John Legend: "The Power of Art and Music Is We're Able to Transcend [Racial] Boundaries" | Songwriter Oscar Roundtable

"We can be aware of what's happening racially, but for us, music, love, the things we talk about are universal."

"We can write, literally, about anything," said La La Land actor and songwriter John Legend during The Hollywood Reporter's Songwriter Oscar Roundtable, "and I think it is actually helpful to have a script, to have something, a feeling that you're trying to capture and a visual that you're trying to match it with."

"Everybody's goal is not the same in what we do, and everybody's truth is not the same. So I think it's fine to be us and be successful and try to be on the charts, or whatever you're trying to do, but I think there's a lot of beauty in just making the best music that you want to make that's just honest and true," said Legend when discussing his character in the Damien Chazelle film and explaining how art and truth relate to success.

More roundtables featuring actors and actresses, screenwriters, documentarians, directors, composers and producers will continue throughout February in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With 'The Hollywood Reporter' starting Jan. 15 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at with full episodes on after broadcast.