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NEW YORK, Jan 20, (AP): John Legend is his own worst enemy at next month’s Grammy Awards. The singer is nominated twice for best rap/sung collaboration for his Oscar-winning hit “Glory” alongside Common and “One Man Can Change the World,” a collaboration with Kanye West and Big Sean.
“It’s kind of hard … I don’t know how to even think about it,” Legend said.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the 37-year-old performer talked about his new film with Ryan Gosling, writing new music, fatherhood and the Grammys, to be held Feb 15 in Los Angeles.
Legend, who has won nine Grammys, is grateful for the four nominations he received this year.
“You can’t bank on the Grammys because every year is different, there’s a lot of people voting (and) there’s a lot of great competition,” he said.
In addition to best rap/sung collaboration, Legend is nominated for best rap song and song written for visual media for “Glory,” from the film “Selma.”
As for picking which of his songs should win the Grammy, he says, “hopefully people vote for the song they think is the best and we’ll see who wins.”
A win for the collaboration with West and Big Sean would give West, who has four nominations this year, his 22nd gramophone.
Like other music fans, Legend is anticipating West’s upcoming album, “Swish.”
“I was in the studio with him about a year ago, but he’s done so much probably since then that I have no idea where it is now,” he said of his longtime mentor and collaborator. “I’m like another fan. I’m just excited to hear how it comes out!”
Legend, who worked as a mentor with the AXE Collective at the South by Southwest music festival last year, is partnering with the company for its new campaign, “Find Your Magic.” It will give young musicians and filmmakers a chance to collaborate with the singer by submitting video of a film or music performance to AXE’s website.
“It’s all about … expressing who you are as an individual creatively, showing your unique voice and hopefully we’ll give the best folks the opportunity to be seen by a larger audience and heard,” Legend said.
Legend, who had a nonspeaking role in 2008’s “Soul Men,” will finally get to speak — and sing — in the upcoming Hollywood musical film “La La Land,” starring Gosling and Emma Stone.
“It was comfortable because most of my scenes were in settings I’m used to being in as a musician, but having to learn dialogue and improvise and play off of Ryan a lot, it was really an education for me,” said Legend, who learned to play the guitar for the role.
More acting and production is on the horizon for Legend with his production house, Get Lifted Film Co.
“We have a new TV series coming out in March called ‘Underground’ (on WGN America). We were part of the production team for ‘La La Land.’ We’ve also executive-produced a documentary on HBO called ‘Southern Rites,’” he said.
Though he’s between albums, Legend is still burning up the charts, thanks to Meghan Trainor. (They share the same manager.)
Their duet, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” released in June, is still in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And Legend didn’t write the song — a rarity for the respected songwriter.
“I tend to sing my own songs because I love to write songs and I feel like I know how to write for myself more than other people, but when Meghan sent it to me, I was like, ‘Wow, this song is beautiful. I’d love to do it.’ And that’s really all it took,” Legend said.
“I really respect her as a songwriter and an artist,” he said of the “All About That Bass” performer.
Despite his projects — from music to film — Legend has a bigger priority coming soon: fatherhood.
His wife, model Chrissy Teigen, is pregnant with their first child, a girl, due later this year.
“It’s never going to be completely easy, but I think she’s taken it in stride and we’re enjoying it, and we’re excited to welcome our new little girl to the world,” Legend said.
He said fatherhood and marriage is spilling over to the music he’s writing for his upcoming album.
“Just trying to make an album that encompasses all that I am,” he said.