I liked the Monkees songs quite a bit. I wasn’t much of a pop writer. I tended, and still do, toward country blues and lyrics with little moments in them — all pretty far off the pop songs of the ’60s.
I never thought of the Monkees negatively. The public rejection of the show and the band was hard to take but understandable. People were confused in those early days of TV, especially about what constituted authenticity, and there was a fear that corporate interests were at work and somehow manufacturing a hit.
As a group, the Monkees were very, very popular. We went to 56 episodes, and we were in 36 countries around the world. The Monkees sold 75 million records. I believe good things stand the test of time.
I think every successful artist has to have some audacity – to believe that what you have to offer to the world is unique and special, and deserves to be heard.
Music is not just a virtuosity competition.
There’s certain things a company does that they’re better at than anybody else. And I think ballads are my competitive advantage.
For a casual listener, they probably think I’m just a balladeer. My albums have always had a hip-hop influence – but the ballads are the ones that have grabbed people by their hearts.
Even though I’ve had plenty of success and I’m very grateful for it, I’m not satisfied by it. I’m always trying to get better. I’m always trying to make my next record better than my last record. I think if you approach your career with that kind of humility and hunger it’ll make you continue […]
I always listen to music on the way to set, and on the way back from set – that’s a routine that I have without realising it.
Literally none of the songs on the Calpurnia EP were drawn from personal experience at all. I feel like now I really draw from personal experience and try to write how I feel. I didn’t really know how to do that at that point. I think I was too young to figure it out.