Stevie Wonder has kept a relatively low profile over the last decade, but that quiet period — which follows a health scare — seems to be ending. On Tuesday, the 70-year-old legend announced the release of two new songs, his first in 15 years. In equally startling news, Wonder said he would be releasing the tracks on his own label under Republic Records. The releases mark a break from Motown, his home since 1962.
Speaking by Zoom from his Southern California home, Wonder said he began writing one of the songs, the fluid “Where Is Our Love Song,” when he was 18 in 1968. He recently unearthed it and completed it with new lyrics, with the newly cut track featuring Gary Clark Jr. on guitar. Proceeds from the song’s sales will benefit Feeding America, which, Wonder says, has requested $1 billion in donations to help families in need around the country.
The second track, “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate,” had also been gestating for a few years, he said, but was only completed with new lyrics in recent months. “When I first wrote it, it was about a relationship,” he said, at first playfully, before turning more somber. “And then I was thinking about where we are in the world and I was thinking … this craziness is unacceptable. We’re not going for it anymore. Change is right now. We can’t put it in hands of fate….. We can’t put voting in the hands of fate.” The track features Busta Rhymes and Rapsody alongside backing vocals from five of his children.