PHOTO CREDIT: Evan Duning/NOTION Magazine
John Legend is back, and is taking the title of Prom King in the upcoming issue of NOTION Magazine. Issue 74 has a School Spirit theme, with the ‘All of Me’ singer appearing on one of the five covers.
As well as a slick photoshoot, Legend opened up to NOTION about becoming a father, what it takes to win ten Grammys, a Golden Globe AND an Oscar, and his upcoming fifth album, among various other topics.
Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen gave birth to their first child, Luna Simone, earlier this year. He revealed that fatherhood was a humbling process. “Well I think it shifts your priorities a bit, gives you a new perspective. You realise what’s important for you, for your family and for your career,” Legend said. “It just takes over your life when you have a child… I spent a lot of time at home with her for the first three months and with my wife, you know, it just humbles you. I think everyone struggles with being a new parent, everyone’s trying to figure it out and I think it’s a humbling process.”
As well as his personal life, Legend also spoke about his career, including the struggles of securing a record deal. “I got turned down by every major record label who I met with – including Sony [Legend’s current record label] – and you know, I had to keep persisting despite the no’s and wait till I got to yes.”
Legend told NOTION how he and Kanye West helped each other to find their way in the industry. He said, “He was an up-and-coming producer that wanted to be a rapper but no-one yet believed him at that time and I was an up-and-coming singer and pianist who wanted to be a solo star also. We both believed in each other, helped each other, and obviously have both had pretty successful careers since then.”
When Legend gained fame, he was 26, slightly older than a lot of singers these days. However, he revealed that it did him to the world of good to experience fame whilst being that little bit older. “I think it was helpful for me to become famous when I was an adult already; I was twenty-six years old. I think it’s harder for people that become famous when they’re a lot younger because you never had to be an adult without being in this very unrealistic world. It is unrealistic if you don’t know what the real world is like and me having lived in the real world for a while was very helpful.”
During the interview, Legend also spoke about his upcoming fifth album. “I don’t think it’s a dramatic change. I believe that it’s progression; continuing to push myself and trying to perfect my craft and, to me, that really is to write the best songs you can write, then try to record and produce them in the best way that you can,” he said.
“That’s what we focused on; trying to write great songs that told my story. It’s a bit more of a live band sound than previous albums, we used a live drummer more than we used to, so on a sonic side that’s one of the biggest differences, it gives it a more soulful feel I think.”
As for his ambitions as an artist, Legend is keen to put more of a focus on love into the world, which is something we could all benefit from.
“I think as an artist and as a producer and philanthropist, I’m just trying to put more beauty into the world, more love into the world in any way that I can.” – John Legend
— John Legend (@johnlegend) October 5, 2016
John Legend’s cover of NOTION Magazine is available for pre-order now.
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