All I tell artists is, 'Do what you love. Never let anybody talk you into changing what your musical idea is just to try to get a hit, because you're chasing your tail that way. It's not going to happen, and if you're successful, you have to do it the rest of your life. Stay true to it and do it for the sake of the art.'
I'd love to have a program like 'Dr. Laura.' I studied psychology at the University of Miami, and when I rode the bus home from school, perfect strangers would strike up conversations with me and end up telling me their life stories. I think they could sense that I was studying to help people. That, or I have a face like a priest.
The Internet has been a blessing and a curse. The curse we know: A lot of people appropriating your intellectual property without paying for it. But I think it's important to realize the blessing of the Internet, which is that everybody has a voice and you can break through, even without a record company.
I think we should all live the moment. But you also have to think ahead. You have to think, 'Am I going to be happy with this five, ten years from now? Is it going to let me evolve and grow, or am I going to grow to one day wish I had never done it?' Sometimes you just have to think a little bit ahead.
My family was musical on both sides. My father's family had a famous flautist and a classical pianist. My mother won a contest to be Shirley Temple's double - she was the diva of the family. At 8, I learned how to play guitar. I used to play songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s in the kitchen for my grandmother.