André 3000 explains what it means to be a “catalyst artist”

The artist released his solo instrumental album, New Blue Sun, last November.

Andre 3000 on stage. He is playing a woodwind instrument.

Image: Scott Kowalchyk / CBS via Getty Images

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André 3000 has shared why he feels he is a “catalyst artist” and what it really means to be one.

The musician released his debut solo album, New Blue Sun, back in 2023 – a collection of instrumental tracks consisting mostly of flute – and is currently touring in support of the album through to March.

3000 appeared on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week, where he was asked about a previous NPR interview he participated in, in which he referred to himself as a “catalyst”.

“I’ve noticed that I’m a catalyst kind of artist… I’m being used in ways to be watched, to be inspiring to people. And to me, that’s the best thing ever, man; to inspire someone else to do something else,” he said at the time.

Speaking to Colbert, the artist further expanded on what he meant by this term (via NME): “Every artist is a catalyst artist, but – we [him and Big Boi as OutKast] started this when we were 17 – I’ve lived long enough to see it [his artistry] affect other artists. And it’s like, ‘Woah!’. You’re happy that you meant something.”

You can watch the interview below:

Last year, André 3000 addressed why he decided not to rap on the new album. Speaking to GQ, he said: “I’ve worked with some of the newest, freshest, youngest, and old-school producers. I get beats all the time. I try to write all the time.

“Even now people think, Oh, man, he’s just sitting on raps, or he’s just holding these raps hostage. I ain’t got no raps like that. It actually feels…sometimes it feels inauthentic for me to rap because I don’t have anything to talk about in that way.”

He added, “I’m 48 years old, and not to say that age is a thing that dictates what you rap about, but in a way it does. And things that happen in my life, like, what are you talking about? ‘I got to go get a colonoscopy.’ What are you rapping about? ‘My eyesight is going bad.’”

View André 3000’s upcoming tour dates.

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