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Lenny Kravitz: US / Bahamian Superstar Inspired in Eleuthera
Working for Fall '09 release of a New Album, as his 20th Anniversary CD is released, in his New Eleuthera Studio, 'Gregory Town Sound'.
Singer-songwriter, producer, and outright Superstar, Lenny Kravitz is currently in Eleuthera, with several weeks remaining, working in the most picturesque of locations at Gregory Town, in his new state of the art recording studio dubbed ‘Gregory Town Sound’, recently completed.
Kravitz revealed in conversation with The Eleutheran, that his 20th anniversary package – 20 years since ‘Let Love Rule’ is completed and being released presently. “What I’m working on now is the next album set to come out in the Fall, with all new songs, including the theme song from ‘Push’, the Lee Daniels movie, and a World Tour later this spring. I’m starting to act and I’m doing a couple of movies and did a little role in ‘Push’. I’m doing photography as well and have a couple exhibitions coming up, so I’m just being creative in general. The Bahamas is a great place to center that whole thing.”
Lenny working in studio on new score for the film 'Push', directed by Lee Daniels
The studio, which took two years to construct and outfit with a collection of vintage equipment, was just completed several weeks ago and Omar Davis of Governor’s Harbour was credited by Kravitz as having done much of the work.
Kravitz's studio is fully equipped, including a grand piano and vintage equipment
When asked about why he chose to work on this particular album in Eleuthera, Kravitz answered, “This is the dream place to work; for twenty years I’ve been wanting to have this studio here. I’ve been talking about it since I moved here…I’m away a lot, I’m working a lot, there’s a lot going on. You can’t always realize all of your dreams in one moment, but I made a decision to put the studio here. I wake up in the morning, I come straight to the studio; it’s right here by the water. There’s no other place I’d want to record.”
The Eleutheran's Editor, Elizabeth Bryan with Lenny Kravitz, Tada and Craig Woods
Lenny, whose maternal grandfather is from Matthew Town, Inagua, has been coming to the Bahamas his whole life, and says, “Most of my family ended up in Nassau, so since I was a baby, I’ve been coming to Nassau like twice a year – summers and Christmas. My mom would send me for my Bahamian home training.”
He first stepped foot on Eleuthera back in 1988, when a cousin of his from Nassau, Nurse Deanna Saunders Holland, who had moved to Eleuthera to take up the post of nurse in Gregory Town and Governor’s Harbour told him, “you’ve never been to an outer island, why don’t you come.”
Kravitz continued to share, “This was in 1988, so I jumped on the mail boat from Nassau, the Eleuthera Express, got in here at midnight and pulled into Hatchet Bay – and I’ve never looked back. I felt it and I fell in love with the place. My first record (Let Love Rule) came out in 1989 – I was working on the record in ’88 and the first money that I made, I bought property here. I was like - if I never work again or if this doesn’t work out, I’ve got my property.
“So it’s been twenty years in the making. Why would I want to go anywhere else to work? This is the place I love being the most. It doesn’t get any better than this. When I have to work, two or three months on a record, I don’t have to go anywhere. So that’s how it all happened.”
When asked about his experiences with the people of Eleuthera, Lenny smiled, “The best people in the world. The beautiful thing about living in a town like this where there’s only four hundred plus people is that you know everybody, and you know everybody in other towns, all my people, we all look out for each other, and have each other’s backs. I think some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life are here and I feel totally at home here. And people here don’t care about who I am (as far as this other thing, whatever you want to call it – show business). I’m just a local here and that’s how I’m treated. And that’s how I like it.”
Kravitz has visited a number of the other family islands, including the Exumas, Andros and Cat Island, but looks forward to visiting his ancestral home of Inagua to see where his grandfather was born. Another Bahamian wish is to travel all around the islands by sail boat.
The Eleutheran was accompanied on this visit by Craig Woods, Bahamas Film Commissioner; Terneille ‘Tada’ Burrows, Bahamian recording artist & Maria Govan, Bahamian writer/director, who sat down with Kravitz and had a candid conversation about a number of hot spot issues in today’s Bahamas, including politics, culture, the environment, youth and more.
Kravitz chats with recording artist, Terneille 'Tada' Burrows and Filmmaker, Maria Govan
From this conversation the idea to have a broader unscripted videotaped conversation about pressing issues with a circle of fellow Bahamian music and media artists sometime in mid-March grew. Kravitz goes on World Tour later this spring, but despite his schedule promised to take some time to share his views in a candid exchange of creative opinions.