André 3000’s ‘New Blue Sun’ Is the Next Step In His Creative Evolution

André 3000‘s first full-length release in 17 years, New Blue Sun, is officially here, and he’s trading his raps for his flutes.

Clocking in at approximately an hour and 30 minutes, the eight-track album is a fully instrumental album with a focus on wind instruments like a Maya flute, digital wind instrument and others made of wood and bamboo. 3 Stacks’ debut record hears him play alongside Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Diego Gaeta, Jesse Peterson and Mia Doi Todd, and is a body of work that compiles his journey and progression (so far) in studying woodwinds. New Blue Sun is all about the now — a reminder to immerse yourself in the present and what it has to offer you.

The shift in sound shouldn’t come as too much for a surprise to fans, however; he’s been spotted all over the world in coffee shops, gas stations, airports and even the streets with his flute, playing for innocent passersby who probably question whether or not the man performing is actually André 3000. Moreover, the 48-year-old has, for the most part of his career as a “solo” artist and as the other half of Outkast, always offered music that hits the ears unexpectedly. Diving into winds almost seemed natural for him.  “In this world, 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,” he says. “I don’t even know what they’re going to look like or what their animals are going to look like. But in my mind, it would be this cooler burning sun that’s blue.”

New Blue Sun comes with the question of whether André will ever return to rap, and he’s still open to the possibility. “There’s this misconception that I just won’t do it. 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 shares. “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.”

“It’s therapeutic to be in that setting and playing and having to be fully in the moment,” he continues. “Don’t think about the future, don’t think about the past. There’s something about knowing that this was created without any of the people knowing what was coming. It’s just beautiful to hear a natural happening.”

Stream André 3000’s New Blue Moon on Spotify and Apple Music.

Elsewhere in music, Travis Scott revealed his plans to study architecture at Harvard following his ongoing tour.

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