Nick chatted with the crew at Yahoo as he made the rounds to promote his latest scribings Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems.”
In the interview explains just why his latest will resonate with kids. It all has to do his belief in being young at heart AND at mind.
Nick Cannon is a busy man. He’s got a new children’s book, Neon Aliens Ate My Homework: And Other Poems, a new TV show premiering on Nickelodeon next month, and, of course, there are #dembabies. In case you’ve been living under a rock, #dembabies are the twins he shares with soon-to-be ex-wife Mariah Carey. So let’s just say there was plenty to talk about when Cannon recently sat down to chat with Yahoo.
Getting into that headspace to write a children’s book like Neon Aliens Ate My Homeworkmust be tough just because kids are so imaginative and I think as adults we sometimes have a little bit of trouble tapping into that…
Not me, I’m a kid. Man, at the end of the day I would say I’m more than just a kid at heart, I’m a kid at mind, too. I think like a kid; growing up is for losers. I still eat a pound of candy a day, I play video games, I’m silly, that’s what life is really about, so for me to tap into this space… I think I just never grew up.
You still speak their language…
Yeah, and I love it. I don’t ever want to grow up. I want to be like Dick Clark, the world’s oldest teenager.
What is “at home” Nick Cannon like? Because we know Nick Cannon the singer, we knowWild ‘N Out Nick Cannon…
I’m a little more subdued naturally. I’m a quiet guy. I like to observe, but I’m also this silly… just like what you see on TV. But it’s interesting because people, when they meet me, they probably think, Oh, he’s going to be silly and loud and over the top. I’m really not like that. I know how to do that and do that really well, so when it’s time, like when I’m playing with my kids or hanging with friends, I’m probably the silliest one in the room, but just my natural state and my natural being is a real calm, quiet cat.
Are you a strict dad or are you like fun dad?
I’m a very strict dad. I’m a strict-fun dad, but my dad was a strict-fun dad. Martial arts was something that was really prevalent in my household with my upbringing, so like discipline and respect, those are big things, as well as spirituality. I was raised with a religious background as well, so those types of things keep the morality or even the strictness kind of at an even pace so it allows you to have fun and be silly. I grew up where I wasn’t allowed to watch television but there were so many other fun activities to do. My dad was like, “Yo, you can’t watch television, but you can make television.” So that was more fun than sitting around watching what was on TV. I got cameras and could go do silly stuff, so I kind of try to give my kids those types of activities as well. It’s like, “I’m not going to allow you to do whatever you want to do, but we can do some really cool, fun things together.”
Your kids, Monroe and Moroccan, will turn 4 in April. Are they musical at all?
I think they’re kids at the end of the day, so they love everything. They love sports, they love music, they have every instrument at their fingertips to whatever they want to do. My son teally loves the drums so I feel like we’ll definitely take him in that direction, but then my daughter loves singing with their mom [the Mariah Carey] and all those things, so it’s amazing when you can see just that natural God-given ability.
Where does #dembabies come from? Who came up with that?
I think I came up with that just being silly around the house. I was like, “Man, I can’t wait until dem babies get here,” and then we just started using that term and it kind of stuck so it’s been a lot of fun.
Now you’ve got a couple new tattoos.
A couple. [laughs]
I wondered if you have advice for someone thinking about getting a tattoo, like obviously you don’t want to make a split-second decision.
I’m not against telling people, “Hey, whatever you’re doing in that moment and you’re feeling in that moment, embrace it. You’re going to have to live with it, but it’s just a decision.” I live my life like that. I mean, I make spur-of-the-moment decisions quite often and I want my being to express that, so [if] it’s one of those things where people are saying, “Oh, I can’t believe you did that.” Or, “That’s scary,” I love that. I like going against the grain, so I’m one of those people that is kind of a risk-taker when it comes to life. Who knows? Talk to me in 20 years and I could be like, “Man, I wish I could take all these tattoos off,” but right now I’m loving every aspect of it. So I would just encourage people to just be you and if it’s something that you feel, go ahead. Do it.
You’ve got the next season of America’s Got Talent coming up and you’re already doing auditions. How is that going?
Man, it’s astounding. I’m having so much fun. It’s season 10 and the people are so… I always call it next level because each season they step it up and these people are truly next level. I’ve never seen some of the acts before, some amazing singers, some amazing magicians, some amazing dancers, and vaudeville performers. It’s amazing.
And then you’ve also got your Nickelodeon show, the K-pop show that’s starting next month.
Make It Pop. I’m excited about that. We’ve been developing that for quite some time. I went to Korea a few times and felt, you know, the energy and got down with the scene. I was managing on the stateside a group called The Wonder Girls and they were huge and I was like, “There’s something to this. There’s a TV show in this world.” So we got the opportunity to do it. It’s been really cool, I can’t wait for the launch.