Mon 14 May 2012
Shortly after announcing his “Made in America” festival, Billboard had the chance to catch up with Jay-Z. The mogul discussed what sparked the idea to create his own two-day event, his love for Jack White, and recently being named the spokesperson for the Duracell Powermat. The conversation couldn’t end off without an update on new music in the near future. Jay explains that even though he’s a proud new father, the inspiration to record isn’t quite where it needs to be yet. So for the time being, any projects have been put on hold so he can spend more time with his daughter Blue Ivy Carter.
“I thought I would be more inspired to have all these new feelings to talk about, but I really just want to hang out with my daughter. I want to enjoy this time for what it is. I’m sure that bug to get back in the studio will come back at some point.”
Jay-Z also notes that 70% of the M.I.A. festival is confirmed, with the official lineup announcement coming Monday, May 21.
Read the rest of Billboard’s exclusive interview with Jay-Z below….
What was it about the concept behind “Made In America” that made you want to perform as well as curate the lineup?
I had a relationship with Anheuser Busch going back to Bud Select [in 2006], and all those things came together and piqued my interest as another way to make an iPod playlist that’s gonna play for two days live.
You haven’t confirmed any of the acts who will play at “Made In America” yet, but who’s exciting you right now in music?
I like all the new guys in the industry as far as rap. I discovered this new song – it’s not really new, but it’s a song that I love by Michael Kiwanuka. I really like what he’s doing. There’s a bunch I just can’t think of right now.
You were at the Jack White show at Webster Hall a few weeks ago, so clearly you’re a fan of “Blunderbuss?”
Jack White is insane – he’s an insane musician. And there’s no setlist from what I understand. He just pulls out a song and they have to be ready. Which must take an insane amount of practice.
And also be a challenge when you have to direct a live show, like Gary Oldman did.
We went to Spotted Pig afterward and we spoke on that a bit with Gary Oldman and Jack White. They’re doing a great job with those concerts, whoever’s curating that.
What about this EDM/dance craze that’s blowing up right now. Clearly you have a vested interest in it since Roc Nation partnered with Three Six Zero Group.
I love revolutions. Hip-hop was a revolution. Grunge was a revolution. Electronic dance music feels like a revolution, it feels like the kids’ music. I just wanna be a part of it, we have a huge footprint in it which is great for us.
If not new music, what else might keep you busy this summer before “Made In America” and the September launch of Nets Stadium in Brooklyn?
Tomorrow I leave to go on the ["Watch The Throne"] European tour – that’ll be through June. In July I’ll take some time off, so when we get into August I’ll have to prep for really this show and the arena show.
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