Sound On: Stevie Wonder
The beginning of the Seventies marked a turning point for a lot of different social, cultural, artistic realities in the world. After redesigning its logo, in 1974 FILA began a new path that turned the original knitwear factory into a cutting-edge sportswear brand. In the same period, after being inspired by Marvin Gaye, the most mature, explosive phase of Stevie Wonder’s career started too.
Steveland Morris – this is his real name – was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1974: his was a too precocious childbirth, that caused the retinopathy that made him blind since his earliest days of lifetime. Anyhow, neither this event nor his humble origins stopped his destiny as a musical enfant prodige: in 1963, at the age of 13 years old and with the nickname of Stevie Wonder, he reached the top of Billboard Hot 100 with his debut single Fingertips. Stevie can play the piano, the bass, the drums, the harmonica: guided by Motown (the iconic label that shaped the fame of the best black artists), he has been able to refine and enrich the language of R&B, especially with the help of the synths and the voice overdubs that made his touch unique.
Stevie Wonder’s career is remarkable not only for his incredible talent, but also for his research of a wide-ranging sound, able to erase the limits of reality. His repertoire includes funky beats (Superstition), ballads (You Are the Sunshine of My Life), social protest (Big Brother), experimental efforts (his album The Secret Life of Plants, 1979, adopts one of the first machines in history able to sample the sounds of birds and bugs).
And even if the most considerable part of his artistic path is between the 70s and the 80s, his music has inspired more than one generation, as confimed his collaborations with Michael Jackson, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, Will Smith, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande.
At the age of seventy, Stevie Wonder and his smile – still dazzling under his sunglasses – remain a guiding light. Just like the fresh, colored looks he has ben wearing through the years as an example of endless coolness. This is confirmed by our archive: during the Eighties, in the middle of his ‘disco’ phase, Stevie has worn several White Line clothes in studio. The tracksuits, touched lightly by his dreadlocks and pearls, are enriched by a brand new vibe, giving unprecedented rhythm to our history.