Raphael Saadiq exec-produced Q+A Bigger Love. You two first worked JOHN LEGEND together on Once Again. What was I went in and played “Ordinary People,” and he was amazed by it. He still tells me that story. I’ve been in awe of his career for a long time. I’m a true Tony! Toni! Toné! and Lucy Pearl fan. / that initial meeting like? THE 41-YEAR-OLD SINGER AND ACTIVIST TALKS BIGGER LOVE, ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM, NOSTALGIA FOR HIS OLD WORK, AND HOW TO FIX THE GRAMMYS LEGEND-ARY BURNS By Alex Suskind ↓ @chrissyteigen’s best Twitter jabs at her husband The single “Actions” looks back on 1. You’ve said Bigger Love is your Your wife, author and model your days as a bachelor and the “john never looks before he sits down and it’s a constant fight. my feet gonna look like the rabbit from fresh prince.” sexiest album yet. Did you plan on Chrissy Teigen, began leaking inherent contradiction you felt / that when you began writing it? snippets of the album after she writing love songs despite not I never have a plan. I have, “Oh, here’s some people I’d like to work with this time.” You never know what you’re going to come up with when you start the process of what you want to do. I truly go into it open-minded. I’m figuring out who I am and where I am in this moment in life. jokingly took issue with one of its being in a committed relationship. lyrics [“You know there’s a lot Now that you’re married, how do of women trying to take your you view past tracks like “Stay I think of them as songs that I still love. I’m a bit nostalgic about those albums, too. There’s nothing like that feeling of being at the beginning of your career and trying to establish yourself and the fire you have inside; you never replicate it. / place” from the song “Focused”]. With You” or “PDA”? 2. Was that actually part of your rollout “I like to walk into john’s deal meetings and say ‘I’ll do it for cheaper’ and it’s worked twice.” No. But it definitely didn’t hurt. It gets people wondering what’s behind those snippets. [Laughs] / strategy? 3. “I buy and leave all the phone chargers all around the house just so you can unplug them all and take them to work with you. all of them! I love that you love chargers! they’re all for you! I just love you that’s why I buy them. because you love them!” Your last album, Darkness and Light, merged your artistic and political sides. Did you think of including anything more political on Bigger Love, since we’re in an Obviously, I’m still politically involved, but I don’t always put it into the music, because I don’t get the inspiration. And sometimes I do. But that just wasn’t the mood I was in when I was making this album. / election year? You’re a member of the Recording Academy and have won multiple Grammys. What did you think of Diddy’s comments this year that black music has never been / respected by the organization? It’s almost impossible for a black artist to win Album of the Year. How many years do we have to see Beyoncé snubbed? Kanye has never won. It’s kind of insane. But it’s like any other voting process: You have the voters you have. [What the] Grammys can do is get a more diverse and younger voting base and phase voters out that aren’t still making music. We’ve got to do something, because that’s a terrible record, and Diddy is right to complain about it. 76 EW ● COM JULY 2020
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