Jon Batiste has been lucky so far and avoided being pelted on stage by any sex toys, cell phones, bracelets or mixed drinks. But when the former Late Show bandleader and Grammy-winning solo star sat down with Andy Cohen on Thursday night (Aug. 10) on Watch What Happens Live for a round of rapid-fire “Spill the Music IndusTea!” questions, he had some pointed thoughts on the recent trend of fans throwing objects at performers when Cohen asked about Cardi B flinging her microphone at an audience member who doused her with a drink.


Batiste said that if concertgoers can throw things at the performers, “then us as the performers we should be able to throw things back… with less penalty.” Not without penalty he said, but maybe just “docked a few points.”

With Hollywood writers and actors on a strike that has now stretched into unprecedented territory, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Batiste also had a sharp observation on one of the major sticking points in the negotiations with studios: AI. “Well, if you can’t play an instrument, it poses a big threat,” he said. “If you play an instrument, I don’t think anything’s gonna replace that one.”

As for his pick for song of the summer, Batiste went with Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” explaining that he was on a three-hour helicopter ride earlier this year and he needed some “emotional comfort” due to his fear of chopper flights. “Looking around, you can’t see anything but the ocean, and I’m not a great swimmer,” he said. “And I don’t like helicopters. I put on the headphones, I listened to ‘Break My Soul’ probably 56-57 times on repeat [singing the hook] it was like a mantra.”

Batiste also described what it was like to tour with late rock icon Prince in 2010, while spilling the best piece of advice he got from the Purple One. “He told me one piece of advice and he said it in one word,” Batiste revealed of the sage words he got when he was a 19-year-old player on the come-up. “Privacy. That was the musical advice and life advice.”

Watch Batiste on WWHL below, where he also talks about how it felt to have former Pres. Barack Obama include his song “Freedom” on his 2021 favorite songs playlist and the mind-blowing note he got from No. 44.


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