2002 - March: "VIBE" Magazine Interview PDF Print E-mail

 

On music:

I think people have always admired black music since the beginning of time, if you want to go back to Negro spirituals. Today, the market is just accepting the fact that that's the sound. From Britney to 'N Sync, they're all doing the R&B thing. Even Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, he always tells me [imitating a British accent], "Man, we do R&B." I say, Barry, I don't categorize it, but it's great music. I understand where he's coming from. I love great music - it has no color, it has no boundaries.”

On his life as a single parent:

"I never had so much fun in my life. That’s the truth. Because I’m this big kid, and now I get to see the world through the eyes of the really young ones. I learn more from them than they learn from me. I’m constantly trying things and testing things on them to see what works and what doesn’t. Children are always the best judges to monitor something. […] That’s why "Harry Potter" is so successful – it’s a family-oriented movie. [...] We want a wide demographic, and that’s why I try not to say things that offend parents. I don’t want to be like that. We weren’t raised to be like that. […]"

On the possibility of his children being in the spotlight as he in the future:

“I don't know how they would handle that. It would be tough. I really don't know. It's hard, since most children of celebrities end up becoming self-destructive because they can't live up to the talent of the parent. People always used to say to Fred Astaire Jr., "Can you dance?" And he couldn't. He didn't have any rhythm, but his father was this genius dancer. It doesn't mean that it has to be passed on. I always tell my children, you don't have to sing, you don't have to dance. Be who you want to be, as long as you're not hurting anybody. That's the main thing.”

On his and his friends and fans experience during the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

“I was in New York [after performing at Madison Square Garden on September 7 and 11], and I got a call from friends in Saudi Arabia that America was being attacked. I turned on the news and saw the Twin Towers coming down, and I said, ‘Oh, my God...’ I screamed down the hotel hallway to all our people, ‘Everybody get out, let's leave now!’ Marlon Brando was on one end, our security was on the other end. We were all up there, but Elizabeth Taylor was at another hotel. We all got out of there as quickly as we could. We jumped in the car, but there were these girls who had been at the show the night before, and they were banging on the windows, running down the street screaming. Fans are so loyal. We hid in New Jersey. It was unbelievable… I was scared to death…”

On his favorite pastime activities:

“I like water-balloon fights. We have a water-balloon fort here, and we have a red team and a blue team. We have slings and cannons, and you are drenched by the time the game is over. There's a timer, and whoever gets the most points is the winner. If I'm going to do some kind of sport, I have to laugh. I don't do anything like basketball or golf. Basketball is very competitive, and so is tennis; they make you angry. I'm not into that. It should be therapeutic. I also like to go to amusement parks, hang with animals, things like that.” 

On one of his life's most ardent wishes:

"I would like to see an international children’s holiday to honor our children, because the family bond has been broken. There's a Mother's Day and there's a Father's Day, but there's no Children's Day. It would mean a lot. It really would. World peace. I hope that our next generation will get to see a peaceful world, not the way things are going now.”

On inspiration behind song, “Speechless”:

“I was with these kids in Germany, and we had a big water-balloon fight - I'm serious - and I was so happy after the fight that I ran upstairs in their house and wrote "Speechless." Fun inspires me. I hate to say that, because it's such a romantic song. But it was the fight that did it. I was happy, and I wrote it in its entirety right there. I felt it would be good enough for the album. Out of the bliss comes magic, wonderment, and creativity.”