The world premiere of John Legend and his new album Echo is set for Sunday.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with John and the producer of the album, John Legend, in London for a wide-ranging interview about the record and the making-of process.
John Legend’s new album is out November 22.
Check out the interview with the producer below.
What was it like to write and produce the new album for John Legend?
It was amazing.
It was a huge undertaking and it was an emotional thing.
I didn’t want it to be the final product.
John’s a very private guy, so he didn’t tell me what to write or what he wanted.
He just wanted me to make a record that felt right.
I think that’s what he really wanted.
But it wasn’t just a personal record.
It felt like a collaboration, and we got together with a producer that I knew, that I was comfortable working with.
We were working in the same studio together.
I think we both really appreciated each other and we really got along.
Did you do a ton of writing on Echo?
I think the only thing I wrote that didn’t have to be in the song was the chorus.
I’m really glad that it was done in a way that was respectful to John.
I guess it’s one of the things that made the record work for him.
When you write the music for a record, there’s a certain amount of work that you have to put in.
John and I wrote the music together and it didn’t need to be that way.
It’s the same thing with the album.
The songwriting is just great.
What did you expect when you started working with John?
The first song that we wrote together was called “Pleasure.”
I wanted to write something for him that was really simple.
I wanted it to sound like John, and I didn ‘t want to sound a bit like him.
I thought that’s a bit cliché.
It could have been an Elvis song, a classic John song, or something like that.
I went back and re-wrote it to fit his style.
It came out really well, but it wasn ‘t the same song.
I wasn’t expecting anything like that, but I thought it would be good for John.
I didn’t realize that John would write his own songs.
He has an incredible voice.
It made it easier for me to write with him.
He wrote a lot of the lyrics on the record.
He said, “I don’t like to sing lyrics, but you write your own.”
I think it was a great thing.
Did he make a conscious decision to avoid the typical rap or trap influences?
He wasn’t trying to avoid them.
He was really into a more dark, darker sound, but with a little bit of hip-hop.
I felt like that’s really where he really hit the high notes of his music.
What he really liked to do was make a lot more electronic music and trap, which he’s great at.
I just feel like that was the direction that he was going.
How much did you work on it together?
I wrote most of the songs myself.
We just worked through a lot and I’m glad that he liked it.
What was your first impression of John?
John’s always very open and honest.
I never get to know John.
He can be very self-critical.
I know that he’s always had a lot going on.
He’s always doing things in a very vulnerable way.
He does get very emotional, and he’s very funny.
I was always amazed that he would say stuff like that about himself, and the world.
He did have a lot to say, and his honesty was really touching to hear.
Did you have any expectations for the record when you wrote it?
I had a couple of expectations that I had to meet before I went out on the road with it.
I’d have to go out and record with John.
But the other one was that I wanted John to be a little more open with his emotions.
I’ve known John for 20 years and we have a really good friendship.
I knew that he had a great life.
I did not expect him to be so open with himself.
It surprised me a little.
Did John ever tell you that he wrote some of the music on the album?
No, he didn ‘T tell me.
But I think I know how he feels about the way he makes music.
He knows how to write, and that’s why he’s able to put together an amazing album.
Did his reaction to the record change when you were writing it?
We did have some things going on together that he didn’ t want to talk about.
He never really had any intention of talking about anything, but he did tell me that he likes the way I write.
I always get excited when I hear that.
But he doesn