Under the Influence
“This album was taking a lot more of my influences and putting them into the mix. I wanted to make music I could play in an arena. I was really inspired by classic pop songs with thumping, anthemic hooks. It was really important to me to showcase a lot of my influences without it sounding like a cluster-fuck, for lack of a better word. A lot of things that I’m into contradict each other stylistically. I love New Wave. I grew up listening to goth music — Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy. But, then I got into this soft-rock sort of thing. I wanted to put those things together, [combining] adult contemporary, like Phil Collins, and then my influences, which are a lot darker."
"I was writing at a point where some people in my life, and myself, kind of weren’t sure what we were doing with our lives, with ourselves. It was at a point where the record was kind of in a lull. Then I had this burst of information, where [I realized that] we’re all stars. There are so many people that are so talented, and all my friends are artists and I’m so inspired by them, but the world doesn’t know them. I want everyone to know! Even though we’re not getting the exposure that maybe we deserve in life, we’re still superstars."
"I think the worst advice I ever had, which may not have been said out loud, was to take direction when it comes to creativity. Every time I haven’t trusted my instincts, it’s always come back to bite me in the ass. 'You just need to trust other people’s visions' is the worst advice. The best advice came when I was doing demos way back in L.A. I was working with someone, and we kind of got into it — he was probably a little bit annoyed with me, because I was very opinionated. But, when we finished, he said, 'Always trust your instincts.'"
A Little Bit Country
"I listened to something off of my first record — I never listen to my first record — and I was like, ‘I totally sound like a country singer.’ I have this natural style in my voice. I think there’s this nasally thing that I have. I like country, but the stuff I’ve listened to is more vintage, like Johnny Cash, Dusty Springfield, or Dolly Parton. I don’t listen to any modern country really."
Driven to Distraction
"I can’t filter out the things that are around me. When I lived in L.A. and London, I didn’t have much exposure to anything. I used to write so fast — I was writing songs every single day. I was super-prolific. Being here [in New York] is really distracting. Sometimes I hear other people’s music, and I’m like, 'Maybe I should be doing that? I suck!' It’s easy to lose the sound of your own voice when there’s so much going on. I let the outside influence me, but I have to make sure it’s influencing me for the right reason."