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Fame & Fortune
Lenny Kravitz
Musician has designs on a new artistic direction
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: Lenny Kravitz

Bankrate: Considering your level of success, in what sense do you still need to be chasing the carrot stick?

Lenny Kravitz: There's your own expectations -- your ego, your desire to stay on your game and to stay out there. The longer you're in it, the harder it gets and the more work it takes.

Bankrate: When you write new songs, what inspires you the most?

Lenny Kravitz: Life. All the albums are reflections of my life and what I was thinking. I never sit down to write anything. Things just start coming out, inspired by people, events, things ... life.

Bankrate: There have been so many changes in the music business since your last album, with iTunes exploding, online downloads, the Radiohead experiment. Has any of this changed the way you look at your career?

Lenny Kravitz: I've done a lot of things differently this time, a lot of online presence I didn't have before. The business is changing by the day, and the whole model is gonna be something else. I'm still tied to a record label right now; I'm working that way, but we'll see what happens.

Bankrate: You recently started an interior design firm, Kravitz Design. How did that start?

Lenny Kravitz: I just stared it. It was something I wanted to do for myself. I can only design so many places for myself, so I opened the company. We're doing work for hotels and residences. It's expanding and growing. I get much enjoyment out of it.

Bankrate: How did you fall in love with design?

Lenny Kravitz: It's something I always had in me. My environment was always important to me as a kid -- my room, the way I arranged things. Aesthetically, my stuff always had to be right. It's something in me.

Bankrate: What are some of the projects you're working on?

Lenny Kravitz: I can tell you things that just opened. One is a hotel in Miami called The Delano. We took the ground floor below the lobby and I did a lounge/piano bar that takes up most of that floor. It's called The Florida Room. That just opened. I did all the furniture inside the place as well as the interior. Then, a recording studio and suite at a hotel in Miami called Setai. It's the biggest place on South Beach, a glass, concrete tower, and then they have an old hotel in the front. That's what we just opened up.

Bankrate: Are you doing the actual designing, or just taking more of a supervisor/leader role?

Lenny Kravitz: Absolutely in all the details. It's not something I just put my name on. Down to the screw. Every last detail. You're not just getting the name Kravitz Design. I'm there. I'm there when it's going up, with the hard hat. I'm there.

Bankrate: Was this inspired solely by your love for design, or do you have a love for the business side of things in general?

Lenny Kravitz: No, no, design. I'm an artist before a businessman.

Bankrate: That being the case, are you very hands-on with the business side of things, or do you turn that over to others?

Lenny Kravitz: I have to be on that side as well. It's not the fun part, but I have to.

Bankrate: That's the part you endure to get to the good stuff?

Lenny Kravitz: Yeah. I didn't grow up saying I want to be a businessman. I want to be an artist.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: July 11, 2008
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