It's like there's the rest of the world, and then there's America. Part of the reason I would really love continue to making music over here because so much of American music has inspired me, whether it's Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen.
I grew up listening to hits, and if I write something I feel, I think that's pretty mass appeal. I'm not very elitist with music. Love is universal; a great melody is universal; it goes around the world; it's not just American. A great song can touch the world.
I haven't traveled in Africa nearly as much as I'd like to. I've been there a few times, and I'd like to learn more about the various cultures in Africa. But that's the basis point of where all of the music that I love is based upon, from Africa to Cuba to Puerto Rico to South America.
I have to be the only person in America who had a doctor say to him, 'Please don't put any more surgical gloves on your head and inflate them.'
I love visiting LA. It's an endlessly fascinating city, and is, of course, America's entertainment capital. Each time I go, I fall in love with it all over again. That said, it's not the sort of place I'd want to live.
It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn't wait to leave.
Like every child growing up in America, I read 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn.' I liked them well enough, but I didn't love them.
I'm not of the American ilk that, you know, your lover needs to be your best friend and know you inside out. I think he should know you well enough to please you. Otherwise, what secret will there be to tell him when you're ninety?
I speak pretty fluent American, though I do so with a strong British accent, and I love America: The scale and the variety of it are astonishing to someone not born there, and I'm convinced that its energy and generosity have somehow rubbed off on me and affected my writing. For the better.
My parents, fleeing a repressive regime in the Dominican Republic, were embraced by this country and taught us to love it in return. After my father served proudly in the U.S. Army, they settled in Buffalo, N.Y., and were able to live the American Dream.
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