I love playing to people and seeing them react.
I was very lucky. Things happened, both bad and good, but I never got into real, deep trouble. But it wore me down. By the time I was 18, I was done. I didn't want to live the life any more. I needed to develop past the point that busking takes you to.
My father's record collection was full of New Orleans music of all kinds. I used to listen to the radio in New York, and all there was on it at the time was Madonna and Michael Jackson, so it sort of passed me by.
Once I was in the city, I really enjoyed it. Just to experience things. There was so much new stuff.
I listened to Billie Holiday a lot in order to learn to sing. She remains one of the extraordinary jazz singers. But my intent is to become my own voice, to be able to interpret these songs in my own way.
It's wonderful to work with someone with mentor status.
Jazz really does try to include everything. It's always been popular music. But the wonderful thing about jazz is its willingness to take chances.