Growing up in Chicago, particularly in the ‘70s and ‘80s, really helped to shape me as a musician: Earth, Wind and Fire, the Emotions, Curtis [Mayfield], my dad, Chaka [Khan], Herbie Hancock. I really grew up with kind of a lush, really buried colorful landscape of music. And now actually . . . I was born and raised there, and spent more time in other places than Chicago—I went to college when I was 16, 17—but I do still find the Chicago sound, just the sound of the radio can inspire the feeling, the sound and the vibe of Chicago, to me. It’s an extremely specific thing. I talk to kids from Chicago all the time that understand what I’m talking about.
You have to, sort of, be from there, spend time there, to understand what I’m talking about. There’s a certain vibe about Chicago radio in the ‘70s and ‘80s that cannot be denied. I mean, we had the house-party mixes; we had the Friday night mixes, which a lot of cities have, but there’s such a distinct feel which I carry in me like the rest of the artists from Chicago. I’m very proud to be from Chicago and that reflects in our art. I find that across the board with artists, sculptors, with painters, designers, jewelry makers, from being in that part of the country, for sure.
Agenda, August 8th, 2012