Just a music guy: Lenny Kravitz

A townhouse on a secluded side street in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. It’s been fourteen years since Lenny Kravitz found this villa, and anyone looking around the place will immediately grasp the importance that style, aesthetics and design have for him. Our meeting also is a rare opportunity to meet Lenny Kravitz up close and candid, to discover the person behind the stage persona. And that was exactly what we set out to do.
Text Rüdiger Sturm
Photo Francois Halard

Mr. Kravitz, what is good style?
If you present yourself truthfully and are authentic, then that’s good style. When you see somebody not being themselves or trying to be something else, it becomes awkward.

Where do you have your sense for aesthetics from?
Since I was a kid, I was always into the aesthetic around me. How I would put together my room . . . I was always into that. I just grew up around so many colorful people. My mother was doing theater; through her I got to know a lot of actors. My father was a jazz promoter and he was friends with Miles Davis and other jazz greats.

Do you think your sense of style has helped you have more luck with the ladies?
I never thought of it like that. Design is a big part of my life. I have my own design company. Right now, I’m in the middle of a hotel project, a condominium, a high rise in Miami, a fifty-story building – besides other things. But it’s very interesting when a woman comes into my life. They show up – and everything is already done. A lot of guys need a woman to do X, Y and Z, but I’ve already done it all. They look at my furniture, and I go like, “You’re not going to move that, are you? It’s in the right place already!”

"A lot of guys need a woman to do X, Y and Z, but I’ve already done it all. They look at my furniture, and I go like, “You’re not going to move that, are you? It’s in the right place already!” "

You’re known as a ladies’ man in Hollywood . . .
More than Hollywood! I just wanted to get that straight. (laughs)

The New York Timesonce called you an “international love god” . . .
I never saw that article. But I can tell you one thing: I would love to become a family guy again. I would love to have a couple more kids.

And how are you going to do that?
Every day is a journey. I just try to be present every day, to be in the moment, to be thankful, to be aligned with God.

Is religion important for you?
Very important. I don’t see it as just religion. I believe I was created by God. I am in contact all day every day. Having a relationship with the Creator, which is what I do, is very important for me to feel connected.

You’ve been called a recluse at times. Do you need to isolate yourself from others to feel this connection?
I love being with people, too. There are people that are close to me who I love being around. But when I am working, I’m surrounded by a crew of a hundred people and I’m always giving all day. Then I find that I need my time and my space. I went to the Bahamas for two years once and lived in a trailer in a town of four hundred people. I found being in nature and being quiet I was able to hear myself, I was able to get in contact and find things in myself that were bothering me. I was able to forgive myself for things that I had done and deal with the death of my mother and father, which I hadn’t really dealt with deeply yet. Things that were just in me.

"I can tell you one thing: I would love to become a family guy again. I would love to have a couple more kids."

Should everyone try that once?
I had some friends that came to the Bahamas to do some work with me and one of them had a real anxiety attack, because it was too damn quiet. There is no Internet and no TV. The first week you are in this atmosphere, it’s strange how you hear the silence. You hear this humming. But it’s you! I think it’s really important for us to take a time out like that. You don’t have to go to the Bahamas – you can find a way to do it in the middle of where you are. I’ve found the most happiness ever in being alone. When you wake up one morning by yourself and say, “I am by myself, but I’m not lonely.”

The complete interview with Lenny Kravitz and many more stories can be found in the current rampstyle #20.

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