Lenny Kravitz’s latest album Black and White America, whose title is in fact a reference to his racial background, was released last year, but he has also been focused on a newer passion: acting. In an interview with fellow musician Raphael Saadiq for Interview magazine, Kravitz talks about his upcoming role as Cinna in the highly anticipated sci-fi/fantasy film The Hunger Games. He also touches upon his interest in design, relationship with his daughter, and the difference between how America and the rest of the world absorbs black music.
SAADIQ: Do you feel like Europe is more advanced than America?
KRAVITZ: Well, since I’ve been on the scene—for 23 years—I think kids in Europe have developed a deeper knowledge of music and of black music in particular. You go to Europe, and these kids know about all this obscure funk and soul that kids over here wouldn’t know. I think it’s getting better in the States, though, with the age of the Internet. I mean, my daughter, Zoe and her crew—those kids know everything. But that has taken time to happen over here. It’s definitely been more of a European thing. Or, if you go to Japan, they’re still buying vinyl, and they want the education. They know who’s playing on what tracks from the ’60s and the ’70s—who the guitar player is, who the drummer is, who the producer was, what studio it was recorded in. That’s how you and I grew up listening to music. We bought albums. We read the liner notes. It was important to know the whole history behind it.
Lenny Kravitz turns 48 later this year and, as you can see by the photo series for the interview, is still looking pretty good.