"With black music, there's a very strong social point to make. There's a means of discovery and a purpose."
Screenshot via TODAY
David Bowie's death today has been a source of sadness, of course, but, as tributes and memories begin pouring in, it's also offering a remarkable chance to revisit his legacy, discover perspectives of him available online for the first time, and get a sense of just how far-reaching his influence and vision was across any number of artistic genres. Among the material making its way online for the first time is an interview NBC's TODAY unearthed from 1993, in which Bowie sat down with the show's Bryant Gumbel to talk about his new album, Black Tie, White Noise.
In the interview, Gumbel asks about Bowie's view of himself as a rock star, the appeal of his music to the youth of the 90s, and, additionally, his view of hip-hop, which was reaching a new level of mainstream awareness at the time. "You were saying that the only people in the music business now in your opinion who were being truly creative were the rappers," Gumbel says, to which Bowie responds, "Yes, I believe that's so."
He goes on to add, "The quality and significance of the social message has moved very much to the black and hispanic market. And that's where the new force of music is coming from... With black music, there's a very strong social point to make. There's a means of discovery and a purpose."
Bowie also shares some general thoughts on creativity, explaining, that, although music has a strong commercial presence, he doesn't see that as the primary draw for most people to make it. "It's nice to think, I guess to be cynical about it, that it's a good career opportunity for young people, but I don't think it is," he tells Gumbel. "I think everybody who picks up a guitar and puts pen to paper has something in his system, in himself, that he wants to express to others and have them understand him—or her."
Of his own music, he adds, "If I don't put my all into something that I'm writing I inevitably regrets about it."
It's a charming interview that gives a great look into the mind of a musician who, at all stages of his career, above all appreciated truth and originality and artistry in all its forms. Watch it below:
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