Podcast: Jon Batiste on Oscar-Nominated Song “It Never Went Away,” ‘American Symphony’ Oscar Snub and Grammys

Jon Batiste, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, which was recorded in front of an audience of film students at Chapman University, is a singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and actor. At just 37, he has already won five Grammys — including, in 2022, album of the year, for We Are — and also has to his name an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award, all for the score of the 2020 film Soul. He is currently nominated for the best original song Oscar for his tune “It Never Went Away,” which is featured in Matthew Heineman’s Netflix documentary feature American Symphony, about the best of times and the worst of times in the life of Batiste and his wife, Suleika Jaouad.

Batiste has been described by Forbes as “a generational artist who is only getting better.” Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s artistic and managing director, said of him, he “is a modern virtuoso. An elegant and electric performer with an unbelievably rich palette of techniques and styles rooted in New Orleans soul. He is engaging, entertaining and accurate.” And TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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This year, he was nominated for six Grammys, including each of the “big three”: album of the year (for World Music Radio), record of the year (for “Worship”) and song of the year (for “Butterfly”).

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