New Blue Sun is the debut solo album by American musician André Benjamin, released under his alias André 3000. It was released by Epic Records on November 17, 2023. It features instrumental contributions by an ensemble including Benjamin on various flutes, percussionist and producer Carlos Niño, keyboardist Surya Botofasina, guitarist Nate Mercereau, and keyboardist Diego Gaeta; as well as Leaving Records musicians V.C.R and Matthewdavid. The album represents a break in the 17-year hiatus of the acclaimed musician.
In the years leading up to the release of New Blue Sun, Benjamin made media appearances playing flute in public settings; this was especially amplified online by his appearance as a flutist on the score for the Daniels' 2022 film Everything Everywhere All at Once. He would later meet with jazz musician Carlos Niño in Los Angeles, where the two agreed to create a studio album. Ahead of its announcement, fellow rapper Killer Mike teased an impending release by André 3000. As his first solo studio release, and the first studio material of his in a significant period of time, the 87-minute album largely consists of "experimental flute music" with both acoustic and electronic instrumentation, influenced by spiritual jazz musicians and minimalist composers. It features "a myriad" of different flutes performed by Benjamin in various styles across eight instrumental pieces. When announcing the album on November 14, 2023, Benjamin emphasized that the project is not "a rap record", with the packaging displaying a lighthearted disclaimer that it contains "no bars"; he has additionally dismissed rumors that he was "sitting around on rap albums" that he has been characterized as refusing to release, saying instead that he felt more comfortable with the direction indicated by New Blue Sun.
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