So you sing and, based on what I've heard, you're killer on the piano. What else do you play?
It's just keyboard for the most part though I tap dance, and I'm pretty knowledgeable as far as rhythm and placement.
Is there anything else you're trying to add to your repertoire as you grow as a musician?
I'm trying to learn the drums and I need to find someone who can teach me to play the drums. I used to play a little guitar, but I was doing so many records and moving around so much between acting and music. I had to kind of put it down because I just didn't have the time. I'm hoping to learn both drums and guitar in the next year and a half.
In your growth as a musician, who are you listening to in terms of writing, arranging, and composing?
I'm rooted in the old school. My parents really put me on to old school music so the people I'm looking at as far as arranging are people like Rick Rubin, people like Quincy Jones. I love Sammy Davis Jr. and I love the arranging style on a lot of his stuff.
Do you take after him for singing too, because not only do you write your own songs and make your own beats, but you're singing over the tracks as well?
I really love Sammy Davis Jr. He's my number one. At the time it was popular to have that in-between tenor or baritone, unlike today where now everybody's kind of a high tenor. But Sammy Davis Jr. just had such a natural talent, vocally, and it was just him. It wasn't like he was trying to do things that aren’t him. I can do a lot of things and I have a wide range but my voice is deep for my height, so I've always kind of clung to vocalists who seemed to say, "I'm about to do all that high stuff," and you don't hear it in the song.
Basically you're saying that you like to stay in your lane in terms of your vocal range. You don't like to move into that falsetto unless it's absolutely necessary.
I can do that, but personally, when I listen to a Barry White record and you hear him go into that [sings a line], there's just so much soul right there and he just said two words!
Who are the rappers that inspire you?
My number one is Nas. Number two would probably be Rakim. As far as who I was listening to before I started to record, I go back to Grandmaster Flash, of course the Furious Five. I love Slick Rick, but I go back. I don't really listen to too much now, but I'm really rooted in that old school, as I said before you know. [laughs]