In New York to promote his new Rizzoli photo book “Lenny Kravitz” and upcoming album Strut, four-time Grammy award-winner, designer, and actor Lenny Kravitz engaged in a Q & A discussion with writer and fellow Grammy award-winner Anthony DeCurtis at a sold-out event at the 92Y Friday night. The zealous crowd, filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, welcomed Kravitz with a standing ovation upon DeCurtis announcing him to the stage.
When asked to discuss the drive behind his latest music project, Kravitz shared:
To be truthfully honest I had none whatsoever. I had just finished a world tour for ‘Black and White America’. I made two movies back to back. I ended up on the ‘Catching Fire’ set in Atlanta, and I began hearing music when I was coming home from filming. The songs were coming two and three at a time. So at that point I had to make a decision, sleep or capture this music – and I’m not one to let something slip by like that, it’s a gift. So, I stayed awake for two weeks.”
Kravitz jokingly told the audience that if he looked sleep deprived in the film that was the reason. After production wrapped on “Catching Fire”, Kravitz took his tunes, that he’d recorded and arranged by humming and singing into his iPhone, back to his Bahamian studio and the end result is the highly anticipated 10th studio album, which is being released on Tuesday.
Appearing perpetually young, both in spirit and in physical form, the rocker explained that he feels just as hungry, excited and inspired as he was 25 years ago with the release of his seminal album Let Love Rule. DeCurtis added that Kravitz had shared with him earlier how the musician felt like he was just beginning, to which Kravitz quipped, “I’m a late bloomer.”
Candid, humorous and relaxed, the music and fashion icon shared personal stories for over an hour, which culminated in a question and answer period that included the audience. DeCurtis shared a letter with Kravitz and the audience from a friend who lost someone close to a terminal illness. The friend shared that the person battling the illness listened to the Mama Said album religiously and hoped that the Kravitz tune “Fields of Joy” was what the transition to the afterlife would be like in a song. In response to hearing the story Kravitz shared:
Words will not even describe what that means. If that was the only person who ever heard it and that was the reaction, then there is no greater reward, accolade or amount of money, fame – that’s it. If you can offer a person that, what a blessing to life.”
A collective of 14 songs being released on Kravitz’s new label Roxie Records, an ode to his late mother actress Roxie Roker, Strut primarily explores topics such as desire and relationships. When pointed out by DeCurtis and asked if it was representative of personal wishes, Kravitz answered. “My feelings and true desires come out in music before they reach my mind, so something’s going on.” The native New Yorker also added an ode to his hometown on the album, with the track “New York City”.
After the Q & A, Kravitz graciously worked the stage shaking hands, taking pictures and signing autographs, copies of the photo book and pre-release copies of Strut for delighted audience members. Several attendees gleefully shared with Kravitz that they’d traveled from out of state to be at the 92Y event.
Described as a world-class cultural and community center where people all over connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation, the 92nd Street Y, nicknamed 92Y, has a series of great events lined up this season. One of those events includes a Q & A with the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin and industry legend Clive Davis, also to be moderated by DeCurtis.