Jon Batiste talks about the Amazon Prime Day campaign: Interview
Jon Batiste has had a memorable year. The Louisiana native took home five awards at the 64th Grammy Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year (We are). He was the most nominated and awarded artist of the evening.
Batiste says he is still processing this step. “I think it takes a minute to process the work, let alone get the work recognized at the highest level,” he told Rated R&B.
“You think about putting your work out into the world – it’s this meticulous, painstaking process of carrying your soul. For it to be received at such a high level and to see such an incredible response, I felt like it was hard to process, not to mention what it means for what I will create next.
TIME also named Batiste as one of the world’s most influential people of 2022, joining Mary J. Blige and Oprah Winfrey. Later this year, Batiste will make his Carnegie Hall debut with American Symphony.
As Batiste prepares for his highly anticipated performance, the Oscar-winning singer/musician has teamed up with Amazon for his First day country. (Amazon Prime Day is from July 12 to July 13.)
For the campaign, Batiste reimagined Billy Ocean’s 1988 hit “Get out of my dreams, get in my carand filmed an accompanying music video.
In R&B’s R&B interview with Jon Batiste, the award-winning musician/singer talks more about Amazon Prime Day, creating “Get Into My Cart,” his next project and more.
How did you team up with Amazon for its Prime Day campaign?
I have great friends, now collaborators, who are in the building there. When [the idea] landed on my desk, I was really excited to do a musical collaboration with Billy Ocean’s song because I’m a Billy fan. I read the game, and there was this comedic element. [We had] a week to put everything in place from the moment we decided to do it. I’m obviously used to that with film and television. I just started imagining what I could do and how I wanted to approach it. We did, and it was a great collaboration.
What inspired the idea of reinventing Billy Ocean’s “Get Into My Car” as “Get Into My Cart”?
It’s a great pun. The video itself is also perfect for [how] we wanted to do [our] video. When you watch his original video and then watch what we did, it’s almost parody. It’s amazing how it all came together for what we’re trying to push people towards, which is this Prime Day. I think it worked very well.
Speaking of Prime Day, what three items are you planning on getting?
I have many things that I receive regularly. I always get books, CDs and even vinyls. I’m still one of those people who collect CDs. But I would probably take a moisturizer like cocoa butter. Also, I am one of those people who love looking at posters. I don’t buy a lot of posters, but if I find something I like, I’ll have it.
TIME recently named you one of the most popular people in the world. How do you see your influence?
I think there is a real opportunity to give people a wider cultural palette, musically. Even when I think of R&B and I think of history and the incredible pioneers of R&B and what it’s evolved today and how it continues to evolve into the future, there’s so much culture with which we may have lost contact. We don’t think or connect with it, and that’s just awesome. You can reintroduce it to the next generation and you can connect the dots between past, present and future. I have this incredible opportunity in the culture to do that on so many levels. It’s a beautiful thing, not only for the culture but for what it will inspire in the next generation.
Have you started working on a follow-up We are?
I always work on things all year round. I’m someone who gets up with melodies and I’m going to document it – put it on a recorder, my phone or whatever I have and the next project emerges from that. I live a creative life. I walk around and process the world through creativity and all those things are happening in the world that make you want to create. Eventually, an album emerges from it all. I let him tell me when he’s ready. I don’t force it. There is no real genuine art that can come from forcing. You just have to let it come to you.
How do you know when to withdraw from this creative moment to present it as an album? How do you know when it’s time to share it with the world?
Excellent question. It’s so interesting. It’s a mystery every time. I’m still trying to figure this out myself. I think it has something to do with what we were talking about with culture, which is that there can be a void in the culture that you feel called to fill. It feels like you’re being pushed in a direction to set up a project that fills that void because it feels necessary.
It’s almost like you’re a doctor and you see the remedy to cure someone, except someone is the culture. There is knowledge that you have. It’s hard to explain it. I see when artists make incredible albums and it changes direction. I saw this with my friend Leon Bridges with his first album [Coming Home]. Or you see it with Beyoncé. She just released the single “Break My Soul” [and] it’s like people miss the music. People collectively have this feeling that they want this thing and they don’t know how to say it, and you say it.
Is there anything else to come that excites you?
Yes. Besides this great collaboration for Prime Day, I’m honored to have this incredible collaboration with Oprah [Winfery]Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones for The purple color upcoming musical movie. We are finishing the shoot, which will be released next year. Later this year, I’m collaborating with some amazing musicians for my American Symphony premiered at Carnegie Hall, where many of the musicians I collaborated with for the symphony are featured on the track “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Cart.”
We’ve been working on the symphony for three years and it’s a real mix of musicians. They’re not just classical musicians, they’re electronic musicians, marching band musicians, and Native American musicians. It’s all kinds of really amazing artists and culture carriers who are redefining what it means to put together a symphony and what it means to listen to it. This experience is going to be completely redefined. It’s an exciting project that I’m looking forward to this fall.
Watch Jon Batiste’s “Get Into My Cart” ad for Amazon Prime below.