Jon Batiste on the art of pushing your limits | ReThinking with Adam Grant
In this episode of ReThinking with Adam Grant, Grammy-winning artist Jon Batiste shares his creative process, his journey in the music industry, and his philosophy of music.
Batiste discusses the importance of originality, the role of music in society, and his approach to creating a timeless legacy.
Role of Mentorship
Batiste credits the late Alvin Batiste, a renowned avant-garde clarinetist, as a significant influence in his decision to pursue a career in music.
Alvin Batiste’s teachings and mentorship played a crucial role in shaping Jon Batiste’s musical journey.
There’s something about inspiration that I feel in its most pure sense defies any form of marketing or branding. If you follow that pure inspiration, your artistry and your expression will continue to evolve. – Jon Batiste
Importance of Originality
Batiste emphasizes the importance of originality in music.
He identifies with repeat hitmakers who begin with more novel genres and songs that differ from each other.
His music doesn’t fit into a familiar category by choice, reflecting his commitment to originality.
Music as a Social Tool
Batiste’s philosophy of music is rooted in the concept of ‘social music,’ which he defines as music that is used to create community.
He sees music as a way to inspire people and add nuance to political and social issues, emphasizing the role of the artist as a citizen.
Combating Apathy Through Music
Batiste’s album ‘We Are’ was created to combat apathy, which he sees as a major societal issue.
He believes that many societal problems stem from a lack of human connection and genuine exchange.
His album encourages listeners to look to themselves for solutions.
Once you [release an album], it’s theirs. It’s the soundtrack to their memories, their lives… If you dwell on that, you don’t grow as an artist. – Jon Batiste
Creating a Timeless Legacy
Batiste aims to create a timeless legacy with his music, hoping to inspire people for generations to come.
He believes in capturing the moment in his music, focusing on the present while also considering the future impact of his work.
Parallels Between Comedy and Music
Batiste draws parallels between comedy and music, stating that both are about structure and timing.
He sees music and comedy as cousins in the creative family tree, with music often serving as punctuation in comedy.
Grief as Unexpressed Love
Batiste reflects on a conversation about grief being unexpressed love.
He believes this perspective allows us to connect grief to redemption and appreciate the enduring impact of our loved ones.
Exploring Different Creative Outlets
Batiste reveals his early connection with video games and expresses a desire to compose video game theme music in the future, indicating his continuous exploration of different creative outlets.