Cee-Lo On Working With Bruno Mars, New Andre 3000 Music

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Vibe / September 1, 2010

I’m inspired by almost everything that’s been done and everything that hasn’t been. If anything I just want to be a contributing factor to music. I believe that it’s a community. I want to sweep around my own front door.

I would think you would be a fan of Janelle Monae.

Oh, I love Janelle. Sometimes if you name one person and you don’t name another, you kind of have to name them all ’cause there’s a validity in all expression. Anyone who’s opened their mouth to think out loud and was brave enough to do that, it’s commendable in my opinion. Some have smaller organs than others but there’s someone for everyone. I’m still dissecting music everyday. There’s so much music.

You worked with Bruno Mars two years ago before he was on these huge pop songs. What did you think of him then?

We did an awful lot of work together. When I met those guys, Phil [Lawrence] and Bruno, we hit it off in a personal kind of way, very charming and cool guys to be around, and it was something I’d never done—work with people as far as writing is concerned so I got a chance to meet them before they succeeded at anything. You see a friend of yours go off and do his thing. So “Dr. Feel Good” that I did with Travie, that was a song that he did where we kind of [tried it] on me first.

Even “The Other Side” [with B.o.B. & Bruno Mars] was my song at one time and he ended up using that one. Even “Amazing,” it was suggested that I sing that one. I didn’t really think it was for me, that it would work better for him. So we did an awful lot of music together and “Fuck You” is one of those things that just kind of stuck, but this is after we learned each other. We got a chance to laugh and live and they knew me personally, knew where I was coming from sense of humor wise and were able to really say yo I think this works and I trusted them.

Have you listened to Big Boi’s Sir Lucious album? People were really impressed with the album.

So was I. Because I believe that he surpassed almost everyone’s expectations. Not to say that people didn’t think it would be good or great. It’s just that living in that shadow of Outkast that’s very big shoes to fill.

I think people weren’t sure if he would make a great album without Andre.

Yeah, I agree.

Have you spoken to Andre lately?

I spoke to him about a month ago.

I hear that he’s recording.

Yeah, he played me some new stuff. It’s gonna be good. We still the mighty, mighty Dungeon Family. We have not lost it. [Laughs] this is what we do. But anything that’s natural takes time.

So the Goodie Mob reunion is still happening? You said you really wanted to get back together.

Yes it is, it’s still happening. We have quite a bit of material done.

Do you have a timetable for when you want to get it done or is it just organic?

I would like to have it done very closely associated to this solo record so we can do a lot of things collectively together. We can try to make it a package deal.

As far as Gnarls Barkley, how do you and Danger Mouse keep in touch? Do you still bounce creative ideas off each other?

As far as Gnarls is concerned, I know who I am in that space and it kind of goes without saying amongst us so it’s just a season that I’m pretty sure will come back around for me.