Andre 3000 says that he was not confident in “Hey Ya!,” the eventual hit single from OutKast’s 2003 Speakerboxxx/TheLove Below album.
“I was completely terrified because it’s even worse because I’m coming from a Rap world and everybody got they face frowned up and wanna be as tough as possible and you out there singing,” Andre 3000 says in response to a question asked by HipHopDX during a press call held today (October 2). “The first ‘Hey Ya’ performance wasn’t that great. It was nerves. It was scary. Even when I presented the song to L.A. Reid to say, ‘Hey, this is the single,’ his response was, ‘To be honest, I don’t understand this song, but it’s exciting to me.’ So he stood by it and watched it happen. I’m glad he did. But there are nerves. I think you’ve gotta have some nerves. I think if you’re too comfortable with things, you really ain’t pushing nothing. You gotta stretch it out.”
Andre 3000, who portrays Jimi Hendrix in the forthcoming Jimi: All Is By My Side film, which is slated for an October 24 release, says that he is nervous when he tries new things artistically, much as he imagines Hendrix, an iconic musician, singer and songwriter who died in 1970, would have been.
“You are nervous,” Andre 3000 says. “I think Hendrix was nervous a bit, too. I think you’ve gotta be nervous in some kind of way because that drives it because it gives you the challenge to do it at that point. You know if it’s some kind of friction then that means that it’s good. Even when you read interviews about The Experience, they would always say, ‘We honestly did not rehearse a whole lot, because our biggest thing was we had balls, man. We would just go out and play and just do stuff.’ So that was kind of like addressing that Hendrix part. People failed to realize that that Beatles part came out a day before. So that’s like me getting a new album, no YouTube lessons or nothing like that, just getting a new album and going out there and doing a cover and fuck The Beatles. So that was as ballsy as you can get. That just says like, ‘Hey, I’m a guitar player and I pick up chords really quick. And it’s crazier if you pull up YouTube right now and pull up the actual Hendrix playing the Beatles song. He has a cigarette in his mouth and between while he’s playing he takes it out and throws it and he doesn’t miss a beat. That shows you how confident he is in it.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JUSTIN HUNTE