Andre 3000 Releases New Blue Sun- He Discusses His Debut Solo Album

Now this is an experience. Andre 3000 releases New Blue Sun; an album of expression without words. Andre never disappoints with his musical stylings; therefore, you are sure to feel transported to a level of artistry you have never experienced before, till now.

Yes, one of music’s greatest auteurs – André “3000” Benjamin – will release his debut solo album, New Blue Sun. Available beginning on November 17th, 2023 via Epic Records. Co-produced by Benjamin and lauded multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño. While also featuring the playing of: Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks; Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson, and Mia Doi Todd.

New Blue Sun is an entirely instrumental album centered around woodwinds. A celebratory piece of work in the form of a living, breathing, aural organism.

Over the past decade, André 3000 has lived without anchors, gently floating in a breeze. Blink and you might miss him: There he is in Japan, flashing a bright smile and a peace sign, his other hand holding a custom wooden flute. There he is again, this time in an airport terminal, playing a few spare notes to pass the time. Wait, is that André in SoHo with a latte? Casually walking around like he’s not who he is? It’s why you’ve seen him in scattered social media clips in recent years: The brother is so admired that any glimpse of him needs to be preserved.

The New Blue Sun Album by Andre 3000

But here’s the gag: André isn’t BigFoot. He isn’t some mythical being living in the hills. He’s very much aware of his legend as an award-winning actor, one-half of the GRAMMY-winning rap duo OutKast, and master of the show-stopping guest verse. Despite the fame, he’s still a journeyman, a student of nature and creativity — searching, navigating, listening to the wind.

Wind is the most essential element of his new solo album, New Blue Sun, an instrumental offering co-produced by Carlos Niño that brings André’s flute playing to the center. André took an interest in wind instruments at least 20 years ago. Though he experimented with guitars and bass, he liked how flutes and saxophones sounded. A jazz fan, he read that John Coltrane played clarinet before he played the sax, so he bought a clarinet and started playing it. He points to the end of 2003’s “She Lives In My Lap” as a gateway to his wind instrument playing. He belts out a few screechy wails to conclude the song. In 2019, André was featured on the James Blake track “Where’s the Catch?” There, he starts playing the bass clarinet with Blake on piano. The engineer captured the session and they put it out.

Andre 3000 Debut Solo Album, New Blue Sun

“I’ve been interested in winds for a long time, so it was just a natural progression for me to go into flutes,” André says. “I just like messing with instruments and I gravitated mostly toward wind.”

The album features a core group of today’s best healing music players: Niño on bells, chimes, cymbals, drums, gongs, plants and percussion; Nate Mercereau on guitar, guitar synth and live sampling; and Surya Botofasina on keyboards and synthesizers. André plays several different wind instruments on this album, including a digital wind instrument, a Maya flute, and others made of wood and bamboo.

Andre 3000 Releases New Blue Sun- He Discusses His Debut Solo Album

And before you ask: No, there aren’t any rhymes on this LP. In fact, there aren’t any words. It’s a fully instrumental record with long-running songs and equally long-winded titles. The opening song is 12 minutes and is called “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a Rap Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”

“There’s this misconception that I just won’t do it,” André says of releasing a rap record. “I think people feel like I’m sitting around on rap albums, or sitting around and I’m just not putting them out in that way. And no it’s not like that.”  He continues: “In my mind, I really would like to make a rap album. So maybe that happens one day, but I got to find a way to say what I want to say in an interesting way that’s appealing to me at this age.”

The Final Word

On purpose, André wants you to slow down, reset, and sit still. Let the music unfold. See where the air takes you. Influenced by Laraaji, Brian Eno, Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich and Pharoah Sanders, New Blue Sun envisions a vast world of exploration. “In this world,” André continues, “the sun will be blue so it’s actually a different world, as if this sun we are looking at now that we are living by, that sun is going to die out at some point.” The human race will still need warmth. “I don’t even know what they’re going to look like or what their animals are going to look like,” he says. “But in my mind, it would be this cooler burning sun that’s blue.”

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