He is Legend
John, that is. The pop artist.
Raley Field400 Ballpark Dr.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
Singer-songwriter John Legend has six Grammy awards, doesn’t dress like a “douchebag” and has one killer mac ’n’ cheese recipe—or so he claims. He’ll bring the tunes (hold the pasta) to Sac this week.
The New York Times trashed your Madison Square Garden show.
Yeah, that was one review.
They called you a “chronic undersinger” and a “frustratingly restrained vocalist.” Do you take any weight in those statements?
No, I don’t. I don’t agree with [the critic]. (Laughs.)
Your third album, Evolver, is a bit different.
I think it’s a bit more electronic. It sounds a little more heavy, a little more upbeat. The sound didn’t change a lot, but the things around it changed. It was a fun experiment, and I think it went really well.
It sounds like you stepped back from the piano a little bit. Why?
It wasn’t really that. When you work with different producers, sometimes you start with certain beats and see if the piano is right for the song. And some records on this album are like this, too, like this jam is going to be a straight-up piano ballad. [But] other songs, I just felt like what we were working with didn’t match with it.
Hip-hop blog Nah Right posted a new song with Estelle, and you were off the hook.
Yeah, that was a rough cut that shouldn’t have gotten out, but I have been working on Estelle’s new album and writing stuff with her a little bit.
What do you listen to on the road?
I usually just put my iPod on shuffle and work out at the gym or whatever, so I end up listening to a broad range of things … Jay-Z, Sam Cooke, Kanye, the White Stripes, the Black Keys, the Beatles.
My mom wants to know where you get your personal style from? She thinks you are very nicely dressed all the time.
(Laughs.) I don’t know. I have a good stylist, and I think I have good taste, so between the two. And I don’t think it’s that hard to look pretty decent if you have the right people working with you and you’re not a douchebag.
What’s your favorite food?
I love fried chicken. I love mac ’n’ cheese. … I have the recipe online; you should check it out. I did it on [The Martha Stewart Show].
I am a mac ’n’ cheese fiend, and I know some people like to bake it.
Yeah, I baked it. I learned from my mother.
What’s your favorite TV show?
I like The Office a lot. I like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I like Family Guy. That is pretty much my favorite show.