The tapes we were making would jump around with different styles, just quick parts of different songs. Hip-hop to jazz to funk to whatever else. And in a way, 'Check Your Head' ended up being like one of those pause-tapes.
You don't really learn how to write songs; you learn to develop as a writer, and you get to meet lots of musicians and figure out what kind of sound you want. You have the time to just develop and try different styles, and that's what I did.
Hip-hop educated me about other forms of music, because it sampled from all different styles.
Middle school was my most awkward stage. I switched schools after the sixth grade after having gone to the same school for six years with the same group of 40 kids. It was a shock. I reinvented myself. I experimented with different styles, different groups of friends, and different types of music and not knowing how to be cool.
The best part about living in New York is that you are able to play with different people in different styles in the same week. It's really part of who I am as a musical person. I try to incorporate everything that I encounter.
Watching soccer is my main hobby, really. I'm no tactician or coach, but I enjoy watching the free flow of it, the different styles, and the histories behind clubs. Like Barcelona vs. Madrid - it's not just a soccer game; it's a geopolitical struggle. There are great storylines and no commercials.
I've created a vocabulary of different styles. I draw from many different ways to take a picture. Sometimes I go back to reportage, to journalism.
You can't just copy someone. There are so many different styles that you can just kind of pick and choose whatever it is you'd like to do.
My sisters and I like a lot of different styles of music, but we're inspired by real artists like Beyonce and Adele.
I definitely am a performer, and there are different styles of stand-up; I mean, some people are writers and they get onstage to get jokes out, and that's definitely not what I do. I like to just go up and, if I'm telling a story about someone, I'll play his or her part.