When someone is themselves through their music, it's soul music. James Taylor is soul music to me 'cause it's just him talking about him. It doesn't have anything to do with black or growing up in the church; it's where it comes from. It's just soul music.
I'm not just making rhymes and making melodies. I'm expressing my true life force, energy.
Everything in my music has always been emotionally and spiritually motivated... But after I started doing yoga, the place where I came from changed drastically.
I know the things I say go out of my own mouth and into my own ears.
This celebrity culture that hypnotizes people into thinking a person is literally not real because you see them on television is a spell the watcher him- or herself must break.
I'm really judgmental, especially about things that I feel make my life harder.
If we can just focus our attention where it matters, we can effect change.
You wash your hands when you shake a bunch of hands. You have to wash your energy when you're around people. It's hard for me to say self-care is washing, although I think it is. So I made music for self-care. That's what it's for.
I'm actually not a fan of the word 'woke.' I think the connotation of that means being socially aware, which is a beautiful thing to be. But it does not take into account being self-aware.
What I love about Christmas music is it stays around every year and comes back.
I like being a role model - people have told me that I am a role model for empowered women, but I don't see myself that way.
Every once in a while, I find something that I'm interested in just because of the singing, like the Goo Goo Dolls.
I loved her music and the fact that she was a classically trained pianist and that her voice was so unique, but what made Nina Simone my hero is that I had never seen anyone in the public eye who looked anything like me at all, ever.
For the first ten years of my career, I felt suffocated. People constantly stood over me while I tried to create. And in 2009, I hit rock bottom. I couldn't find myself because I was looking to be defined by the music industry or by being number one on the Billboard charts.
I always loved music, but I didn't know if I could be the kind of artist that makes a difference.
There's just something creatively fulfilling about watching a movie and writing a song for it because it helps you put on another pair of shoes.
Denying any person their humanity is a game we should all stop playing.
When I was growing up, I only saw really brown people on 'The Cosby Show,' and they were rich, and their parents were doctors. It wasn't like my home.
I always pray when I write songs that my spirit guides, or whoever is with me, inspiring me, would let me speak the truth.
I write about my experiences, so a lot of times, I do write about people.
There's a difference in being opinionated and judgmental; I'm still trying to figure out what that fine line is - I think we are all.
I think anyone who is ever on TV is a role model for somebody.
The thought crossed my mind about not wanting to alienate my fan base, but I don't know what would alienate them or bring them in, so I decided not to think about it.
You deal with what comes to you. If it's something you don't like, you deal with it the best you can. If it's something that you love, you rise to the occasion.
I was scared of failing, and I was scared of succeeding. I just wanted to be in a safe space and not grow too big or be too little.
Neo-soul is really less about a sound than it is about a look, in my opinion.
Could a person really make a social contribution through music consciously? I mean, beyond making a person happy to hear the song and more making a social contribution consciously through your music? For me, Stevie Wonder is the paragon of that. And I didn't want to be Stevie Wonder, but I did want to do what he does.
I don't want the world to get any worse. I want to make it better.
Everybody has a spiritual body. Everybody has a physical body, and so your spiritual body is the stuff that holds all of your emotions like your body holds your organs, your food, your muscles, your water. Your spiritual body holds your emotional state and your mental state.
I'm in show business, and I'm an entertainer, but I also see myself as an artist doing social and spiritual work.
In hindsight, I feel like I made the right decision to choose production that would get played on black radio.
In Denver, all we really had was pop radio, so I grew up on all that late '70s pop stuff - Billy Joel, James Taylor, Lionel Richie, Elton John, Steve Miller and Toto. Great love songs and really hooky and melodic music - I have all of that stuff in my heart.
Listening to 'Songs in the Key of Life' always puts me in a good mood.
I don't really consider myself a teacher. I think - like, I have opinions like everyone else, and I just share my opinions.
One of the things that helped me to be confident is to be the kind of musician that I respect. I always liked musicians who wrote their own songs, and so I started writing my own songs.
Just to keep myself balanced, I do things like yoga and meditation.
Now that I have better producer chops, a country album is something I want to do one day. I don't know who's going to put it out. But when I do, I don't think people will call it 'country music.' They'll probably call it 'neo-soul.'
For me, the healing process starts with graciousness and forgiveness.
In this era, soul is not a sound or a color: it's an intention.
I want my music to be a contribution, and I want the people who love me on Earth and in Heaven to be proud of who I am, and I want to be proud of myself, and I don't want to look back and say, 'Oh God, why did I say that?'
I've never said anything that I didn't want to say on a record, ever.
Just like the air you breathe or the water you drink, music shapes you. The trouble is, most people don't use it to spread love and healing. But I think music can make a social contribution if you're responsible with it.
I made a conscious decision when I was recording 'Acoustic Soul' to - and this is one of my mantras - follow the music and let the chips fall where they may.
I was born in love with music. My mother is a singer. Many of my aunts and uncles on my mother's side are musical. My grandparents sang and played blues piano. It's literally in my blood.