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Jon Batiste Has Got the Whole Wide Music World in His Hands

“But I did say I can understand why you would want to take this opportunity at this moment and go full-bore,” Colbert added. “I know that feeling very well: Give me the ball and see how fast I can run.”

THE MUSIC ON “World Music Radio” had its genesis, Batiste said, when he crossed paths with the producer Rick Rubin in Italy a few months after the Grammys. Rubin offered him use of Shangri-La, his beachside studio in Malibu, Calif., and Batiste headed there in August 2022 for a month of immersive work with a crew of producers and artists who came and went, generating what Batiste said were the kernels of upward of 125 songs.

Among Batiste’s collaborators there was Del Rey, who worked with Batiste on “Candy Necklace,” from her latest album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” and she joins him on “Life Lesson,” a melancholy duet on “World Music Radio.”

The producer Rogét Chahayed, who has worked with Doja Cat, Drake and others, said he headed to Shangri-La after getting a surprise invitation from Batiste via Instagram. The sessions, he said, were spontaneous and fruitful, with Batiste sometimes kicking off hours of improvisatory jams after simply being inspired by a synthesizer tone.

“It was just like magic in the room,” Chahayed recalled. “It was right around evening time, the sun was setting over the ocean. I was like, this doesn’t happen often, in the kind of sessions that we usually have in these freezing cold studios with no windows.”

After those sessions, Jon Bellion, a pop performer and producer who has worked with Maroon 5 and the Jonas Brothers, collaborated with Batiste on a process he dubs “Batistifying” the material — combing through piles of half-finished material and whittling it down to a finished, coherent product.

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