NEW YORK.- Kenny G He has been one of the most loved and hated figures in music for the past three decades. But the famous saxophonist with long curly brown hair has ignored his critics and has remained largely indifferent.
If they are going to criticize me, I am not going to let myself be affected by it because I already know that I am doing the best I can. That’s where self-confidence comes from, ”said the Grammy winner. “Did it ever really hurt? To be honest, no, because I have my armor of knowing that I am doing the best I can. That’s why I practice every day … I’m never a little rusty, never ”.
The unconventional journey of Kenny G Towards the top, and the feathers of the jazz purists he has shaken along the way, is explored in the new documentary Listening to Kenny G, directed by Penny Lane, which premiered yesterday on HBO. In addition to the reviews, the film details his upbringing in Seattle, his discovery by legendary music executive Clive Davis, and the enormous success of pieces like Silhouette, Songbird, and Sentimental.
Kenny G, who released the New Standards album yesterday, recently chatted about his involvement in the film, his legacy and his work with contemporary artists like Kanye West and The Weeknd.
The movie begins with some very harsh criticism of you, but you seem to slip. Have you ever been disturbed?
Since the ’80s, I’ve always seen it this way: they don’t like my particular style of music. So the songs that I released, especially once they became popular, of course, they hated them more … They think that maybe I’m just creating these tunes because I know that somehow they will sell records and I will become rich and famous, some of which I had no idea. I’m just playing songs the way I listen to them. I love a melody played correctly.
What convinced you to participate in a documentary with Penny Lane?
She wasn’t necessarily a fan of my music, which I thought was great that she said right from the start. But it’s not that she didn’t like it, she just wasn’t a huge fan who wanted to make a tape about me. He simply told me that there was a story to tell about how “there is a group of people who really have a problem with your success. And I would like to tell that story. I said, “I’ve been hearing that since the 80’s.”
He has connected with Kanye West and The Weeknd. Is this how it stays current?
I’m really flattered when I get those phone calls from Kanye and then from The Weeknd, of course. It makes me feel really good that somehow they want my sound to be part of their music. And they are so popular now that they don’t need me, I’m not doing them a huge favor. They are not contacting me so I can help them sell records. They do it simply because, creatively, they think, “Oh wow, (we love) your sound.”
What do you think your legacy will be? The documentary leads to that question
God, she had never thought of anything like this. I don’t think of myself seriously enough to have a legacy. I don’t know, hopefully it inspires people to want to play saxophone … Maybe part of my legacy is that people are really interested in me because of the notoriety I have.
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