July 16, 2011

L.A. Reid On His Judging Role, Why He’s Doing The X Factor, And More!

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I decided to do it because I was jealous. I was jealous that a new platform for the music entertainment space was created and that I didn’t have a hand in creating it and I didn’t get to eat off it. The music-competition platform is the newest and most innovative thing to have happened to our industry in a long time. ~L.A. Reid on why he is doing the X Factor

Gotta give it to the Wall Street Journal. They’ve been covering the new US version of the X Factor really well if you can’t tell by some of our new posts lately. The same is true for their new interview with new X Factor judge L.A. Reid. Below is a take where L.A. talks of his role on the show. He doesn’t plan on being a nurturer like Paula and Nicole. He and Simon have known each other a long time, but, there was no preparation for the position. Simon just wanted him to be himself. More below. Be sure to read the link for the full interview. Fascinating stuff!!

How did Simon Cowell first approach you about being a judge on his new show?
Simon and I have known each other for quite some time. We’d talked periodically to say hello. Someone brought the idea to Simon, put it in his mind. He invited me to his home. I hadn’t seen him since he’d become Elvis. He showed me tapes of “X Factor” and we talked about it. A few months went by and we started to talk about it again and finally we decided we want to do it. We started having serious conversations and started to negotiate a deal.

How’d he prepare you?
There was no preparation. There was no coaching. There was ‘Here’s the itinerary, show up here.’ There was zero. I didn’t know what to expect from anyone. This was show up and be who you are and see what comes out. Scary. Scary.

Why do you think Simon knows what will resonate with a mass American audience?
Simon loves music. He’s still a music executive. He just happens to be the most famous one who ever walked the planet. He’s found a new way to connect to mainstream popular culture throughout the world. He has his finger on that pulse. He knows what the common man wants because he is the common man. He identifies with them. Of course, he’s very far from being them, the people who live normal day-to-day lives.

How is your taste different than Simon’s?
I’m slick. I like slickness. I like shiny, glossy, slick. I’m refined. In music, I am a pop guy. I love pop music. I love artists who make music that is right down the center and some people don’t like that. I like Rihanna. I like Katy Perry. I like Jay Z when he does “Empire State of Mind.” It’s just right down the center, smack in your face. I’d say I have mainstream taste but on the edge, like Kanye West, Coldplay, Kings of Leon. But I’m guilty of loving Justin Bieber’s “Baby, Baby Baby.” just right down the center. I think Simon’s taste is a little different than that. I think mine is a little higher brow and his taste is a little deeper in the center.

What’s your personality going to be like on the judging panel? Will you be tough or nurturing?
Paula and Nicole are the nurturers. They have so much sweetness I have to accept and it’s sometimes difficult, but I just can’t be sweet like that. I’m gonna be like ‘That sucks. What are you doing?’ I can be nurturing but I can’t be that sweet.

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