These are photos of Lenny Kravitz at the NRJ Music awards in Cannes a few days ago. He attended with French singer Shy’m. Are they together? I’m more fascinated by his very Lenny ensemble. He’s wearing a Saint Laurent jacket and rocking those red leather pants and leopard print boots. Who else could get away with this outfit? No one, but Lenny gets away with all of it. He can literally wear anything or nothing at all.
Lenny has a newish interview with Flatt magazine. It’s a super long piece, and his answers span paragraphs. Lenny has a very idealistic view of art and its place in the world, but it’s not obnoxious in a Gaga way. Lenny doesn’t try to call attention to himself. He’s simply being himself, and he seems very grateful to be fabulous (even though he believes he’s not cool) for a living. His thoughts on women are both respectful and provocative:
His role in music: “The artist’s role in society is to keep reflecting what’s happening, to keep reporting, as it were. Because with the way that things are going, art is getting pushed into the bottom level, unless it’s something that’s for great gain. You know, art that goes for ridiculous prices, I mean, incredibly ridiculous prices, because that’s the business. So on that level, people are going to keep art going because there’s money in it. But where there’s not necessarily money in it and it’s about expression and it’s raw, those outlets are diminishing.”
His modern role models: “Wow, that’s a hard one. I don’t really feel there is a distinct voice for this generation so I stick with the classic voices still speak to me like Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.”
His thoughts on women: “I personally think women should be running the world. I know that’s such a funny, easy thing to say. My first experience with women would be my grandmother, my mother and my aunt. They were the women that raised me. At an early age, I understood it in my spirit the strength of women, the loyalty of women, the fact that women do whatever they need to do to take care of their families or loved ones. Women’s dedication, hard work, honor. These women were the rocks of my life, the pillars of my life. Without these women, life for our families would not be what they are. I believe women are so much more sensible, have so much better intuition, and ultimately are stronger. For me, I’ve always gotten along better with women. I’ve always related to them better. I’m glad that that feminine side is a big part of my upbringing. To answer our question, I think that there should be a lot better representation by women in the running of this planet in so many ways.”
On being “a sell out”: “You can be successful and do well without selling out, but when you sell out from being yourself, that’s the thing that’s a problem. Before I even made my first record and people didn’t necessarily understand what I was doing because I wasn’t black enough or I wasn’t white enough, I was offered big money once–here I am living in that Ford Escort, I’m showering in friend’s houses, I’m eating whatever I can get for food. I’m sleeping parked in places. Then I was offered one of those big record contracts in the eighties when I was a teenager to sign. That was my dream, to have a record deal, and here it was! But they said, you can’t do what you’re doing, we think you’re talented and all, but what you’re doing is not what we’re going to let you do. You have to do this, whatever that was, to conform to whatever was happening that time on the radio, especially with African American artists. I had to conform to the African American radio success program. And there I was at the record company and the guy is offering it to me and they’re pulling out the letter of intent. And I stood there and I looked at them and I honestly can’t tell you what made me not do it. There was something inside of me. I turned it down and walked out of that office. And everyone told me what a f***ing idiot I was.”
Lenny’s been in the business for half his life. He’s 50 years old now! He walked away from that first record contract, but he ended up succeeding anyway. Lenny goes off on a tangent when he talks about artists needing workspaces. He says he has a farm near Rio, which is a 5-hour drive away from everything. He’s thinking about opening it up to artists, so they can live off the land and rub shoulders with each other in a suitable outlet. It’s all very dreamy and would probably never work in practice, but you know, sign me up. Call me, Lenny.
Photos courtesy of WENN