One of my favorite songs out of your catalog is "All Roads." Since you write the bulk of your songs, I'm curious to know the inspiration behind the lyrics. It definitely has a Gospel vibe.
Yeah, it was something like a Gospel vibe. I usually have something spiritual at the end of my albums. I wanted "All Roads" to be spiritual without being explicitly so. The song could be about a person as well, but it was definitely coming from a spiritual place first.
Another song out of your catalog that is really personal is "When Loving U Was Easy." When it comes to love, what lessons have you learned over the years?
Really loving yourself, knowing yourself and be in a situation where you're respected and you're valued – that makes a difference. When you know your value, then you won't allow yourself to be treated in a certain way. I'm not sure if you knew, but I wrote two versions of "When Loving U Was Easy."
No, I didn't know that.
They had the same hook but one version – the one we didn't go with – was about bumping into an old lover. The conversation was like, "How's your family? Everything's fine. I'm doing good. I heard you moved on. Everything's all good." And then as the conversation progresses, the bitterness and the anger comes out. It's so funny that you mentioned that song because I forgot that I wrote two songs to that.
Another song that you may have forgotten about is your cover of "I'm Coming Out" for the Maid in Manhattan soundtrack.
Oh, gosh! [laughing] I haven't even heard that version since the soundtrack was released!
I did a little bit of research and I found out the song was originally released in 1980 – which was also the year of your birth. Outside of that connection, how did you get attached to that project?
The part of getting attached to the project was because Sony – my label at the time – was doing the soundtrack. Corey Rooney approached me about the soundtrack and the idea of covering the song. It was tricky, because I love the original record. I loved what I was doing to it at first, but it was just kind of different, with my own spin. But the movie company for some reason really wanted it to be like the original. And my thing was, "Why don't you just use the original? I mean, it's great." At that time, it was early in my career, so I said: "Okay, cool. I'll do it like this." To be honest, it's one of the only songs of mine that I don't really like. I felt it was so much like the original; it wasn't me. It wasn't the one I did first. Few people would ever talk about this. And I would never do that now, even though I love the original record.