I sang in the coffee houses . . . in the early 60's with no idea of success in terms of records or television. I just thought I was a storyteller. I had this deep, bassy voice. But I had incredible passion for the music I was singing.
It's really hard to fit a complex idea into a 3-minute pop song. And when you're dealing with issues that you're passionate about, usually they have various levels. And within a poem, you can get around the issue of space, and in a song the same way, by simply leaving holes and alluding to what you're talking about.
I think we listen to music because we want to be changed. Music is not solely for our entertainment. Music has such tremendous power to bring joy. To me, that's our job as artists. Not happiness, not a groove, whatever. You must bring joy. I think that's the assignment. I have no doubt about it.
I saw The Sound of Music again recently, and I loved it. Probably it's a more valuable film now than when it first came out, because some of the things it stood for have already disappeared. There's a kind of naive loveliness about it, and love goes by so fast ... love and music and happiness and family, that's what it's all about. I believe in these things. It would be awful not to, wouldn't it?
I relate to that - he inspires me across the board. His music inspires me and reminds me to maintain honesty in the things that I do, to have an absence of fear. Listening to Earl Sweatshirt's music is like therapy to me.
The beauty of Broadway is that if I'm 60 or 70 years old, if they'll accept me back, I can go back. So I think for right now I'm going to focus on the music--it's the new baby--and see how it's going to work out, and then maybe in a few years maybe I'll go back.
An aria in an opera - Handel's 'Ombra mai fu,' for example - gets along with an incredibly small number of words and ideas and a large amount of variation and repetition. That's the beauty of it. It's not taxing to the listener's intelligence because if you haven't heard it the first time round, it'll come around again.
I love music. I love making songs. I feel like I've been given a path where I can contribute, where I can protest if somebody does something really obviously wrong or inhuman right in front of me, where I can make a difference. Where I can most especially elevate, make you happy, elevate the condition, elevate the thing.
That was my challenge then, how to make scratching still fun for someone who didn't necessarily come to hear that. It was fun to develop that technique. And now in dance music - I'm still a hip-hop guy at heart, but I love dance music.
When people nowadays say that Elvis was the first white guy to sound black, I have to shake my head; what can you do? At the time of 'That's My Desire' 1947 they were saying that I was the only white guy around who sounded black.
When I originally came from 'Cheetah Girls,' I was making music that was real to me but not believable. I think there was a disconnect there. I am a grown woman, and I've been through a lot. The most important thing about my music is that we don't jump the gun and throw anything out there.
A well-composed song strikes the mind and softens the feelings, and produces a greater effect than a moral work, which convinces our reason, but does not warm our feelings, nor effect the slightest alteration in our habits
Quite a few musicians came to our house. And my ma took me to hear many more, hoping to encourage in me a love of music. But she wouldnt consent to my having music lessons, for she feared I might end up as she had done - unable to play except from paper.
Sadly I don't sing. I missed it for a long time, but my daughter Emma said something wonderful when I was feeling blue one day: "Mom, you've just found a different way of using your voice, and that's with your books." In a way, she's right. It's just a different way of expressing what I feel about music, individuality, art and all the things I've always loved.
My ears are open to all sorts of stuff. I appreciate some of the big electro house guys.I love their music but I also like a lot of the stuff coming out of the U.K. Future garage stuff. A lot of stuff like that.
I fool around with guitar and I can fool around on piano. I don't really play either instrument although I can play a couple of songs on guitar. You don't really need to be able to play to compose. There are many composers and arrangers who work out of their heads.
I often use music as a handle for very emotionally explosive substances: love, sex, God, fear, doubt, politics, the economics of the soul - these are daunting thoughts in the back of my mind that I rarely visit without the safety gloves of song.
My songs emerge unbidden and unplanned and completely on a schedule of their own...We have, all of us, over the years, written things that responded to the world as it slapped us in the face. Me and Nash, singing "To the Last Whale" and "Find the Cost of Freedom". Stills coming up with "For What It's Worth". These came right out of the news. People have accused us of taking stances and the truth is we don't.
My father being in the movie business, I thought being an actor would be great. But when I started singing to people in coffeehouses, you know, singing folk music and then, later, singing songs that I started to write myself, I felt more than an affinity for it.