Latina Journalist Captures André 3000 Playing An Indigenous Mayan Flute At LAX And It’s Just So Awesome
We see celebrities all the time at the airport. Sometimes they’re noteworthy (Edward James Olmos, Rosario Dawson), sometimes they’re yawners (Gérard Depardieu), but imagine seeing one half of Outkast at your gate. Wouldn’t you freak out? That’s exactly what happened to a New York-based journalist.
Antonia Cereijido, a producer for NPR’s Latino USA podcast, was casually waiting for her flight at the Los Angeles Airport when she spotted André 3000.
The sighting almost wasn’t meant to be. Cerejido explained that she had missed her first flight.
“The crazy thing is I was supposed to take a flight at 11:15 the night before,” she told Slate in an interview, “but there were 50 minutes of traffic at the airport, so I missed my flight. I was very upset. I had to buy flights for the next day, and I was annoyed. I arrived super early, like, “I’m not going to miss my second flight.”
When she realized it was him, she — as any smart person would do — asked to take a picture with him.
“Well, I think I said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours,’ and then because my friend had said, ‘That’s not a flute,’ I asked, ‘What instrument is that?’ and he said, ‘Oh, it’s a flute. It’s an indigenous double flute.’ Then I asked to take a photo. I was sort of starstruck. I took the photo, and I went away as quickly as possible before I said anything and I sat down. Then we all boarded the plane, and I uploaded the post on Instagram and on Twitter. I saw that it was popular because it was probably only up for 10 minutes and it had 600 likes.”
Yeah, her tweet was popular. It’s gotten more than 50K retweets.
“I had one tweet before get kind of popular,” she told Slate. “It was, like, a thousand likes, so I was excited. Then I turned my phone off. And then, when we landed six hours later, it had 68,000 likes. And actually, my first feeling was dread. I felt kind of bad, like, what if I’m outing—what if this is what he does, he goes to places and plays the flute and kind of stays low-key? Because it wasn’t like he was asking for a lot of attention—he was doing his own thing. And I could tell that he saw I was staring at him when he was going back-and-forth, but it wasn’t like he was mad at the attention. He was just sort of neutral.”
But, about that indigenous flute.
People on social media actually questioned her about her flute knowledge, but she got the response directly from André and the makers.
“I just got off the phone with Guillermo Martinez the man who made Andres’s beautiful flute, she tweeted. “It’s a Mayan double flute. He and his shop are doing incredible work by keeping the music if indigenous North American communities alive. Here is his website: https://www.quetzalcoatlmusic.org/ “
The best part about the story is how Outkast is part of her family history.
“My family is originally from Argentina, and when we first moved from New York to San Diego, it was so different from my experience up until then that my family became really close,” she told Slate. “And there were two things we listened to all the time: the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Outkast. And we became obsessed with the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album. My mom had a dream that André 3000 taught us the “Hey Ya!” dance. I always remembered that, because it was such a funny thing for my mom to say. And so I have this very fond feeling about him, and he lived up to that. My mom dreamed that he would be nice and teach us something, and that happened to me in real life, which is so crazy.”