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Interview: Andre 3000 Talks Acting, New Music and Reunion with Erykah Badu

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Andre 3000 is making his return back to music and sat down with Billboard to talk about his new duet with Erykah Badu. He also talks about his appearance on the Season 2 premiere of American Crime and his acting career. Take a look at some of what he had to say below and read the full interview over at Billboard.

Billboard: What got you interested in the American Crime role?
Andre 3000: The relationship I had with John Ridley. When he called, I knew it would be something good. I hadn’t seen season one at the time, but I trust John’s taste in that way.

Billboard: You play a married architect, which is a new kind of role for you.
Andre 3000: It was fun because it was like an exercise in being able to be outside of myself. I’ve never been married. Of course, I have an 18-year-old kid now, so there were parallels, like the issues of being in a black family or a black person having a black kid in a private school. In real life, I always feel like an oddball going to my kid’s school because I’m a musician; I’m not the normal dad. So to be able to play one is fun to me.

Billboard: Do you have any other acting roles coming up?
Andre 3000: Nothing right now. I’m just reading [scripts] and trying to create my own material at some point.

Billboard: As in screenwriting or directing your own films?
Andre 3000: Yeah. I’d like to get on the other side of filmmaking. I’ve always been more of a conceptual type of person so I’ve got to get a little bit more experience under my belt to step into the director mode. And of course, writing — that’s a beast to tackle. But yeah, I’ll maybe be partnering with people at this point, just to learn.

Billboard: Have you had time to work on music lately?
Andre 3000: I still get time to think about music. [Shooting TV and film projects] is not so bad — it kind of puts you in the place where you’re fiending to do music. I’ve been holding [back] for a long time, so now I’m really interested in figuring out some type of music to do. I’m always recording.

Billboard: Can you say what you’re working on or with whom?
Andre 3000: I can’t say that I have a target right now. I’ve gotten in trouble before for saying when or what is coming, so I like to just kind of let it be. I’d like to put out some kind of music project, but we’ll see.

Billboard: What music are you listening to now?
Andre 3000: I always listen to a lot of jazz, a lot of Thelonious Monk. The new Kid Cudi album [Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven] is awesome to me. That’s kind of like the most recent thing that I think is really great. But other than that I’ve kind of just been working in the studio and listening to what I’m doing.

Billboard: How did your “Hello” duet with Erykah Badu, from her recent mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone, come together?
Andre 3000: Our son Seven and I were trying to figure out songs that could help her — songs that were related to the subject of the mixtape: phones. We came across [The Isley Brothers’ 1974 cover of Todd Rundgren’s] “Hello, It’s Me.” Ron Isley repeats the phrase “hello, hello” as if he was answering the phone. I told Erykah, “You should make this into a new song and get somebody to rap on it.” She was like, “Well, you should rap on it!” I’m happy it happened. It was a great reunion, because I don’t think people have heard a song from us in ages.

Erykah Badu Ft. Andre 3000 – Hello

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