What breaks my heart is suffering of any kind. Too often, our world is divisive and cruel where it needs to be uniting and loving.

I'm inspired by artists and musicians. There are so many wonderful and talented people in the world. I love discovering new music, new writers, or new art.

I was tired and I had overworked myself and burnt myself out. So I went to Egypt by myself. When I saw what was built there, it made me understand how powerful we are, that we can create anything. And I felt like I needed to create things that were timeless too.

People don't expect me to be as funny as I am.

When I first started getting into the business, a young woman in a music game that was mostly men, I did feel inadequate.

You've got to love what's yours.

Maturity and experience are part of my liberation.

I've always been very private, maybe because I discovered my mother, who is a wonderful lady, is very emotional.

I really appreciate Frank Ocean's lyrical style, I appreciate the way that he can kind of draw you into this personal space, but it's still lyrical. It's almost poetic, in a way, but it's very personal at the same time.

I just wanted to be who I was, which was like so many other girls I knew. We grew up in the city, had a hard edge and obstacles to overcome, but we were still young and beautiful. I didn't want to be all dressed up, all made up - I wanted to be myself, which hadn't been done before.

My mom always said, 'Don't date a guy who thinks he's prettier than you.'

Not because I'm trying to be fabulous, but I love those big crazy Jackie O shades.

Stevie Wonder's records introduced me to '70s soul when I was 12 or 13.

When I was younger, studying classical music, I really had to put in the time. Three hours a day is not even nice - you have to put in six.

I'd rather believe in my own choice and see it all go wrong than do something I'm not fully convinced of and later feel guilty about it.

Some of the greatest artists did their best work when they got political.

I know people who've gone to jail. It don't mean you stop loving them! They deservin' love just as much in there, and maybe they needin' it more.

Adam Levine and I remade the Rolling Stones' classic Wild Horses, and it is right up my alley, that whole style. It has a style of its own but still stays very true to the classic arrangement, and I love it.

If I didn't love it, I would not record it.

When I was first learning songs, I'd have a favorite song, and I'd take the chords and twist them around. I'd learn the chords and then play them backward. That was my first experimenting with writing a song.

I grew up around the theatre. My mother is an actress. I would fall asleep on tons of theatre chairs. It's in my blood; it's in my spirit and my fabric of who I am.

I promised myself that I'd never actually admit to listening to 'New Kids on the Block.'

The element of fire to me is very powerful because of what it symbolizes, how it symbolizes a strength. It symbolizes something that's unstoppable. You can't get through it, you know.

I fell in love with the piano. I knew it was me. I was dying to play.

I feel like B sides are always better, no matter whose record it is.

Most times, your blessings are also your curses. And for me, I have this ability to express myself so clearly with pen and paper, but when it comes to expressing myself verbally, I put up a big wall.

I'm a very positive person, but this whole concept of having to always be nice, always smiling, always happy, that's not real. It was like I was wearing a mask. I was becoming this perfectly chiselled sculpture, and that was bad. That took a long time to understand.

I've learned that while I'd be a fool not to stay open to the advice and experiences of the smart, amazing people in my life, I also need to listen to what I have to say.

I am able to hang with the hardest, the baddest, the worst, and I'm able to hang with the most proper and be at ease. I'm able to hang with any skin colour, any belief. I just fit in everywhere.

I don't dream - only if I'm uncomfortable or I'm going through something.

We have the potential to help people out of poverty, out of disease, out of slavery and out of conflict. Too often, we turn the other way because we think there's nothing we can do.

And I love kick boxing. It's a lot of fun. It gives you a lot of confidence when you can kick somebody in the head.

When I was younger, my mother and I, we'd have these crazy, crazy fights. Everyone would storm out mad, and the only way that I'd be able to express myself was to write her. We would write letters back and forth for days. When I'm writing, I feel uninterrupted. I write what I'm going through and how I see it.

I'm not ashamed of what I am and that I have curves and that I'm thick. I like my body.

My mixed-race background made me a broad person, able to relate to different cultures. But any woman of colour, even a mixed colour, is seen as black in America. So that's how I regard myself.

When I was a kid, I'd practise Chopin on piano - and I love Chopin! He's my dawg! Then I'd go out on the stoop and blast the radio. I'm from New York, the concrete jungle. Hip-hop influenced me from day one.

Music is funny. I shouldn't even ever talk about music, because you can have all the ideas in your head, and it never goes exactly the way that you think it's gonna go.

I love my own music.

I love my heritage! I have my mother, who is an Irish-Italian, and my father who is African, so I have the taste buds of an Italian and the spice of an African.

Mozart would play a counterpart with his left hand while using his right to mock it. It was blue, dark, shadowy - and it made me feel something. That's when I realized music was inside me.

When I'm on stage, my interaction with the audience is something that really makes me come alive. It's a feeling like no other. The energy of the crowd fuels something new inside.

I don't think even when you find a person, you can be completely honest, ever. There's still pieces of you that you don't give away. I do believe you always need that place where it's just you, your thoughts, no one else's judgment or anything.

Sometimes I've gotten photographs back and people have literally shaven off pieces of me, and I tell them to put it back.

I definitely want to act, but I also want to score movies, and I have this idea to fuse classical music with other styles that would give it a different perception.

Things can be really empty in this world, and I don't just mean the music world. It can become a very meaningless place if you don't really understand: 'who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing?' To feel fulfilment and have a deeper level of understanding, personally, that is the most important thing.

A Minor is one of my all-time favorite keys to play in. It's a very moody key, and also 'A' is the first letter of my name. It just represents the songs through my eyes.

I have solid decent people around me, and I believe that is all it is, because you will get destroyed if you have people bringing you down.

I don't have a ton of friends, but the friends I have are great ones. I don't have huge family, but the family I have is a great one.

I've stepped more into my womanhood, I'm a mother now, I'm having a beautiful relationship as a wife and as a friend.