The greatest in heroes in life are the anonymous. That’s what I believe. Your neighbours are heroes. People who, when you walk down the street, you see them feeding their little baby – these people are heroes because they are living under difficult situations, but they’re still trying to save a life.
Sometimes it feels like my story overshadows my music.
I’ve learned in the little bit of my life so far that you can’t fool people. And so I only tell people what I think about: my ambitions, my dreams, what inspires me.
I know, deep down, that what makes my music what it is are my words. It always starts from me wanting to say something. Once I’ve run out of things to say, I’ll be done.
The thing is: I was quite slow when I was younger. I might have been smart – I don’t know – but I was slow talking to people. And as you can see, I don’t talk very loud.
The minute I stop singing, I’m back to being shy. I’m soft-spoken because I never really talked to people. I didn’t learn to do it.
I don’t think I’m a singer, I think I’m an expressionist. But it takes time to put it in people’s minds that this guy is not singing, ‘Baby, I want to have you.’ This guy is actually thinking about what he’s saying. This guy has something to say.
We always blame other people when things go wrong. For example, family to friends, you think they’ll stay by your side, and you realise they never do. But that’s life.
It stayed with me – the Bible has stayed with me. I’ve grown out of it because, obviously, you live life for yourself and have your choice to believe what you want to believe in, but I know that the Bible can be used to appreciate life.
I’m from a middle class family, but my father squandered all the money, so I didn’t really run around with rich people.
If I’m being forced to do something I don’t want to do, my real self comes out. But whether or not I’m aware of it, no matter what happens, I’m always going to have a fake self, and I’m not going to judge my fake self.
I was lucky to have read a lot of poetry when I was younger; it helped me to remember a way to write.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind going on stage naked, totally naked.
I’m actually doing what I like doing, which is mixing opera music and classical music with soul and folk. And I was writing and talking about what I’ve actually experienced, and I don’t think that’s very common.
I accept the fact that angels are great heavenly beings, and I think some people give me the feeling that I’m with an angel.
I would describe myself as outspoken. Not political. Outspoken about what I want to say. There are things that need to be said… and I think it’s my obligation to say them.
I appreciate my city very much. When I go to America and Europe, and I tell everyone I’m from London, I’m proud.
Studying music involves a lot of mathematics and a lot of exercises of memory. Or you’ve got to be able to be like somebody, to play like somebody, to play Mozart’s music the way he played it and how he intended it. You’ve got to make it perfect, and that’s not what I want to do. Although it is beautiful.
My parents always said that I would be a lawyer or pilot or doctor – and I always just thought that’s what I would do.
When I first started singing in Paris, I sounded horrible: I was just singing to get some money to eat. And I wasn’t singing my own songs: it was Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix. Eventually, when I wrote my own music, my style just came out of my own place.
Because I didn’t think anyone would actually listen to my music, I thought I could say whatever I wanted.
I personally wouldn’t want my second album to sound like my first; it might sound very rocky or hard rock – and that wouldn’t be melancholy. So if people think my music is melancholic, then so be it. It’s meant to be uplifting, and I’m just basically saying what needs to be said.
I believe when the music is being sung or being played, at the end of it, there’s some sort of grace and understanding. And that’s all I want for humanity. I just want us to understand each other. That’s the point of my music.
I always see my music for its rewards rather than its awards. But I always thought if there was one award I’d want to win, it would be the Mercury.
Life is life. You have to learn how to forgive people and how to gain forgiveness for yourself.
Most people think a song is a song – three minutes, and you’re done. I don’t think this way. Songs are my wings. They’re what I use to fly. It’s very important for me to put everything in the right place.
Honestly, I still don’t know a lot of artists, and I want to keep it that way for a while. I think that’s why I might be quite original.
I found it quite pleasing to be alone from a very young age. The piano became my source of release.
It’s amazing how people believe you if you use long words.
People say my world is dark. No, there’s a lot of lightness in my world. But I know very well that I’m not normal when I’m performing.