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Lenny Kravitz

Lenny kravitz

002With BAPTISM, Kravitz is reborn. He comes full circle in his career, ready to close out one cycle and embrace the beginning of another. With its charged, elegant rock ‘n roll, its brazen riffs and heartfelt lyrics, Kravitz has made a revealing album that stands as a tribute to the basics in life. Delivered with the craft he’s mastered throughout his career, the music of BAPTISM leaps from the speakers. Kravitz wrote and recorded the album over the course of the year. “Everything just came together,” he explains. “I would go in to lay down dummy vocals over the music, but then the words would just come out.

It was very open.? All the instruments on BAPTISM were played by Kravitz (save for string sections and saxophones): every thumping bass line, to every lofty drum kick and rocketing guitar riff. Kravitz’s multi-instrumentalism is one of the most overlooked aspects of his musicianship and a thrusting energy source in the album. “Where Are We Runnin’?,” the first single from BAPTISM, is a groove-laden anthem that, true to Kravitz’s style, beats with grinding riffs and struts with the stage-high blues calls of old soul greats. From the song’s first thundering drums to the whirling rockabilly piano solo at its end, it is a blissful slice of rock ‘n roll. On “Lady,” Kravitz celebrates the consuming fire of love and passion. He wails to the stripped down grit of an old-school rhythm sound, lifting its bluesy southern rock into the stratosphere with his charismatic cat calls and passionate pleading. “California” feels like driving up Highway 1, top down and 30 miles too fast.

“It definitely has this west coast feel, definitely,” Kravitz says. “It’s a very fun song about LA and all the experiences I had as a kid.” California? echoes Kravitz’s journey from New York to Los Angeles at the age of 11, facilitated by his mother’s (actress Roxie Roker) move from Broadway to her acceptance of the role of Helen on television’s hit sitcom, The Jeffersons. “It was a culture shock. Growing up in New York, you’re very independent. Suddenly, I was in this place in LA and no one’s on the street. You can’t go anywhere unless your mom drives you,” Kravitz laughs. But Los Angeles is where Kravitz would find rock ‘n roll ? at John Adams Junior High School in Santa Monica during the mid-’70s. “Growing up in New York, I knew about RnB and funk and jazz and gospel and blues from my parents. Now I’m in LA and I’m hanging out, skateboarding and listening to Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith and Hendrix.” While some songs swirl with the ingredients of influence into its own dish, others find Kravitz going in directions heretofore never explored. “Storm” features a guest appearance by Jay-Z, whom Kravitz met when playing on the hip-hop superstar’s album, BLUEPRINT 2.0 (on the song “Guns And Roses”). Offers Kravitz, “I’ve never had a rapper on any of my music before. But I felt the song needed that flavor.” Kravitz reached out to Jay-Z via telephone and the artist offered to do the song right then and there. “Musically, he’s really gifted,” says Kravitz. “He sat, played the song a few times and just walked in the room and nailed it on one take.” Kravitz’s musical success has afforded him many opportunities in which to fulfill his creative vision.

He has established his own record label, Roxie Records, named after his late mother, whose memory he draws eternal inspiration from. Through the label, distributed by Warner Brothers, he can scout and enable other creative talents. But Kravitz’s opportunities also extend beyond the recording industry. He has created a design company, Kravitz Designs, that undertakes various high-concept projects. Currently, through his company, Kravitz is designing a recording studio in the penthouse of the Setai Group’s hotel in Miami. Kravitz is also making strides in the film world. He is writing, producing and plans to direct a movie based loosely upon the story of his own interesting life. However, as BAPTISM reinforces, the music is Kravitz’s center. Finding himself back at his starting point on BAPTISM, Kravitz gives a nod to the struggle that birthed his early records. “I think I spent a lot of time before LET LOVE RULE trying to be what I thought I should be. I was using this name, Romeo Blue, and I had this image of what I thought was right. But that’s part of the road to finding yourself. You put on these images and you try to be something you’re not. It showed me what I wasn’t, which was a good exercise. LET LOVE RULE was the time everything changed for me. All of the sudden, I had a purpose, a sound, a vibe ? and it came naturally through me. It was electrifying. So to come back to that point, to that purity, is a really profound moment for me and I think it shows up in this

 
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