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Following his performance at last weekend’s Oscar Awards, John Legend covers the new issue of Fault magazine. In the cover shoot’s accompanying interview, John speaks about how his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and baby daughter, Luna, influence his music, Trump’s America, and ‘La La Land’.
On how he has changed since the release of his debut album:
“I’ve grown up a lot in the last twelve years and had a lot more life experiences. Getting married and having a baby have added new perspectives and depth to the subjects I sing about too. Just from living in the world and seeing more contemporary issues have added new layers to my music which weren’t there before.”
On how his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and their baby daughter, Luna, brought positivity to the album ‘Darkness and Light’:
“I think I’ve always been an optimistic person and I think that streak of optimism runs through each of my albums. I think there is just more depth to what I’m feeling because everything means more to me now I have a wife and daughter. Everything in more significant and I’m thinking more philosophically about things and thinking about life and death a lot more. Before what I sang about were my ambitions of making money, getting girls and having fun which was a lot more selfish but now I have better perspective and depth on what’s really important in life.”
On raising Luna in Trump’s America:
“Hopefully ‘Trump’s America’ won’t last very long and we get him out of here within the next four years. By the time Luna is old enough to be aware of what is happening, America would have elected a far better president. Trump promised to do things which are really bad for the country and some which are good and the hope is he’ll just do the good parts but I don’t have a lot of faith in him. I’m just hoping for the best and when we need to resist and speak out, we need to hit the streets and do it. For now, I’m more worried about the people less fortunate than my daughter, people who might lose their healthcare or get excluded because of the colour of their skin, their religion and country of origin.”
On what a John Legend album should sound like:
“Not everyone is going to be happy with every album and with every song but when I put music out, I do it with the confidence that my fans will love it or at least give it a chance. The feedback from Darkness and Light has been amazing and it has been my best-reviewed album to date. When I was finishing it, a lot of my friends felt like it was my best work and I felt the same so I was more excited than nervous for people to hear it. I don’t go too much into the numbers and charts, what’s more important is that people love it and I’ve heard they do.”
On ‘La La Land,’ which John executively produced and starred in:
“I loved it and it was really fun to be a part of it. I loved working with Ryan [Gosling] and I didn’t work much with Emma [Stone] but she’s a wonderful actress and did great in the movie. It was a really cool experience to be part of something so special and meaningful to so many people…There will definitely be more acting and producing films as well. We have a production company called ‘Get Lifted Production Company’ and we are the executive producers of La La Land and we have a couple of new movies releasing next year.”
On where he feels most at home:
“I feel more at home on the stage! It’s all fun and high energy without the downtime. Communicating and connecting with the audience is one of the best things for a musician. I enjoy writing too but actually to perform those songs and having the audience singing back to me is a beautiful feeling…We’ll be touring worldwide for the rest of the year.”