Jon Batiste Hollywood Africans Album
Jon Batiste Hollywood Africans Album – The first thing Jon Batiste does when he wakes up each morning is write. It’s a exercise called Morning Pages, and Batiste has been doing it every day for several months now: three pages of handwritten free-writing to clear his mind and help open himself up to creativity before he begins each day.
That concept — blocking out the world around you in order to focus on one’s own deeper creativity — served as the central premise and working thesis of Hollywood Africans, Batiste’s major-label solo debut.
It’s the first album he has recorded since rising to national prominence in 2015 after becoming the bandleader of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, bringing his jazz-roots collective Stay Human with him as the show’s house band.
“There’s so much going on in the world that I wanted to respond to, and there’s not a lot of music where people can meditate, think, reflect, but also be uplifted by” says Batiste, calling from a car in the midst of a hectic day of press in Manhattan for his new album. “I wanted to get back to the basics of who I am as a musician but also the basics of who I am as a person.”
Named after a 1983 Basquiat painting, Hollywood Africans is an album equally devoted to drowning out and responding to what Batiste likes to refer to as “noise.” For him, the term refers both to the rapidly degenerating state of America during the past few years, as well as the increasingly hectic, often transcendent, but occasionally out-of-control pace that his own life has taken on since his Colbert adventure began.
Stream “Hollywood Africans” below or get a copy of your own on iTunes here.