Reggae Music News

Rapper/actor/writer Donald Glover dreams big

By Cassandra Szklarski


TORONTO _ Donald Glover feels the clock ticking.

Donald Glover

The actor/writer/comic/rapper/musician is barely in his 30s, but admits he’s already consumed with thoughts of legacy and wonders whether any of the various projects he’s taken on will mean anything in the end.

“I look at everybody _ Tupac, all those guys _ this is around the time (they peaked),” Glover says of his current burst of creative energy.

“I’m strong enough, I have (the ability) to do it. You’ve got to just like, dream bigger.”

Glover’s various endeavours include new music, a TV pilot and a huge new movie, Ridley Scott’s galactic thriller “The Martian,” opening this weekend.

The brainy blockbuster features a sprawling ensemble cast of heavyweights including Matt Damon as an astronaut accidentally left behind on the red planet. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig play members of a NASA team trying to figure out a way to bring him home.

Glover plays a genius astrophysicist who comes up with an unorthodox solution _ which puts him in scenes with Daniels, Wiig and Ejiofor.

It’s a relatively small part, but Glover insists the gig nevertheless made a big personal impact, if only to further inspire his creative dreams.

“I was (saying to myself): ‘Just shut up and watch Ridley. Just shut up and watch Kristen and Matt. Learn from Chiwetel’,” says Glover, while doing a round of interviews at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, where the film premiered.

The 3-D outer space spectacle would seem to be a bit of a left turn for Glover, better known for co-starring on the cult favourite sitcom “Community” and rapping under the name Childish Gambino.

He’s also got another big project on the go _ a pilot for a hip hop-inspired TV comedy called “Atlanta” that he wrote, created and will star in for FX.

It’s the story of two very different cousins who navigate Atlanta’s rich rap scene.

At the Toronto film festival, Glover was on a high from having just shot the pilot: “I’m very proud of it,” he gushes.

“Hopefully we’ll start making episodes soon.”

He says the proposed series would likely include original music, possibly rumoured material that had fans buzzing online earlier this year.

Back in June, a quickly deleted tweet from vocalist Aaron Michael Gutierrez suggested a new album was imminent, but Glover dismisses any firm plans for a formal release.

“I was making something that I felt in the moment,” Glover says of studio experiments earlier this year.

“I do want Childish Gambino to be like Harry Potter (in that) I do want it to be a character that people grow up with. I want to always challenge people but I was like, this acting has been so much fun. And you reach people differently.”

It’s very possible those recordings will never see the light of day, he admits.

“I was experimenting,” he says. “Now I’m like, I can make something and I can know how something is going to feel and not give it to everybody. So yeah, I’ve been making songs and doing stuff and I’ll be like, ‘Cool.’ And it’s just for me.”

Where it all leads, he’s not quite sure yet.

But Glover says he’s keen to make his mark, any way he can.

“I feel very confident,” he admits.

“I feel like now is a point where it’s like, ‘OK, cool. I know a lot and I can start to do things.’ I know I can make dangerous stuff for the next six years, hopefully. Ten years. Ten years if I’m really good. If I really commit.”

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