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In your 20s, you're just a sketch of what you think you're trying to be.
I will say to all the fellas out there that, seriously, I am a setup. I'm just like rose petals. I'm like incense. I'm a background thing for you when you do your thing with your lady. I'm a friend, only assisting you in your lurve machinations. So have no fear of me, people.
Soul music is soul music. It can be wrapped up in a neo soul package; it can be called hip-hop soul. But soul is soul, and it's been around; it will never go away.
A lot of people thought my career was over. If you're not releasing records, then something must be wrong. Either the record company doesn't like your music, or you've been dropped. It has to something negative. It's not like you wanted to take a break, or want some balance, or smell the roses.
Most of the people you see me working for me are actually with me. And I'm proud to say that I've known them for 20 years almost. I've written songs with, produced songs with them a lot of times. I don't deviate form my comfort zone. I feel like when God brings people to you, it's good to keep 'em around.
I remember where I'm from. It's like, 'Dude, you used to work at Pizza Hut.' I still have the hat.
I'm confident in my intentions and why I'm making music. I'm not making music because I want to be on your TV screen or the cover of your magazine.
I just turned 40, and I look at so many performers and so many people who are actually always on time and always have an album out. They don't have actual lives, in my opinion. I feel like I'm so much more than being famous and meeting a musical quota. And I don't know, just the weight of the scrutiny and attention is too weird for me.
I love my last-minute lifestyle because I just sort of don't have plans, and things kind of happen. Plans make me annoyed a little bit, personally. I'm not the most prompt, on-time person.
Soul is a colourless thing. I don't think you have to be a black person to be automatically soulful. I respect Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake; they do what they do. For me, my philosophy has always been 'contribution before competition.'
I'm really maturing into soul music. It's not my attempt or karaoke try. I feel like I really embody the music now that I am 36.
So many times, people want you to stay the way you were, be as you were before because they want to encapsulate you in a time so they can remember their youth. But you're here to continually push forward and move forward. That's where I'm at - I just want to always surprise people.
Being 36 years old changes you a lot, and so does eight years away from career, fame, needing attention, needing to be loved by strangers on some level. I was loving anonymity. I was loving the fact that I could meet a girl who didn't know who I was. I enjoyed it very much, I have to say.
I'm pretty sensitive. My feelings get hurt a lot easier than people think, but I try take it all with grain of salt. For a relationship, I want someone who is really secure, confident and fulfilled, not tripping with what I do.
You can always write a song about people who are in love, but they're in love, so they're happy; they don't need you. But the people that I try to worry about are the ones who don't have anyone to give chocolate to, and the girl who doesn't have flowers coming to her.
Songs are not on a conveyor belt. I'm not chopping them up and putting them out.
The world is so caught up in the 'American Idol' idealistic sort of tendency in regards to just thinking that this whole thing is what everybody wants, but it doesn't help you make a better record.
A part of me was like, 'Man, do I even like doing this anymore?' That whole thing of 'I'm in my 30s, and I sing and write songs while people are fighting wars in Iraq.' You know? So everything had to have more meaning, and it couldn't just be about making money. So, I took a minute.
I know a lot of people weren't expecting 'BLACKSummers'Night' to be what it was, just like a lot of people weren't expecting 'Embrya' to be what it was. People will listen to what I've been a part of and see what I've done.
People failed to realize that when you're living such a hyper, super reality of a life, where you're just doing shows and you're on TV and you're talking to this magazine, that doesn't bode well for trying to talk about everyday stuff that hopefully you'll connect with people on.
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