, “Don’t call this a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” I actually got the line from LL. But the downloads are incredible, thank you, and it’s 33 tracks and what people are loving the most is it’s original music…I was speaking to the owner of DatPiff and he was like, “Clef, for a kid that’s 14 or 15, you’re a new artist, when they hear you singing against an acoustic guitar or rhyming, that doesn’t exist in this generation. If you don’t do it and spin it the way you do it, it doesn’t exist.” So, it’s definitely dope. Y’all should definitely download the mix-tape It has 33 tracks. Music, man, you dig what I’m sayin’? So, and then I did that purposefully because this generation of kids is all about downloading the singles ’cause they forgot how good it is.
Q: Where did the title come from for “April Showers”?
Wyclef Jean: “April Showers” is basically—it’s a blessing, you know? The idea of sometimes in the ghetto, when a dude is coming up like, “Yo, we gonna spray the block up,” and sometimes what can be so devastating can turn around to create people like us, you know? So, what appears so devastating, God can make so beautiful.
The special screening was held at IFC Center and Tennis Icons Billie Jean King and John McEnroe served as hosts for the evening. A party followed at La Villette.
“Venus and Serena” hits theaters on May 10, 2013 and is currently available On Demand.
Films Synposis: Ever since Venus and Serena Williams started playing in tennis tournaments, they’ve provoked strong reactions – from awe and admiration to suspicion and resentment. They’ve been winning championships for over a decade, pushing the limits of longevity in such a demanding sport. How long can they last? In Venus & Serena, we gain unprecedented access into their lives during the most intimidating year of their career. Over the course of 2011, Venus grappled with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease while Serena battled back from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Neither Venus nor Serena let their adversities hold them back. They drew their greatest strength from each other.