Ever meet someone so incredible you can’t help but be in awe by everything about them? That’s exactly how we felt talking with the amazing Jon Batiste. Entering the press conference with high energy, playing soulful piano arrangements and harmonies, we had the honor of speaking with the phenomenal talent.
The New Orleans native grew up surrounded with music within family and the city, later taking on Julliard, his own musical career and TV and film working as the music director on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and more recently one of the main composers on Disney’s Soul.
Growing up in the south, “there’s a pace to life that is very slow and allows time for you to be reflective” providing a heavy influence on the jazz-enthusiasts life as an artist and person from the food, to unique traditions and even architecture.
Even with a busy schedule, one of Baptiste’s incredible titles includes activist, always uplifting his voice on many important issues, including the Black Lives Matters movement but to Batiste the “role of being an activist and musician under the umbrella of being a human.” Incorporating his music into such vital experiences as others have done in the past Batiste says “music has always been a social glue and if you get people together it’s a lot easier to have nuanced conversation and dialogue,” which has been proven to be true especially within civil rights.
Black culture has always been the blueprint and influence for so much we adore today Batiste expresses “black creativity and things that come from the black culture diaspora, from the American birth, this country is an experiment of cultures coming together with indigenous and black people at the center of so much, it’s become undeniable.”
Shown in Disney’s jazz-centered film Soul, telling the story of finding your purpose and the true meaning behind it by just living life and taking in every moment. Batiste had a major role in not only the soundtrack, but inspiration behind the main character Joe Gardner. Wanting to combine the “New York jazz elements with a celestial, ethereal sound” and match with each character to bring something different to the whole film, with a concept and music different from any Pixar movie before.
The Grammy-nominated artist released his newest album We Are that is a uniquely genre-ridden . A rollercoaster of upbeat and low tempo tracks, put perfectly by Batiste himself is “a novel, and if you close your eyes, it’s a movie.” A collection that transports you and absorbs your soul from second one. Each song narrating a different story and awakening every emotion.
With Batiste, “as a creative, we’re sensitive to environment,” inspired by everything that comes his way from the instruments and mics used, to the building being recorded in and life experiences.
Jon Batiste is not only a one-of-a-kind artist, but a one-of-a-kind human with a soul-soothing yet shaking, inspirational personality that represents the sun in a sometimes grey world meant to use his music to capture the love he puts out and encourages others to do as well.
We Are is available on all platforms.
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