by Mesfin Fekadu
AP Music Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — In order to capture his best version of Jimi Hendrix for an upcoming biopic, Andre 3000 said he had to think of him as a regular dude and not a rock star.
“I didn’t look at him as an icon because when you’re in it, you don’t know you’re an icon. You don’t know you’re an icon until another people say you’re an icon,” the 37-year-old said in an interview Tuesday.
“So I had to take it as a person, you know what I mean? And I just tried to say, ‘Well, what would Jimi want people to know that they can’t get off of YouTube?’ And that’s how I approached it,” he said.
Hendrix died at age 27 in 1970. He was ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest guitarists of all-time list. His band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, is known for iconic albums such as “Electric Ladyland” and “Are You Experienced.”
“All Is by My Side,” which focuses on the early days of Hendrix’s career, will be released next year. Andre 3000 is excited to see the film, which he’s finished shooting in Ireland. He believes the public “will be pleased.”
Andre 3000, one-half of OutKast with Big Boi, has been out of the music scene in recent years, although he’s been featured on songs by Beyonce, Frank Ocean, Rick Ross, Ke$ha and Young Jeezy.
OutKast’s 2006 platinum-selling album, “Idlewild,” which accompanied a film of the same name starring the duo, was their last album. Their 11-time platinum “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” won the 2004 Grammy Award for album of the year.
Big Boi, who released a solo album two years ago to welcoming reviews, will release a new solo disc, “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors,” next month.
But Andre 3000 isn’t in a rush to record an album.
“Some days I feel like I’ll do it, some days I don’t. Some days I feel like I don’t need to, some days I feel like I want to do it before I die. So, I don’t know where to fall. I am just hoping one day I get that inspiration,” he said at an event for Gillette’s eMO’gency Styler Tour, which supports men’s health and prostate cancer programs. The tour kicked off in New York, with stops scheduled in Chicago and Houston.
“It’s a feeling for me. Like, I can’t just throw out an album to be rapping,” he said. “And I don’t even know if it will be rap. I don’t even know what it will be.”
However, he could find the inspiration and complete an album in just a few days: “It could be a rush situation. Like if I feel that feeling and I record an album in three days and I’m like, ‘This is what I want to say right now’ — that can happen, too.”
He also says he’s constantly writing songs.
“I write all the time. … I actually stopped typing it in my phone because like a cloud is basically reading every thought that I have and I don’t like that,” he said. “So I went back to my paper and started writing.”
He’s not sure fans want a new OutKast album for the right reasons.
“Man, we’ve had a great ride. … Like when we got into it when we were high school kids and we just wanted to do something fun and push it, and if it’s not that then why do it?” he said.
“I’m not the type that prescribes to nostalgia, and most people say they want an OutKast album because they used to love it. Y’all don’t even know if y’all still love it. You just know you used to love it. But you may not like it now, who knows?”
(Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin.)