Rock icon Lenny Kravitz has always possessed a timeless charisma both in the recording studio and when performing onstage. The 55-year-old first hit the music scene in the ’80s, with his debut album ‘Let Love Rule,’ and since then has accomplished feats in the music world that equal the magnitude most musicians only ever dream— such as producing music for Madonna and Aerosmith, breaking the record for most wins in the Grammy’s Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category, and being dubbed one of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock just to name a few. How did Kravitz achieve such a status? With one-of-a-kind music that he handcrafts with care, and ironically appears to him in his own dreams—-which rings true for his latest album “Raise Vibration”.
Lenny Kravitz talks latest album, tour and how dreams connect him with his music
“This album was given to me in dreams,” says Kravitz. “I always dream music, but this is the first album that was dreamt completely. That’s never happened to me before, where I’ve dreamt an entire album. But that to me is the best creation, when you are completely removed from it— any ideas, preconceptions, or whatever you thought you wanted to do and it’s just handed to you. I think that’s so beautiful. That is really inspiring to me.”
Kravitz has always been intricately involved with all of his music and albums. What sets the icon apart however, is the fact that he not only writes and sings the songs on his albums, but also plays most of the instruments as well.
“As far as recording, my process has pretty much been the same from the beginning. I either play all of the instruments on a song, or I play most of the instruments on a song, depending on what that is,” says Kravitz. “It’s the way that I like to work. To me it’s like painting—I have all of my colors in the studio which are my instruments and different kinds of equipment. I’m pretty much in there doing my thing, which is layering instruments and painting, and coloring and sculpting until I’ve achieved what I heard in the dream. I love music and I love every kind of music, and I love blending music. So I had an idea as to where I thought I wanted to go.”
Kravitz likes to be connected as a performer with himself and his simultaneous existence in life at that moment, which makes his catalog highly personal. “It’s a matter of putting the right expression out at the right time. I like to reflect where I was in this world at that moment— which is always what I want to do,” says Kravitz. “I don’t want to work or force an expression out, I want it to come to me. So that’s what I did. It’s a beautiful experience, it always is. I still have the same excitement that I had when I was in high school making music. Nothing has changed which is still really beautiful for me.”
The connection is not just for his own sake, however. Kravitz also pours his heart and soul into his music as a labor of love for others. With his “Raise Vibration” tour kicking off this month, Kravitz is still most excited to experience a real human moment with audiences instead of just hearing the cheers and praise he rightfully deserves.
“The reason that I do this is for the connection. Making the music in the studio is everything to me, that’s where I’m the most comfortable. I could stay in the studio and record for the rest of my life. But there is such a beauty in sharing music that then becomes other people’s music— the music is not just mine. The people that support my art and enjoy my music, that music is now part of their life,” says Kravitz. “When people tell me my music helped them get through something, that’s a real blessing. They are there to hear these songs and re-live these moments from their past in the present. What I want to make sure happens every night is that we make a connection— all of us, together, where we all are riding the same wave. That’s the satisfaction that I get. It’s not a ‘show’, it’s a human experience and it’s a human exchange and that’s what it’s about.”
Listen to Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Raise Vibration’ album on Spotify