Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000 aka one half of the mighty Outkast sits down with GRAMMY.com for an interview with Nick Huff Barili of Hard Knock TV. The conversation covers a range of topics including how Andre transformed into Jimi Hendrix for the movie All By My Side by losing 20 pounds, learning Jimi’s voice, how to play guitar left handed, his mannerisms and how he walked. Andre has earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead for his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix. When talking about what personally resonated most about Jimi Hendrix’s life and career Andre states “The human side of knowing what its like to be a new artist and trying to break out. Not even just break out into an industry but break out of yourself. And trying to find your confidence in it.” Andre goes on to talk about how important Jimi’s support team was stating “Any artist that we love, any artist that we see, I don’t care who it is, you can name your favorite artists, they would not be who they are if it wasn’t the people around. It doesn’t necessarily have to be famous people, it could be a friend, could be a parent, it could be someone hanging around in the studio, these are the people that help make the artist.” When asked about Jimi Hendrix not wanting to define his music as a particular genre Andre elaborates “I think everybody in any industry if someone likes you for a certain thing and you have any inclination to do anything different you will be pulled back in a certain way. Andre continues stating “When it comes to presenting art forms that kinda are of based on how you feel as a human it hard to keep yourself in a certain place. It’s kinda wrong to do it I think. Some people are good at it because they have gotten it down to a formula but I’ve never have gotten into it. The thing I get out of it is stretching it out and having fun with it so as long as I can be shooting for the stars with it and people are along for the ride, that’s what I’m in it for.” When asked if Outkast purposely tried to reinvent themselves after every album Andre explains, “ It’s not a plan, I swear it was never a plan. It really boils down to the time in between the albums, like the life you lived, your influences during that time, you know turning on to new music, getting bored. All those things make up whatever the next album would have been. We were in a different time, like now you have artists that drop 3-4 mixtapes a year and an album. You have to think we where like two years between every album. We were, daam near different people between every album. We were kids when they first met us, so by the time yall saw us at you know Stankonia and all those albums we where just growing into being an adult, not really knowing what we were about, or trying to figure out what we were about. You were just seeing growth and the music went with it.” The video interview covers much, much more including Andre talking about wanting to keep hip hop “hip” with young energy, now having more fun performing,tour jumpsuits, his clothing line and Andre closes out the interview by sharing advice to young artists.
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