But don’t expect him to go down the same album path as the British chanteuse as he readies new music and preps for this summer’s reunion tour with Jazzy Jeff.
“I have a bunch of songs. I don’t know if I’ll do an album. I‘m looking for a really clever and creative way to release the music,” he says, adding that he’s been paying attention to how his teenage children, Willow and Jaden, absorb music. “I’ve been watching my kids, and they don’t do albums anymore. Just the way that people consume music is really different than go out and buy 12 songs, 14 songs, and listen all the way through in one setting. It’s much more ADHD — unless you’re Adele.” Smith’s last studio album release was Lost and Found, which came out in 2005 on Interscope and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
Smith, who performed “Fiesta” with Bomba Estereo at the Latin Grammys last month, is in the midst of a press blitz for Concussion. In the real-life film, which opens Christmas Day, Smith plays Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovered the link between NFL players and their debilitating brain injuries caused by years of concussions and hard hits.
He admits it’s a little “schizophrenic” plugging his role, for which he’s an Oscar contender; making music, and planning his outing with Jazzy Jeff, but he has total clarity on how eager he is to get back in front of a live audience.
“I’m just getting to the point that there are things I love to do and I just want to go and I want to do it,” says Smith, 47. “There’s nothing that compares to being onstage with a hit record. Those first couple of seconds when people recognize the song and it’s the one they’ve been waiting for, there’s nothing in entertainment that matches that feeling. So I’m really looking forward to getting out there this summer and performing.”