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We must begin to make what I call 'conscious choices', and to really recognize that we are the same. It's from that place in my heart that I write my songs.
I think when you're writing songs, it's impossible to not draw on personal experiences, whether it be traveling or girls or anything. Just emotions.
When someone picks up one of my songs and records it, I'm a flattered man, it's a blessing to me.
I'd like to be remembered as a premier singer of songs, not just a popular act of a given period.
I have been writing songs since I was 9 years old, so writing has and always will be my first love and passion.
When you look into the eyes of your people out there that came to see you, that's when it's like, 'Yep, this is what it's all about.' This is why we don't sleep, and this is why we write songs and try to be the best. This moment right here onstage.
The ecstatic insanity of romantic pursuit can be so enhanced by music that entire romantic conquests, victories and ruinous, crushing defeats can be tied to songs to such a degree that it's almost unbearable to listen to them again, as they bring back the memories so vividly.
I try to make everything I write a little bit different. Those songs that go, 'I love you so much and you love me,' they're boring. If I'm going to write a love song, it's going to be a little bit tortuous.
There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
You know, all my songs are relatives, brothers, sisters, cousins.
When I was about 14 I remember thinking when it came to proposing to my future girlfriend, I'd make a CD with all her favourite songs and a message that said, 'Will you marry me?' Shows you what a romantic I was. No one listens to CDs any more. It's all about iTunes.
I'm a Gemini and I have a lot of different moods. Sometimes I'm very serious and introspective and pensive, but other times I'm completely goofy and girlie. So, I like my songs to cover all my moods.
Every year on my birthday, I start a new playlist titled after my current age so I can keep track of my favorite songs of the year as a sort of musical diary because I am a teenage girl.
The one thing I've learned in the last ten years is that successful artists don't get paid to write and sing songs, they get paid for the psychological roller coaster they're going to have to ride. That's the hard work.
As society changes, as politics change, as people change, certain songs still seem to resonate.
A letdown is worth a few songs. A heartbreak is worth a few albums.
Growing up, there was only classical music on BBC Radio. We had to listen to the American Forces Network in Germany, which played pop songs, or the pirate radio boats off the coast.
Times were changing. Clothes were changing. Morals were changing. We went from romantic loves songs like I used to do to rock 'n roll. Now that has changed to rap. So, there's always a new generation with new music.
You look at what One Direction has done and just say, 'That is just lucky;' it is not. It is happening because they are talented boys, good looking lads; and yes, their songs might not be the typical songs that lots of radios want to play, but they are great songs, pop records, that are massive across the world selling in huge numbers.
I think music is the greatest art form that exists, and I think people listen to music for different reasons, and it serves different purposes. Some of it is background music, and some of it is things that might affect a person's day, if not their life, or change an attitude. The best songs are the ones that make you feel something.
I think I first realized I wanted to be in country music and be an artist when I was 10. And I started dragging my parents to festivals, and fairs, and karaoke contests, and I did that for about a year before I came to Nashville for the first time. I was 11 and I had this demo CD of me singing Dixie Chicks and Leanne Rimes songs.
Maybe the most that you can expect from a relationship that goes bad is to come out of it with a few good songs.
We never want to go into a tour and play 15 songs and say 'Enjoy.' We have messages: Number 1, follow your dreams. If I can do it, you can do it. Number 2, give your life to something. We say, 'Volunteer and add seven years to your life.' You can have your own personal ministry. The message we have is 'What do you stand for?'
I got into Dio when I was still quite young. I remember seeing the video for 'Rainbow In The Dark' on MTV. That was my first taste of Dio. It wasn't until years later that I realized he had this whole career with Rainbow and Black Sabbath and even going back to Elf. When I saw that video, it instantly became one of my favorite songs.
I find in my poetry and prose the rhythms and imagery of the best - I mean, when I'm at my best - of the good Southern black preachers. The lyricism of the spirituals and the directness of gospel songs and the mystery of blues are in my music or in my poetry and prose, or I missed everything.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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