Musician and Actor Lenny Kravitz – Part 2 of 2

Hari Sreenivasan sits down with celebrated musician and actor Lenny Kravitz to discuss his three decades of touring, charity work and family.

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Now we continue our interview with the multitalented rock star Lenny Kravitz sitting down with our Hari Sreenivasan who talks about three decades of touring charity work and why he his daughter his ex-wife and her new husband are one big happy family.

You've done this now, you've been touring 27 28 years on 30 not 30 this year coming yes.

So is the music changing you.

Are you changing the music.

I mean how does do you see that sort of evolution.

I do it comes through me.

I'm open to everything.

I listen to new things.

I'm still listening to the classics and still discovering old music that I hadn't discovered.

But I don't follow the trends.

I don't try to make hit records.

I never had.

Any record that I've had.

Has just been something that happened for me it's about being myself and through the years that ride will be up and down and up and down and straight up you know and I'm fine with that because here I am 30 years later and the arenas are full and the records are being listened to and the old fans are there the new fans are there and I'm quite grateful that I get to live my life doing what I love and that.

I can still be doing it with the best in front of me.

Do you not want to chase trends.

Quite the contrary you're a trendsetter especially when it comes to fashion sense of style I guess.

Where did you get that.

How did you mean watching your part.

I would think a lot through my mother and through growing up in New York City in those early 70s is really influential being around all of these artists musicians writers that had a flair you know style.

That's also what got me into interior design in architecture you know being around all these people that express themselves through their clothing through their interiors and you know and their art.


Your daughter recently said that that was actually part of what was tough growing up knowing that you had such a cool dad and a cool mom that they were such fashion plates I think the coach said said like dude can you just be low key a little bit just a shirt that I can't see your nipples too would be so dope.

Yeah we were living in Miami at the time it was hot.

I don't think that explains.

A multiple times that you see.


I mean you know she yeah she had to grow up with that.

And what's it like seeing your daughter now flourish.

Because it's the most beautiful thing ever.

I mean I had no idea which direction she was going to go I go into and I I thought she would not go in this direction.

You know when your parents are doing it you kind of want to go the other way.

And then all of a sudden she started acting auditioning and getting parts.

Where did it come from.

I'm married.

I'm supposed to share.


Now I look at her and it's just beautiful to see that she did it on her own.

Did people know who she was because of her parents.


But that lasts about five minutes.

Ultimately it's her skills again it comes down to her skills and she kept us out of it.

I didn't want to be a part of it.

And she has her own direction and her own vision.

And I watch her and I learn.

It's really beautiful to see.

You know one of the things that's interesting in the last few months we've also seen is that you're quite friendly with Jason Lamar who is married to Lisa Monet your ex wife.

That's my brother.


How do you pull that off.

It's most people can't do.

It's funny people the reactions.

I went to go see him host Saturday Night Live.

You guys have matching ring and yeah he.

Well he gave me one year after that after the show he gave me one of his rings and.

But it's interesting to see the reactions from people like how do you do it and it's so amazing and what an example blended families and love and respect and for us it's just normal you know.

And yes I know it doesn't have to be that way and I know there are so many people don't go in that direction.

They can't handle that.

But we're family.

You know Lisa and I were once together and we had Zoe and now we're back to a good brother sister kind of relationship.

But we're just as close and we love each other just as much as we did.

It's just a different dynamic.

She's now with Jason.

They have their relationship.

He respects me I respect him.

We like each other very much we love each other.

I now spend time with their kids.

I mean we're one family.

And that's the way it should be.

Love is love.

I'm not going to stop loving somebody because we're not having that type of relationship romantic relationship.

When you say Let Love Rule you have to let love rule in all the categories.

You know you have been designing for quite some time even designed a farm in Brazil you've designed homes interior design them.

You've had a one off Rolex furniture for CB2.

I mean is this like making music.

Absolutely it's the same for me it's the same thing.

I love making furniture doing interiors designing products.

I've been fortunate to work with you know great brands like you just said the Hodgeman like a Kamras Steinway piano.

Creative director right now for Dom Perignon for two years doing hotels doing condominiums private homes.

The creative process is the same.

You start with nothing and you you make something.

And I love it.

I was not educated in it formally.

I didn't go to school for it's just something that.

I had within me and I've been working on that for years and I built this company cravats design and we're working all around the world doing different things and it's a lot of fun and I get the same.

Joy and the same buzz that I get from making music.

Why still make music.

Because I have no choice.

I have to it.

I hear it's still I still hear it.

It still comes out of me and when I'm in the studio to this day it's the same as when I was in high school.

The feeling I used to get going into Studio Studio was a magical place.

You can just walk into a studio Studio was a place you had to be invited you had had the money to go in and what and when you got in there it was like you know going behind the curtain Wizard of Oz you know like you know the mixing console and the equipment in the room and you know it's like a sacred temple you know and I'm still just as excited as I was then.

I'm really grateful that I still had that that I'm not jaded that I'm not tired that I'm still excited to make art and to express myself.

Otherwise I would not be doing it.

The place you go back to this tiny island in the Bahamas Eleuthera it's a place that doesn't have a lot and you are also donating to a non-profit that's working there to try to build medical clinics to try to operate with dental care.

Why what.

Why there.

Well charity begins at home as my mother always taught me as a child.

And you know I was I was sitting at home at one day and I had some friends that I had invited from New York.

I happened to be a dentist and his wife and we started talking.

I said Man you should see what's going on around here you know this is a lack of care and this lack of education and he said I can't believe it's like that because I was describing how so many people have you know you know really bad oral health.

So I took him around the neighborhood in my Jeep and I started stopping people on the road said Hey man are you doing good.

It's my friendDr.


And I said how's your mouth.

And I looked at me.

Was that mean.

I don't know how's your mouth.

What's your mouth you have pain.

And we started he started examining people.

On the hood of my jeep on this one road.

He had his goggles and his thing and all his stuff to look in there.

He had his mask.

And he couldn't believe what he found.

I said You see it's a big problem.

People with their mouths just rotted out infections and I mean people with no teeth.

And so we just said you know what does help these folks and purchased all of the mobile equipment high tech equipment.

He got his doctors to come down.

He had like 35 doctors and we set up a clinic in the middle of town and worked for four or five days and helped you know.

400 some odd people the first time.

And we've been doing this this is our fourth year coming up now.

And it's it's the Let Love Rule Foundation and the glow good foundation that's headed byDr.

Levine my partner.

And it's beautiful.

We're about to have it again in a couple of weeks.

The end game is to have a freestanding medical full medical clinic.

With all of the equipment that will be free to the island.

And in order to help that you're you're also behind a toothpaste.

I mean this is not a Lenny Kravitz toothpaste.

That's it.

That's that's the newest component.

So myself and the two sons ofDr.

Levine Julian and Cody have started a toothpaste called twice which comes with two toothpastes one for morning one for night.

Two different flavors two different dynamics encouraging people to brush twice a day because 100 million folks don't brush twice a day in fact.

And part of the proceeds go back to this mission so that we can continue doing this service to people in the islands and also take it to other places in the world in the future.

So it's a beautiful thing and I get to do this in my backyard at home.

And it's an honor to be able to provide this.

You have gotten to play with everyone from Al Green to Jaycee.

You've performed at the Super Bowl and rattle off a few moments that come to mind about music and your participation in it.

I mean I've had the opportunity to work with my heroes and the people that influenced me and educated me from Prince to David Bowie and Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones to Robert Plant.


King to.

That's incredible luck.

Labelle too.

I mean you know Madonna and you know I can't think of everybody just right this second right.

You know what do you remember I mean give me like it might not be a moment that we witnessed half a billion people watch it zoomable but what's what's something that the quiet moments when you're down like having Stevie Wonder in your living room playing your piano and just singing with you and.

Having fun.

You know when nobody's watching.

Same thing with the Jagger sitting at my piano playing the blues and those kind of moments when when nobody's looking and you're just having fun sitting with Lionel Richie in the kitchen writing a song and my grandfather who's live at the time telling us that could you guys take us somewhere else.

I'm trying to watch the telly.

Those are the moments yeah you're going to go on tour now or this album.

Yeah I've been I've been on tour for this album.

We've already done Mexico Europe and.

Small Tour of America.

And I'm getting ready to do South America.

And Chile all the way up to Brazil Argentina Lambi and so forth.

And then I'm going to do a full tour of Europe again.

And then a full tour of the United States again and that will go until the end of the summer.

You're already working 19.

Are you working on more music already.

Yeah I'm I'm two albums ahead of myself.



Is that how it usually works.

No I usually do one at a time and then I take a break.

But I'm committed for the next five years to keep working without break.

I feel it's time for me to just continue on this journey with no break.

That's intense.

Yeah it's beautiful.

Lenny Kravitz thanks so much as a pleasure to speak with you take him in.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Lawrence Summers about President Trump’s proposed all and the government shutdown; and Katharine Hayhoe about the numerical facts of climate change. Hari Sreenivasan continues his conversation with actor and musician Lenny Kravitz.