A lot of times you have to dip into the independent world to find the really great projects and the really great scripts. They're out there - you just have to search hard.
I'm a Sufi Muslim, I would say. I believe in using the medium to create a good vibration because art is so important to society. Some projects I don't do because I feel that it's going to create a bad vibe. I don't do propaganda films that are anti another religion, anti-Muslim or anti-Hindu.
I usually work on a film soundtrack for two years, turning in a song every few months, and that keeps my creative energy high, because I'm constantly rotating projects. The trick is to make sure I don't work too hard and get exhausted.
Some things are very low profile, but if they excite me creatively, I accept them. Sometimes there are high-profile projects, and you have to do it. We all have human limitations. It is a painful decision to turn things down. Even accepting 'Slumdog Millionaire' was a decision that I had to sacrifice another project.
When I was living in the projects, I had a mop stick for my horse. I wanted to be Gene Autry or Roy Rogers, so I would ride my mop through the projects.
Don Was is a friend of mine; we've done projects together over the years.
When I'm singing, it's a mixture of my innocence in the projects, my mom and dad. It's all the good and the bad, the laughs and the frowns that I went through and seen other people go through. Then you be trying to write it. Whatever's coming out, you try and make it all cool.
What's so great about Sundance is that they only accept such a small handful of films per year for dramatic competition, so you know when you're going to Sundance that you're going to see top-quality projects.
It's so funny, I've done so many projects where I've been interrogated. I guest starred on almost every hour drama, and I'm always the guy they think is the bad guy but then they find out is not.
I always gravitate towards the independent side of things, just because those are the stories I always fall in love with, but you don't really get paid, and living in Los Angeles is expensive, and I have a mortgage to pay. So it's good to jump onto a studio film and then in all my other time do small passion projects.