Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

He was an idol of women. Lenny Kravitz turns 60

“I am a combination of two worlds: black and white, Jews and Christians, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The first years of my life were often marked by complete opposites. As a child, you don't worry about such things. I accepted my dual nature. I liked it. Different corners of my life. heart and mind complemented each other like yin and yang, providing me with balance and peace, igniting my curiosity about life,” he writes in his autobiography “Lenny Kravitz. Let Love Rule”.

Lenny Kravitz (check!), actually Leonard Albert Kravitzwas born on May 26, 1964 in New York, as an only son Sy Kravitzproducer at NBC, of ​​Ukrainian-Jewish descent and Roxie Rokera theater actress whose fame was brought to life by the series “The Jeffersons”, whose roots reached the Bahamas. From an early age – thanks to the very open and sociable home run by his parents – Kravitz moved in the circles of New York's high society, artists, producers and actors. There he was Leonard of the Upper East Side. But New York is also Brooklyn and its grandparents. There he was unruly Eddie – free from his father's military discipline, fascinated by the culture of Brooklyn, its freedom, fashion and music. Each of these worlds was close to him, inspired him, and interested him. These fascinations were only a spark. The real fire was lit by his loved ones – sometimes with a small gesture, a harsh comment, and sometimes with a clear encouragement to follow his dream of music.

The first person to put a microphone in Lenny's hand was his grandfather, Joe. “I think he subconsciously aroused his own unfulfilled ambitions in me. He had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and he loved to record himself singing various hits. When he had had enough, he gave me the microphone. I felt natural and had a great time.” Although strict and cold in his relationship with his son, Sy Kravitz also ignited his son's musical passion. He bought him his first guitar and took him to a concert The Jackson 5. To this day, the photo taken that evening occupies an important place in the artist's home and is his most valuable souvenir.

“It shows something more than just an event that changed my life. It is also proof of my father's love and understanding of who I am. It's interesting that he didn't see so many things about me, that there was so much that separated us. But in that wonderful moment “his intuition ignited a fire in me. A fire that defined me in my later years,” he recalls in his autobiography.

His mother, who was the most important figure in his life, an example of a woman – demanding, but sensitive, devoted, hard-working, supportive – led him to a place that provided him with vocal skills, the only one he received. After moving to Los Angeles, his mother encouraged him to join the California Boys' Choir. “The years I spent in the choir turned out to be extremely important to me. It was my only formal musical education. I didn't learn R&B or rock'n'roll at any school. I learned such things on my own,” he says.

In Los Angeles, teenage Lenny only deepened her fascination with music and the nightlife of the local bohemia, while at the same time looking for her own style and voice. The youthful admiration for The Jackson 5 gave way to the admiration he had for them Prince, David Bowie, Kiss. He appreciated artists who were expressive, distinctive, different, brave, and brilliant misfits. But the pursuit of music clearly deepened conflicts with his father, who valued drill and a sense of duty above all else. The conflict exploded when 16-year-old Lenny decided to disobey his father. When he left the house, he knew he would never return there. He just had to keep his word to his mother that he would finish high school.

The years of youthful independence were the time of staying with friends, working in a fish fryer, and as a dishwasher. For a time, his home was a rented Ford Pinto. “On the one hand, I was a high school kid, and on the other, I was a musician trying to break through,” he recalled in his autobiography, describing an episode with the band Wave, which he founded with his friends. “There was the only artist on this stage. You” – he heard from his father after one of the performances. And again, to his surprise, his father put his career on the right track, solo, interrupted by work as a session musician.

In 1989, Kravitz debuted with his first album “Let Love Rule”, which was created with the financial support of his father. America wasn't ready for the sound he offered. But Europe, yes. While touring the Old Continent promoting the album, Kravitz realized that he wanted juicy music on stage, he wanted a show. With the help of the label, he managed to get the band together. He played his first real rock show during the Rencontres Trans Musicales festival held in Rennes, France. It was Europe that first fell in love with Kravitz. It took America five years for his debut album to go gold.

Subsequent albums, released at intervals of 2-3 years, only confirmed his stage position. He balanced on the edge of genres and images. Like his idols, he played with form. But being called a rock star? This, according to critics, did not suit him.

“There was an article that said, 'If Lenny Kravitz were white, he would be the next savior of rock 'n' roll.' I was accused of being unoriginal. There were a lot of negative comments from all these older white men who didn't want to let me take over “It was discouraging at times. But it didn't affect me that much – after all, I'm here, happy, healthy, focused and I know I still have so much to do,” he admitted in an interview for Esquire. Interestingly, others believe that his approach to music revived a somewhat ossified idea of ​​rock'n'roll. Because a beautiful man appears on the stage, with a hypnotizing voice, playing with style, also on stage, not in line with rock, but with a rock edge.

Today, journalists repeat like a mantra that he is a man who attracts all attention, a person who exudes unwavering self-confidence and a charm that is difficult to detect. It fascinates and intimidates, just like before Prince Whether David Bowie. He talks about spirituality, sex and music with ease. No one was surprised by the fact that he became friends with the actor Jason Momoanow ex-husband Lisa Bonetwith which he was associated in the years 1985-1993.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing you for a long time and I must say that being your daughter was one of the greatest adventures of my life. You were so young when I was born. In many ways we grew up together,” said his daughter, Zoe Kravitz during the March ceremony of unveiling Lenny Kravitz's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “I've seen you change beautifully, I've seen you stay the same in the things that are important. I've seen how you care for those you love. I've seen your dedication to art. But most of all, I've seen what's under your shirt…”

In her speech, the actress, to the amusement of many, referred to her father's characteristic style. “If it doesn't show your nipples, it's not a shirt according to my dad. But at this point, I have to admit that I respect that. Your relationship with the mesh shirt is the longest relationship of all. But what's cool about you isn't what what people think about you. Your joy does not come from your sunglasses, leather pants or mesh shirts, but from your true love for life. Everything you do is an expression of this love,” the actress admitted his father that his parents are certainly proud of him.

And Lenny himself, standing at the threshold of another decade, assures that he is ready for a new stage in his life, for new love and everything that life still has to offer. He will still intimidate with his style, perfect form and infect Leonard from Manhattan and Eddie from Brooklyn with his love for life and childlike passion.

A new stage begins with the recently released album “Blue Electric Light”. As part of the promotion of this material, the 60-year-old star will return to Poland for two concerts: on July 21 in Krakow (TAURON Arena) and on July 23 in Łódź (Atlas Arena).