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:: Spotlight :: Ashlene's spotlight interview for April - JOHN LEGEND

By: Ashlene Nand

Although it was his famous friend Kayne West who brought John Legend to the masses, this gospel-inspired soul singer had already worked alongside living legends such as Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, and Alicia Keys. None of those gigs eventuated to a record deal, but it was Kayne’s vision and John’s talent that has pushed his music through the airwaves; his new single ‘Used To Love U’ already on high rotation in the U.S. With John’s album “Get Lifted” being hailed as one of the most highly anticipated debuts of this year, rest assured the future of soul music is in very good hands.

You just finished the Usher & Kayne tour and people everywhere were talking about how hot your performance was. When you joined the line up did you ever think it would be such a success?

Yeah kind of! (Laughs) I think things have been building in that direction for some time so I don’t think this is really unexpected right now. I’ve always been confident in my music and that helps too. I think it’s important to have some of that (confidence) in this industry. There will be all sorts of people that will doubt you and tell you that you can’t do it, so you got to believe in yourself.

What’s the story behind John Legend?

I’m 25. I grew up in a small town in Ohio. A very religious family. They were very involved in the church, in the music of the church particularly. So I grew up surrounded by music. Everyone in my family sings or does something artistic. I started playing the piano when I was 3. I studied classical music as well back then. Then I started singing in the choir when I was 6 years old. By the time I was 10, I was the full time main church musician…and I haven’t really stopped since then…

Did you work odd jobs to get by?

I’ve had a part time job since I was 14. I first worked at a music store cleaning instruments for the repair guy. That followed by a job at a mens clothing store. This was in high school, because I needed money. My family didn’t have a lot of money and I had to get by. After graduation, I was a management consultant which was my real full time job and it was to support my music career early on, when I was trying to build it.

Where does all the emotion in your music come from?

First of all, it comes from me. I’m a very spiritual person and I want music to be very spiritual, as well as passionate. So I write music that makes me feel emotional and also evokes spirit and emotion in people. Some of it is real life experiences of people I know but all of it is told with my sensibility, my voice and my perspective.

What can people expect from “Get Lifted”, your highly anticipated album?

I think it’s really upbeat and soulful. It talks a lot about relationship issues in a very real and relatable way. I think it will make people think about what they go through in their life and it’s also got a kind of spiritual side to it although none of the songs are in any way religious, the album will still evoke that sense of spirituality.

Courtesy of Urban Hitz magazine, Australia.

John Legend's Australian tour dates:

May 10 - Prince of Wales, St.Kilda, VIC
May 11 - Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

For more information, visit