Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx says there was a point in his career when he was told to stick to the jokes and not explore singing.
Over the years, Foxx has made a name for himself as an actor, singer-songwriter, comedian, television presenter, and record producer, and has earned the tag of a multihyphenate performer.
Asked if he ever felt like he had to sacrifice one creative endeavour for another, Jamie Foxx said: “I was actually lucky. I remember being on ‘In Living Color’, and being told by an executive, ‘Foxx, stick to the jokes, man. You ain’t gonna be able to do all this singing’. Because I was always singing in my dressing room. I remember Tommy Davidson getting my back, (saying) ‘No, he should do everything’. And then, a wonderful thing happened, things opened up. When they opened up, I took advantage of it by being able to have Kanye West at my house when he was just the first Kanye at my house.”
Jamie Foxx continued: “And there was Puff and a young Jay-Z. Nobody knew who Jay-Z was. And there was a young guy standing in my garage who said, ‘I’m part of The Neptunes. My name is Pharrell’. Imagine this little, small house with Missy Elliott, Puff, Jay-Z, and a young Kanye. The next thing you know Kanye started singing ‘She said she wants some Marvin Gaye, some Luther Vandross’, and the next thing you know, the music happens.”
Looking back at his time working on sketch comedy television series, “In Living Color”, Foxx shared: “What happened was that I outgrew the Wanda character from ‘In Living Color’. I was years removed from that. Most people knew me as a girl. And then, the younger generation ‘That’s the dude that sings with Kanye and Drake’. I didn’t have to sacrifice anything, but I had to be very careful that we at least had to be successful with it. Had ‘Slow Jamz’ and ‘Gold Digger’ not worked, then we would have had to sacrifice some things. So, you can do it all, but you just have to respect them all.”
Foxx is currently getting critical reviews for his animated movie, “Soul”. The movie is available on Disney+ Hotstar Premium in India. The film is co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Pete Docter and Kemp Powers.