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A Time To Love - Press Release

Sunday Herald Sun (Australia)

Genius Vision
Stevie Wonder’s new release has been a long time coming, but the result is worth every minute of the wait, reports
Sarah MacMillan
May 22, 2005

It has been 10 years since the Soul Sorcerer has brewed his, own magical blend of sound to release a new album.

But finally - Stevie Wonder, former child prodigy and absolute oracle of funk has signed sealed and is about to deliver the long awaited goods … A Time 2 Love. We have had a taste of it with the new single, What the fuss, as the 55-year-old living legend yet again breaks new ground by presenting the first video music clip to Contain a descriptive audio track with commentary by Busta Rhymes) for those who are blind or have impaired vision.

On the separate audio track Busta describes everything that to going on in the video…. “Stevie’s playing a pearl-white drum set … a white girl gets her hair braided by her black friend.”

As, Busta notes, “Stevie Wonder is an icon. Without him most of us never would have picked up a microphone. ‘Only Stevie could come up with a way to let fans who have never seen a video take part in the whole vibe

“It was a great project to work on from start to finish.” Now comes the much anticipated album with 16 tracks, including two bonus cuts and a duet with Aisha on How Will I Know. The braided one—braids and beads might not work for everyone, but Stevie is one dude who can pull it of — shrugs of the 10-year wait, ‘There were no issues (with the manic industry or music scene).” he says,

“My thing is always that there’s never on issue of why it is taking so long or whatever that is. (The time in between) was the time that I was doing life, living life. Sharing life within itself is something that we have to do In the creative process, particularly when we’re working on music and song. The issue is how much life have you done, to experience the things that will encourage and inspire you to write about those things that you have experienced.” And Stevie Wonder — once Little Stevie, who wasn’t even in his teens when signed to the famed Motown Records — has certainly lived life. Born Steveland Judkins Morris in 1950, the premature baby was placed in an Incubator and accidentally given too much oxygen, causing permanent blindness.

Lack of sight and lack of a dad — his father left the family of six siblings early on — were no handicaps for Steveland.

He took up the piano at age seven and within two years had mastered the harmonica and drums, along with singing gospel at his Baptist church. By the age of 12. Steveland had a recording contract and a new stage name — Little Stevie Wonder.

He not only mastered Motown’s distinctive fusion of pop and soul, but he went on to compose far more idiosyncratic music: an ambitious hybrid of sophisticated Tin Pan Alley chord changes, an R&B energy. Infected with jazz, reggae and African rhythms.

Stevie Wonder has remained one of the essential artists of our time. The new millennium found music fans marveling at his Incredible staying power. acknowledging the brilliance of his 40-plus year career with a slew of awards. He has racked up 22 Grammys and an Oscar: created more than 25 no. 1 pop and R&B hits and sold more than 70 million records. And he’s still in love with it all — music, past and present.

‘There’s been a time for war, a time to Imprison, a time to hurt and break down. More than ever we need a time to love.” Wonder says.

So it goes on the signature title song and so it goes that Wonder believes we need love more than ever in the times we live in.

“We have a time to have war, we have a time to pay bills or taxes. We have a time to build prisons. ‘We have a time to create pollution, as in the lyric that India Arie wrote (the co-written title track). We need a time to love,’ he says.

His advice for the new generation of artists is as simple as has been his magical musical mix, “I’d say for all generations, all different kinds of people in music, or in a form of rap, or poetry or spoken word, or lyricist or melody writers, give and do the very best you can. You have to experience life to tell life’s experience. You can’t act like you’ve done something and you really haven’t — you can’t front.” he explains.

As Stevie readies to add another album to his legacy, he muses about the mystery of creativity in a world hungering for a message.

“Ever since Songs in the Key of Life I feel It’s been a blessing from God in giving me the titles, but ultimately, all songs must stand on their own. I’ve always written about love, but the ones that spoke to me the loudest are the ones you’ll find here on A Time 2 Love”

He pauses, then adds: “Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes, doesn’t mean he lacks vision.”

Indeed not.

A TIme 2 Love is out on June12