People say you have your whole life to make your first album. And it took so much of my life making that first record. We’d been going from city to city so I could try to bring people into my world with my little Kurzweil keyboard, songs and braids. When I was sixteen, my manager and I did all of these showcases for all these different labels—so to one day stand inside Columbia Records was a big deal.
I had been playing piano since I was seven, and writing songs since I was eleven, but I didn’t have a ton of experience putting it all together. It took years to figure out how to get the sound of the record. The label put me with different producers, different collaborators— and they didn’t get me. They knew their thing, but they didn’t know my thing. And the whole thing was very frustrating. So much of the time I felt like a caged bird.