Photograph by Danny Clinch for RollingStone.com Ladies and gentlemen, the…
- Posted on Feb 28th 2011 3:30PM by Linda Laban
Courtesy of Rolling Stone
How is bicoastal living suiting you?
I like it, it's great. New York is such an amazing city and I have incredible friends there. But then I get to come to L.A. and be in the sunshine and go to the beach. I had a nice little studio in Hollywood and I gave it up about a year ago. I've just been away and on tour so much.
You are only 21 and you've made four albums. That's pretty good going.
I've been doing it for a while for sure. I've been under a lot of people's radar, but the people who are my fans -- I'm on their radar. It's a growing number and it's so exciting.
Have you had interest from record labels?
That's been on and off for years. I've pretty much showcased for every label there is. I had a publishing deal for my last record, 'Waiting on the 9.' the music industry's a funny place. I almost signed a label deal but it wasn't the right thing for me, people didn't get it. They want you to change this or that.
Rejection didn't deter you?
No, I don't think that should stop anyone. It's so much a numbers game and a business thing. It's hardly ever about the music. You hear all these stories, you have to keep doing it and make the music you believe in. a lot of it is, "oh we'll sign you if you do this kind of thing." I'm like, no -- that's not what I do. Also, that's not the end-all, be-all of having a career these days. You just have to be smart about what you do and be true to your music, because at the end of the day that's what counts.
How do you categorize your music?
I try to write honest songs and be authentic. I guess stylistically it's indie pop-rock. It's always hard to put yourself in a box. As an artist, you're evolving everyday and changing. That's definitely one thing I relate to.
Why did you choose to cover Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'?
It's such a great song and I love pop music. That might not be what I do necessarily. But I've always been such a fan of pop music. I've always been the geek who knows all the words. It's fun, why not.
So are you good at karaoke?
No! I'm not into it. I love to sing and one of the greatest loves of my life is music. But I don't like karaoke at all.
What influenced you to become a singer-songwriter?
We were always listening to great music. Growing up in Louisiana, there were jazz festivals. I had an appreciation for all types of music early on. I love Paul Simon and Elton John, the Beatles and Joni Mitchell, because that's what my mom listened to. But there's so much. I feel that every week I hear something that makes me go, "wow, I'm so inspired by that." I love Feist, Arcade Fire, Laura Veirs ...
One of your songs is called 'Hipster Bitch' -- what's that all about?
[Laughs] I, um, was living in New York. I was seeing this guy and I ran into him in a bar and he was making out with this hipster lady. I had a writing session with someone the next day and he said, "what did you do last night?" I was like, "this hipster bitch blah blah." He's like, "That's hilarious, let's write a song about it." Listen to 'Hipster Bitch' here.
You vented, didn't you.
For sure! You bet.