Its funny, because for females in general - not just in music, but the corporate ladder as well - anything we do has always been harder for us. When it comes to music, the industry wants you to conform, to look like this and to sound like this and do this or that. It makes it harder. It's harder for us to come out and be bosses and lead the pack.
If I'm paying people, and they're not handling my business right, I have to check them. 'Cause sometimes you're nice, and people don't jump on what they're supposed to do, but if you go in there screaming at everybody - 'Look, why aren't my posters up?' or 'Why wasn't my single out on this day?' - then they jump right on it.
No, I'm a flirtatious person; I'll flirt all day long, but it really is hard to get into that when I'm so into the music, and I'm in the studio all day long and all night sometimes. That's not an exaggeration.
When I first started out in the music industry and went to Elektra Records, I didn't go to be an artist, I went to get a record label started. And they said in order to have a label deal, I had to be an artist - so that's what I did.
When I'm in the studio, I like to be in there by myself because if I'm in the mike room, and I look out and see people talking, or they're not nodding their head or rocking to the music, it makes me feel like it don't sound good, or I'll be scared to really open up vocally because I might mess up, and they might be in there laughing.
I felt like, 'How do I fit in'? I'm battling. But then I never fit in!'... I thank God for somebody like Pharrell who stayed in my ear. For him, at that time, 'Happy' was everywhere; he didn't have to share anything with me.
It's just that back then we didn't know that was considered being a coproducer. I would sit on the side and say what I wanted musically, but at the time we thought if you aren't the one playing it, you don't get the credit. Now you'll start seeing my name listed as producer.
There's that saying: 'God gave you talent, and if you don't use it He'll take it away from you.' And I always said, 'I don't want God to come down and take my talents away.' So, by using all these talents and being successful in all of them, I've always got something to fall back on.
I'd stand on the side of the road when I was just a little girl singing on trash cans. People would roll down their windows saying, 'Isn't she cute'. I had a vivid imagination. I always pretended it was some big stage.
Don Cornelius was a genius. He created a show where he was breaking artists' songs. If you were on his show, he made the consumer want to go out and purchase your music. He will be greatly missed. If they ever try to recreate what he did, it has to been done right, authentic and real with soul! That's what Don displayed.
It could be hectic sometimes when you're being an artist and running a label at the same time. But there are times when you just have to say that this my time period to work on my stuff, and then you say this is the time to concentrate on my artists.
I feel like, O.K., if I can make it as a singer, then let me try rapping. If I can make it as a rapper, then let me try writing. All right? If I make it as a rap singer and writer, then why not try to produce? I don't feel limited in any way.
I hear a lot of influence from me and Timbaland's whole sound in a lot of records of today. But if you have classics like that, then I'm sure you gotta expect that it's gonna influence some people. So, I'm fine with that.