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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sitting down with a ‘Legend’

    We caught up with John Legend in time for his concert last Sunday, Sept. 20. Legend was en route to his next destination, when we picked his brain about everything from love to music to cereal to cities. Here’s what was discussed:


    Wildcat: There are a lot of people that are really hyped to go see you and Laura Izibor and Vaughn Anthony, am I correct?

    John Legend: That’s correct.

    So tell me about Vaughn Anthony. Is he a part of your label?

    Yes, he’s a part of my label. And he’s also my younger brother. And he’s an R&B artist and I’m really proud of him.

    That’s great. So do you have any other projects coming up in the future? Are you working on an album?

    Yeah, I’m working on an album. I’m obviously focused on the tour right now mostly, but I’m working on album and then hopefully it will come out next year.

    Speaking of things to come out in the next year, there’s a lot of comeback albums. Are there any people that you’re wishing would come back out with an album?

    Lauryn Hill.

    I’m looking forward to Lauryn Hill. Anybody else?

    No, if I get Lauryn Hill, that will satisfy all my needs for comebacks. That’s all I need right now.

    So you are a soul artist, and you may have some perspective on the evolution of soul music. Where do you see soul music going in the future? You know how music has evolved from jazz to funk to hip-hop to soul, excuse me, neo-soul. Where do you see soul music going in the future?

    Well, I’m not good at those predictions because you never know what’s going to happen next and each artist, they are their own artist but they are also influenced by what’s around them. And so, you know it’s going to be dynamic and it’s going to be interesting but we really don’t know what the future brings. But for me, the way I approach it, I just want to write great songs and make great music and you know, the rest will work itself out. I don’t worry about trends and this or that.

    I’m going to segue into something else. I’m going to tap into the spiritual. Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? Basically, where I’m getting at is your thoughts about that saying that “”things happen for a reason.”” Let’s go deep for a little bit.

    Well, I feel like people, we all say that and I say it too but I don’t really know what that means sometimes. We all believe in some kind of plan or some kind of fate or some kind of reason that things happen but we don’t really know for sure. I think a lot of times when people talk about religion and talk about God, they talk with a sense of certainty. But what I think what most people should admit is that we’re not really certain about what’s going on.

    This is a little random, but I want to hear your perspective. Do you remember “”He-Man”” and “”She-Ra”” and “”Thundercats”” cartoons?

    (Singing in a mock He-Man voice): “”I have the power!””

    What were your favorites growing up?

    We watched that, we watched “”Thundercats.”” We watched “”Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.””  We watched all that stuff.

    So what do you like to eat for breakfast? Because I know I get down with some Honey Bunches of Oats.

    You know we have that sometimes. I make omelets sometimes. I get omelets from my hotel room service a lot too. I like oatmeal. Oatmeal, omelets, or Honey Bunches of Oats that’s usually my cereal.

    There you go, there you go. OK, let’s segue into this. I know that Kanye (West) executive produced your debut album. What are your—

    He executive-produced all of my albums.

    What are your thoughts about the whole Kanye West/VMAs/Taylor Swift situation?

    Oh, it’s over. That’s my thoughts on it.  (Laughing)

    Move on, right?

    He’s apologized several times and he knows he made a mistake and it’s over.

    Are you an idealist or a realist when it comes to love?

    Oh I think it’s probably a blend, you know, my songs have a lot of idealism, but they also have a lot of realism. I try to talk about the intricacies of how people interact and you know I think everyone needs to have a little bit of idealist in them you know, because it gives you something to strive for. But also you have to be real and you have to be honest and you have to understand everything’s not going to be perfect.

    So that’s good advice for those out there looking for love. You gotta understand that not everything is going to be perfect, but still have—

    Yes, we’re just ordinary people.

    I know that you do a lot of humanitarian work. Can you tell me about your most recent humanitarian efforts?

    Well, my main focus is the Show Me campaign. And the goal of the Show Me campaign is to break the cycle of poverty through education and development. So we adopted a village in Tanzania. We are working on some educational programs in the U.S. and we just want to keep spreading that message and spreading help to people who need it.

    Good so spreading the message of hope practically, right?

    Absolutely. But also of hard work and education and really focusing on what works and trying to make lives better. Not just hoping that it’s going to happen.

    Good, good. So you went to UPenn right?


    But you were born in Springfield?

    I was born in Springfield, Ohio. I was raised there and when I went to school, that was my first time living outside of Ohio.

    I spent a summer in Philly (Philadelphia) and it was phenomenal. Did you ever go to Black Lily?

    Yeah, I used to go. I used to play there sometimes.

    You’ve traveled to a lot of cities. What do you think makes a city worth coming back to?

    Good restaurants. Good places to hang out. Interesting sights to see. And really, more importantly is people, you know. You gotta have friends and somebody you connect with that’s there. That makes you really want to come back. 

    All right, well John, thank you very much. Thank you so much for your time.  We’re gonna see you on Sunday. I hope you kill it, I hope you rock that stage and you have a safe trip.

    Thank you!

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