'Nothin' on You' by B.o.B was the first song where I heard myself on the radio. I'd been trying my whole career to write a song like that, which incorporates live instruments with hip-hop and singing.
I guess if I'm a product, either you're chocolate, you're vanilla or you're butterscotch. You can't be all three.
I'm a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker's 'You Are So Beautiful' and Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' - songs that go straight to the point.
Songwriters, you have to work - you have to wait for residuals. You have to pray that the song's going to be a hit. And then a year later, you might get a check.
What I like about Elvis is the same thing I like about James Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince. These guys, back in the day, there was no smoke and mirrors. It was just raw talent. They would step out onstage and command an audience. Talk about awesome.
In pop music, the public usually see the results - the hit records, the Grammy Awards performances, the concert tours - but not all the work that goes into getting into the spotlight. And not everyone realizes that, even if you have a lot of talent, chances are you won't make it.
In my songs, I'm not saying something that's never been said before. The have lyrics aren't going to blow people away. It's the emotion and the melody that drive it home.
I've definitely seen bands before they made money kind of change their thing on the next tour, and I prefer it when it's a little more raw.
In Hawaii, some of the biggest radio stations are reggae. The local bands are heavily influenced by Bob Marley.
You know, when Michael Jackson does the moonwalk, he's showing off! When Prince or Hendrix do a guitar solo, it's confidence! I would hate to be at a show and some nervous wreck is sweating up there and doesn't feel like he deserves to be there.
I can't even speak Hawaiian, but if you go there and listen to a Hawaiian song, you get captured because it's so beautiful, like the melody is just gorgeous and you know Bob Marley is on the radio every single day. It's very reggae-influenced down there. Basically, you haven't been to paradise if you haven't been to Hawaii.
What I'm hoping is that every album I'm going to do will give my audience something different, and that they'll grow as I do.
A grown man should always carry cash, right? I don't know who told me, but someone told me that a long time ago, and the biggest turnoff is when a guy doesn't have cash on him.
I don't think anyone ever plans to change line-ups, but it's something that comes with being in bands. I was in a band once and there were always problems - members come and go - and some of the world's biggest bands have changed line-ups loads!
I could sing you a thousand and one doo-wop songs. I love the simplicity in that music. It's not super-poetic, it's just from the heart.
My mother is a singer, my sisters all sing, my uncles are incredible singers and guitar players, so it's just kind of been like my habitat.
I tend to overthink things. I'm not the guy who screams 'This is a world smash!' when I finish a song.
You know, my sister sings, my brother plays drums in my band. My whole family is a bunch of musicians.
I love that I can talk to my fans through Twitter, to cut out the middle man. Because I've done interviews where my words have gotten twisted, so it's nice to be able to have things coming straight from me.
Music is not math. It's science. You keep mixing the stuff up until it blows up on you, or it becomes this incredible potion.
I don't like two stories. I like one story. I never grew up with stairs. I like to stick to what I know.
I feel it's my job to continue being a student of music if I want to continue being an artist and a producer of other artists. You have to keep filling your mind with other music. You have to be ahead of the curve.
It's probably the worst feeling in the world, when you're deeply and madly in love with a woman and you know she's not feeling you the same way, and you don't know why.
Today, I'd like to talk to Bob Marley. I'd just like to ask him what was his method. Bob is one of the greatest songwriters ever. I don't know if people understand how powerful his songs are and the simplicity and genius behind them, from 'Redemption Song' to 'Is This Love?' and 'I Shot the Sheriff.'
I think I don't take myself too seriously. You know as far as, it's a fun life. I take my music serious, but I like to have fun.
I just know that I'm a fan of all different kinds of genres. You're supposed to be free doing music, and that's how I feel.
Ever since I was a kid, this was all I wanted to do. I've wanted to do music. I wanted to sing. It's all I know.
I just write songs that I strongly believe in and that are coming from inside. There's no tricks. It's honesty with big melodies.
My father moved to Hawaii from Brooklyn and my mother came there as a child from the Philippines. They met at a show where my dad was playing percussion. My mom was a hula dancer.
I wish I could tell you me and my rock band were traveling around, strung out. No, we were a family band. Straight Partridge Family.
Doo-wop is special music to me because it's so straightforward and melody-driven and captures emotions.
Writing for other artists helped me figure out that magic you have to capture to make everyone connect with a song.
Someone told me something that stuck with me: 'You have to envision your life, and then go backwards.' I've been living by that motto for a while, so I see where I need to be. Now I'm just backtracking and trying to get back up there.
'Doo-wop' is a very special word for me. Because I grew up listening to my dad who, as a Fifties rock & roll head, loved doo-wop music.
I don't ever want to come out with something safe and get away with, 'It sounds good!' It's got to be more than sounding good. The music I like are events.
Becoming famous was never what I wanted to do. There's a lot of things that come with fame - it's what people in the limelight have to do.
There's always a bittersweet kind of thing, but I feel like everything had to work out the way it is. Everything that had to happen, happened.
I came to California and got signed at a young age. And it's not like you see in the movies, where you start rubbing shoulders with Timbaland and Pharrell, and you become a giant pop star.
I've had big record label presidents look me in the face and say, 'Your music sucks, you don't know who you are, your music is all over the place, and we don't know how to market this stuff. Pick a lane and come back to us.'
I know a lot of artists say this, but it's hard to put myself in a box. I just write songs that I strongly believe in and that are coming form a special place. There's no tricks.
My dad was into the 1950s doo-wop era. If you look at those groups, or at James Brown, Jackie Wilson and the Temptations in the 1960s, you'll see you had to be sharp onstage.