Where did the inspiration come for the title?
What we just got from this crazy record deal from Jive. I personally spent eight years in Los Angeles being told “no” every single time. GaGa talks about it on shows–‘You’re not thin enough, your songwriting’s not good enough, you’re whatever.’ I think that the record business is geared to say no until there’s a no-brainer and I understand now what it really takes to get a deal and now I get why I was told “no” for so long. I wasn’t ready for it; I didn’t have the practice yet.
What was it that you felt made you ready? What was that definitive moment that made you ready?
I think the definitive moment that made me ready was when I thought we were gonna have a record deal with Universal which never came through. Months later and we thought we’d missed our opportunity to get into any type of like bidding war or get people excited ‘cause you hear stories [that] one label passes, [and think] everybody else is gonna pass, and we had to look at each other and say, ‘Are we gonna keep going? Is this the end of the line for us?’ Of course it wasn’t the end, so we decided we were just gonna do it on our own, regardless of whether or not we had a record deal, and started busting our ass, promoting online and getting bloggers to write about it. The song is called “Commit Me” because we had to look at each other and pinch ourselves and say is this really happening? This is insane. I should be committed to an asylum right now.
Definitely an overwhelming situation right now. Most people are going and trying to play with the international sound, the European sound. I’ve seen a lot of that.
I think that’s the problem. I think the problem is that somebody’s trying to play with the sound. Really, that’s gonna be your motive going into writing a song? You’re trying to achieve a certain sound? That’s gotta be the most dishonest songwriting I’ve ever heard of.
Beyoncé recently said she wanted to create a new genre for her upcoming album.
Well that’s a different thing, though. She’s had a long career, and she’s reinventing herself; she’s already got the different thing. I’m talking about coming out with your sound – whatever your sound is. Yeah, you gotta experiment with different stuff, but you’re gonna lock yourself in a box if you go into the studio and say, ‘I’m gonna make this kind of record.’ If you go in saying, ‘I’m gonna make a great record,’ then that gives you a lot more options.
Now would you put yourself in box and say that you’re a soul artist, an r&b artist or a pop artist or would you just say…
I mean, you know, at one point Frank Sinatra was pop. At one point, Elton John was pop. I think pop music is popular music. I heard Adele come on after Akon on Kiss FM, uh, if that doesn’t tell you something’s changing…
There’s a clear shift in what’s considered “pop” music. Who are your favorite soul artists that influence your sound. I actually read that you said Stevie Wonder influences you a lot, but are there any other artists on to that list?
Oh, yeah. You know, D’Angelo and definitely Musiq Soulchild, um, and as far as I’m concerned Nat King Cole is a soul artist even though, again, he was called pop back then; that was pop music. You know, I listen to Queen. Queen is soul music to me, man. I know it’s counted as Rock and pop, but I’ve never heard somebody sing with as much heart and passion. Donny Hatahway, you can’t top that, but I mean, as far as a rock band goes? I’d say it’s a pretty soulful rock band.
Who are your favorite artists today?
Definitely Adele – number one. Have you heard the album? I cry when I listen to that album. There’s something about her delivery, her vocal delivery and her understanding of her instrument. She can go a million places with that thing.I wanna do like an “Endless Love” kind of duet with her. I think that’d be cool.
Lastly, why should fans rock with you, or what do you want them to learn from your music or story?
Well, I hope that they will read up on my story ‘cause it’s been, it’s so hard. And to like keep chasing your dream after having your heart smashed into a billion pieces over and over again by people who just don’t care about you. You know, you have to learn to care for yourself and your passion. And um, regardless of what field you’re in, you can’t give up, you can’t give up, you can’t give up. There’s a million reasons to give up, you know? There’s only one to keep going. I feel it’s easier to choose from that one than the million others to give up.