I love so many different types of music - hard rock, bebop, jazz fusion, R&B. And I've loved meeting and painting so many amazing artists like Lionel Richie, Ronnie Wood, Sia, Steven Tyler, Swizz Beatz, Taylor Swift, James Moody, The Fifth Dimension, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson. It makes me smile thinking about each one of them.
I like to compare the attitude and energy of an emerging start-up to that of the early hip-hop era. From working at labels like Bad Boy and Ruff Ryders, walking into the Def Jam offices, A Touch of Jazz and things like that, the vibe is that off making something out of nothing and making things work, and that's what I love about start-ups.
Cultures have long heard wisdom in non-human voices: Apollo, god of music, medicine and knowledge, came to Delphi in the form of a dolphin. But dolphins, which fill the oceans with blipping and chirping, and whales, which mew and caw in ultramarine jazz - a true rhapsody in blue - are hunted to the edge of silence.
Jazz, to me, is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul - the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.
It never gets boring for me because there's so many different things to explore in the studio. The studio's become the sanctuary that people have come in and found new things out about themselves, as weird as that sounds. But it's true, I'm no different. I've made some crazy hard records, and I've made a jazz album.
Jazz music is America's past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.