NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change.
The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).
The 70-year-old made the announcement during a virtual press conference Tuesday and also gave an update on his health, saying he “was blessed with a new kidney” last December.
“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,” he said. “I feel like I’m about 40 right now and I just thank everyone for the prayers and the love.”
“And for all of the people that have been listening to these rumors, listen, if I’m feeling some kind of way, I’ll let you know,” he continued. “We don’t want to have misinformation. I am alive and well.”
Tuesday’s announcement — which Wonder said was the first time he released two songs at the same time — coincided with the 36th birthday of his second oldest son, Mumtaz Morris.
Wonder said he started writing “Where Is Our Love Song” when he was 18. “Then came this year,” he said, “with all the confusion and all the hate and all the east versus west, left versus right. It’s just a hard break.”
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.
He explained that “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate” was a song originally about a relationship, but then he updated the lyrics after “thinking about where we (are) in the world and thinking about how this is the most crucial time.”
“Change is right now. We can’t put it into the hands of fate. Ain’t nobody got time to wait,” he said. “We can’t put it the hands of fate finding a cure for this dreadful virus. We got to get on our knees and pray or whatever you do.”
“I want everyone to be well," he continued. “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. 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."