Childish Gambino speaks on his various gigs, from "Atlanta" to "Star Wars."
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, has been thrusted back into the limelight, first with his uber-successful TV series "Atlanta" and then, right as the series ended (no coincidence?), an album announcement. It's been three years since Gambino's last album, Because the Internet.
Gambino touched on the inspiration behind Awaken, My Love! briefly during a new interview with Billboard. He says it all started with a childhood memory. "I remember listening to songs my dad would play — albums by the Isleys or Funkadelic — and not understanding the feeling I was feeling," he told Billboard. "I remember hearing a Funkadelic scream and being like, ‘Wow, that’s sexual and it’s scary.’ Not having a name for that, though; just having a feeling. That’s what made it great." A funkadelic sound is certainly present in his new record "Redbone," and the '70s further fuel Gambino's new body of work: "There’s something about that ’70s black music that felt like they were trying to start a revolution."
He calls Awaken, My Love! "an exercise in just feeling and tone," as opposed to past albums, which he says were very much "written." In Gambino's eyes, Awaken, My Love! and "Atlanta" are not so different. They were both created from the same home-- one during the daytime, and one during the night. "I never really saw them as different things," he tells Billboard. Thus, we should see some parallels in content.
Speaking on "Atlanta," Gambino's intent was to share the black experience ("I want people to feel scared, because that’s what it feels like to be black"). He calls the landscape of the show "kind of nightmare-y. It’s not even, ‘Oh, it’s scary,’ so much as the feeling in a nightmare where you’re like, ‘I know how to run fast, but I can’t. I know what’s going on, but I have no control.’"
Finally, he spoke on his role in the new "Star Wars" film. "When the world found out I got the part is when I found out," he revealed. "Growing up, I was pretty into it. I got taken out of school to see Episode I. It was the first toy I had. The Dagobah system” — Yoda’s home — “has definitely played a part in my dreams."
Check out "Redbone" and stay tuned for more information on the album.