I couldn't get my album played over the so-called smooth jazz stations. Jazz stations would not play it. You don't always know who you're making that soul connection with.
Some people really trip on success or popularity. My friends would talk to me about that, about tripping on all this stuff, but you know what I tripped on? I started buying property.
What we call soul has been around a long time. It comes out of a particular culture that is African in origin, but influenced by 250 years of slavery, as well as other forms of racial oppression.
Back in the day, I used to be in the studio recording 20 hours a day. And that was all of the time. I still record a lot of hours, but I don't go as long as I used to.
Having good health, being able to breathe and be happy, that's one of the most beautiful gifts. On top of that, I have the gift to play music and make people happy through that. I'm just telling you from my heart, I'm so in love with life.
Most artists have contracts directly with the record company, and when they do music, all of their music is owned by the record company. But I did mine through a production company.
I was being an artist, being sensitive and technical as artists are. I'm sure Leonardo Da Vinci did that. Artists don't always feel the same as others feel about their work.
I don't think I'm really so unique. If every black person looked at their life they would quickly discover that they have been influenced by every type of music prevalent in America.
I generally sell my records online or at the show. You can undersell the distributor and the stores, and people know what they're getting cause they've just seen you live.
People are always defining and re-defining music. My style of playing has been characterized as smooth jazz and acid jazz. I listen as I play; I'm not caught up in defining the type of music I play.
Artists don't always know. Almost every song I ever recorded that was a hit at the majors that the promotional people picked I didn't think it would be a hit. I was wrong every time!
I still look good. I'm trippin', but people tell me that all the time. So check it out, I'm 63, and still kicking. I've been putting records out every year.
Most musicians count at the beginning, and never count and talk to their musicians after that. They only talk to them at the end of the song. But I would count with them and talk.
Only a certain number of people go to a store over the period of a year. When a person sees my record on the shelf, it eliminates someone else's record from being sold. It's about continuing to try to find new ways to sell records.
People in England were coming up to me, saying, My mother and father turned me on to your music. This happened to me 20 years ago. When I was 40 they were saying that.
The majors, they have to control the distribution, the record outlets, the radio and, in some cases, even the venues. And downloading and pirating have also put pressure on the majors.
When I was recording from '70 to '82, I always played piano and laid the tracks down. But I used to talk to the other musicians while the track was playing.