With the first album, I wanted to do so many different things, and I was fighting with myself to try and see if I was worthy enough to do it.
I like to write about the things I care about. It's no fun to sing about things you don't like.
John Legend is a cool guy. He likes to chill, is easy to talk to and hang out with. He's also inspiring on a musical level.
A lot of my girlfriends are always telling me they're really strong independent women, but they've got their boy on the side, and they only go over when he calls.
If I don't agree with something, I let people know, and it occasionally leads to tension. But I usually iron things out.
My mum is West African, from Senegal; my dad is from Grenada. There was a huge controversy about them getting together.
I'm never scared to ask a question or state the obvious, y'know.
I'm used to traveling. I'm used to being in different areas of the world. Home is where my suitcase lands.
People like the shows I do. I want to be real, to have fun, even when I dance on stage... it's a buzz.
My songs are always about overcoming things, whether it's breaking up with a guy or just trying to be happy. They're always about being better.
The people at my label are always endorsing what I say. They say, 'You see the truth, so speak it.' They believe in me. They respect my opinion. At least I have an opinion, and I'm not trying to play it safe. I don't go around saying, 'I think everyone is great, and the world is fantastic.' Everyone has opinions. They just don't say it.
Lesson one, introduce yourself to everyone when you walk into a room. Don't act like you're too bougie to say, 'Hello.'
I can sit in my room and write a song that I think might be a hit. I can sort of make myself do that, and then I'll play it to a friend, and they'll say, 'Oh, that's nice.' But when something happens to me, and I sit down and write a song to get rid of my emotions, they'll turn around and say, 'Wow, that's great.'
If you cannot smile when you listen to music, then do not listen to it!
I've still gotta come across as happy when inside I feel crap!
I'm just excited that I get to put out the music I love versus music just for the sake of it.
You know, sometimes you fall in love and you get treated badly, sometimes you get treated well.
I've fully embraced who I am. I stopped fighting with people and just come to realize, 'This is me. This is all of me.'
The most personal track would have to be 'Love The Way We Used To.' It's one of the songs that I listen to outside of all the records that I wrote.
BMG has been an awesome partner throughout my career, and with New London, we plan to continue bridging the gap between soul, pop, London, and New York - uniting them through music.
I'd really started hating music. I'd started hating all the songs, hating being in the industry, hating doing the shows. So I had to learn to love music again if I wanted to continue doing this.
I can't stand quitters. My mother is a very strong, determined woman. I was peeling onions when I was seven, but I walked off when my eyes began to sting. She said to me, 'You start something and you finish it', and that stuck with me. I'm persistent.
I'm the female Jay-Z. I never compared myself to other women artists. I compared myself with the best, and the best is Jay-Z.
My favorite film involving scarves was little Edie in 'Grey Gardens.' I often wear scarves like that, under hats.
I think every artist strives for a record that crosses all energy, lines, boundaries or languages or barriers.
For four years, my mum allowed only church music in the house.
I always have to get my U.K. fix, and 'Downton Abbey' is definitely that. I absolutely love period dramas, but this one is particularly appealing - following the ins and outs of aristocracy as well as the interaction between the rich and the poor.
I feel like it's not a bad average for every album I've got in the United States to be nominated for something off the album.
Labrinth is a super talented singer, producer, songwriter from London.
I can get a call at 2 A.M., and the person on the other end is like: 'Sorry, did I wake you?' and I'm like: 'No, I'm wide awake.'
I'm so, so full of joy that America elected Obama. He didn't win because he was black - people voted for him because he had a plan and because he talked sense and because you believed him.
I learned that working out gives me a space to get clear. It's not just about the body. It gives me space to process things and get clear in my mind about decisions and things I want to do.
A lot of big whoever producers, they come with a song and they say, 'Sing this,' and I'm not that girl.
I have to live authentically at all times. And that's part of what makes me an artist. I'm not scared to do that.
Kanye West is my older brother, an inspiring guy and someone who keeps pushing my level up further and further.
I remember being, like, the age of 7 and just always being in control of something or someone, a baby somewhere. I had lots of cousins and brothers, and we were all taught that's how you are, you know. Things don't just run themselves; you have to make them run.
You have to have courage to look back and be honest about your own drama.
I always thought that if record companies didn't understand me, fine - I'd go and do it by myself.
Me being a black girl in London, whose mom is first-generation African and whose dad is West Indian, gives me a different view. I'm coming at soul from my own place.
I try not to judge because I've been judged a heck of a lot, and it don't feel nice.