Corinne Bailey Rae Quotes

  • Reggae is not music I know inside-out.

  • I am drawn to those sad and beautiful moments of life.

  • Don't spend time wishing your life away, waiting for things to be perfect.

  • Playing gigs is what it's about for me.

  • Letting my guard down, trusting that someone will look after me... I've found that hard to do.

  • I would love to one day see the rock churches in Ethiopia and learn about the history of Rastafari in the country, as well as see the amazing landscapes of Iceland.

  • I hate the way make-up feels.

  • I'm just a generally hopeful person.

  • I guess that's the main thing when someone dies, the realisation that you won't get to be with them and talk to them.

  • I didn't expect my popularity to be a mainstream thing, 'cause I'd only ever been an underground artist.

  • The Caribbean has had a big impact on me. It's very outdoorsy, people don't really spend a lot of time indoors. There's so much light and sunshine.

  • I never wanted to be a pop star.

  • I rode my bike to school, I was the head girl, I played the violin, was really nerdy. I was really underweight, so I was really skinny and under-confident. But I had Doc Marten boots! So I was a bit of an outsider. And clever as well.

  • I don't only like R&B. I always love in life when you see people acting in a way that is true and genuine to them but doesn't fit into the perceived notion of how they would respond to something.

  • American music has become really heavily stylised and focused on production. With producers like the Neptunes and Timbaland, it's so much about the backing track rather than the song.

  • With 'The Sea,' I was just thinking about loss, about the impact losing your father would have on you as a child, how one event that big could colour your life, bleed into everything else and force you into a certain shape.

  • I really enjoy touring and playing music to people.

  • I don't get involved with what other people say in reviews.

  • Belly made me aware that you could write songs that were mysterious or vulnerable. Their guitar-led music was in some ways very simple, the opposite of the pop music I was brought up with, like Michael Jackson. It made me realise music was something that you could be part of, make in your room.

  • I think a lot of style is about attitude - posture, deportment, gaze and confidence. I saw that in my mum. She was a cleaner when we were growing up, but she had this stylish presence I admired.

  • I don't buy loads of clothing. But I do have a lot of vintage dresses and '80s one-pieces, which are quite fun.

  • I believe that music can encourage you to move on from painful events. It helps to make a scar fade.

  • I went from playing small gigs for 80 people to like 2,000 or 3,000 people, and they were arriving with all this expectation and excitement.

  • My dad hates reggae. He's from St. Kitts, which is a really British island, with Victorian values. He doesn't have a strong Caribbean accent. He didn't play Caribbean music in the house. He was really into soul music, collecting soul 45s.

  • Even right in the middle of the worst times, I remember thinking that I would choose this exact life again, that I would do it all again.

  • Everything I do I just want to be real and honest.

  • Language and poetry are endlessly fascinating. The most brilliant work can be so sparse yet so full of meaning. That's what I'm looking for in a song: imagery to describe things in ways that are perfectly concise. I'm constantly trying to find one hard, crystal thing.

  • Punk and jazz are the opposite ends of the same spectrum because they are both looking for freedom and they give musicians the right to take music in their own directions.

  • When I was singing in Helen, the style was to have a really unusual voice. The order of the day was to have emotion and passion and a recognizable style.

  • On the first album, it was me and a producer in a basement going though hundreds of snare drum sounds to find the right one.

  • When you're in a relationship with someone, it's so much about tearing down the walls between you two that you sort of confuse what is you and what is them. When you lose them, you question: 'What is left of me?'

  • I was really enjoying playing 'The Sea,' but it is quite an intense and emotional record.

  • I'm not some kind of preacher saying 'You have to have natural hair,' but for me it's easier.

  • Americans like things that don't sound American.

  • My mum would take us to ballet, and we used to go as a family to Brownies. My dad used to take us to Saturday music school. My parents would never say: 'Oh, you've got to practice your violin now before tea.' We were self-motivated.

  • Every time you go on stage, you want to prove yourself because you are in front of a new audience.

  • I wouldn't describe the artist Theaster Gates as a mentor, but I pay attention and keep my ears open when I'm with him.

  • There's something really wrong with using Botox: it stops you making facial expressions - people are so interested in how they appear that there's no intention of projecting how they feel.

  • I started an all-girl band called Helen when I was 15. It wasn't a precocious thing to do - everyone we knew was in a band, and all the bars and pubs in Leeds put on nights.

  • I love the Bowery Hotel by night.

  • I find so much freedom in singing and so much expression of my self. I feel so connected to the people in the audience, and I feel spiritually connected when I'm doing it.

  • As an artist, you want to form your own identity and be your own performer.

  • I love to watch films, going out and watching bands, going out dancing.

  • I saw tons of young black girls who really got the message of 'Put Your Records On,' which is specifically a message for black girls about self-love and embracing your natural hair.

  • I love Singapore's rooftop bars.

  • I like to be on my own before I do a gig.

  • When I did my rock band, I pined for a more soulful sound. I wanted music that was very melodic and blues-based.

  • I'd always thought pop stars had to be really sophisticated and grown-up. So I was enchanted by Bjork's childlikeness. I'd never heard a voice like hers, with all its character and glottal pronunciations, or music recorded with background noises, like the sound of the city or a bus pulling up.

  • I read someplace that when I was signed to EMI, they reeled in the 'hit-makers.' The presumption is that 'cause you're a young girl, black, smiley, with curly hair, you can't have written the songs. It totally winds me up.

  • People make assumptions about me based on my music. I've literally had people stop me in the street: 'You are so sweet. I bet you haven't had a bad thought in your whole life!' I'm like, 'Really? I hate to disappoint you!'

  • My parents got divorced for the same reason that most people's parents get divorced: the relationship had stopped working. I was about 12 or 13.

  • I worked in a band a long time. As we got older, we became more aware of soul and jazz.

  • I was Corinne Bailey. I added on Rae, my husband's name, when I got married. There's no hyphen. Stops it being posh!

  • We went to Baptist church as a family, and that took up so many nights a week.

  • It's kind of a journalistic thing to say, 'This person is the next so and so.' I think actual musicians are never really into those kinds of comparisons.

  • I don't just work one way. I enjoy working with others.

  • When I was getting it relaxed, I almost wished my hair didn't grow, because it was so expensive and broke easily.

  • I'm compelled to make music.

  • I never stop working on songs.

  • My dad, Chris, is from St Kitts. He worked in computers. I remember the first laptop when he brought it home. People from primary school came to check it out - it was huge.

  • You know, I think that nature has such a powerful message about moving from dark to light, and bitterness to sweetness.

  • I think that every day should be savored, and so a lot of 'Stop Where You Are' comes out of that idea that life is really precious, the people around us are precious, and every single moment is worth celebrating.

  • I've written a soulful record but it's informed by my sort of indie guitar past.

  • Being a musician is quite cerebral - there's a lot of sitting around.

  • I don't think, like, 'I've got to sell so many records here, or so many records there.' That's the record label's job. They've got to worry about how were doing in Kazakhstan or Germany. My job is just to write and sing.

  • My whole vibe is not really fronty and aggressive and blingy.

  • When Prince is into what you're doing, it's just surreal.

  • I don't respond well to time pressure - when you're in the studio, with the clock ticking, and the record company's waiting for you to lay a golden egg. Wherever it is my music comes from, it just doesn't show up when the pressure is on.

  • I believe that energy can't be destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. There's more to life than we can conceive of.

  • All the changes you go through personally really affect the music you make, and my music on the one hand is personal and the other it comes from my lived experience and the interaction with the world around me.

  • I'm really aware that I can't hide any of my feelings.

  • I think I just really, really love singing.

  • In America sometimes I'll play to a full black audience of young people, they will be really getting into this super-aggressive guitar music. It's really great to know that people who are coming to the gigs don't have any particular expectations.

  • Writing about relationships is political. The personal is political.

  • I find it easy to relax, but I'm always thinking about songs.

  • I used to plan a lot. But I've realized the vanity in that.

  • I really like melodies that have a certain tension against the chords. I like writing things that are sort of insistent.

  • My first flight was to Majorca as a 17-year-old and I went to Seattle to visit a friend after that. But the first time I really ventured out abroad to Canada and Japan as well as to Europe, to France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, was to promote my first album.

  • I love the idea of the winter rose that's sort of sleeping underneath the soil. Underneath all the snow is this plant that was growing and developing and could present itself as this beautiful flower in this time where everything else around it is very barren.

  • Because of my background, I never felt comfortable with these R&B divas, but I'd hate to be just some pensive girl with a guitar.

  • Being mixed race in Britain in the '80s and '90s, there just weren't loads of people who looked like me.

  • You know, losing my husband in 2008, that was a completely unexpected thing. And that process of grief and mourning that has taught me a lot about life, and how we never know how long we have.

  • With music I feel like it's the one time when I don't have to think and I don't have to contrive anything.

  • Like a Star' has a very simple melody, and when you play it, it's only about three notes for ages, and it's quite boring. But when you hear the chords, the chords are sort of different than the melody, and it's pulling it around and making it mean something else.

  • Life is full of things that you can't predict.

  • I love the sound of a Fender Rhodes or James Jamerson-style bass lines that are their own melody, and live drums and Moogs.

  • I think it's weird that we expect ups and downs in friendships, but not in relationships. It all has to be romance, romance, romance - but there's two people and there are always going to be disagreements, and you have to work at it.

  • We live in a capitalist society, so our power as people who consume is significant. I boycott unethical companies and avoid buying stuff made in sweatshops and stuff that will end up in landfills.

  • I won this poll thing in England about predictions, and it was all these journalists and reporters trying to say that I was going to be big in '06. My name was at the top of their list. I was like, are you sure you've got the right person?

  • Chaos to me is really important in music.

  • In my own studio, I can just lock the door and record myself, do layers of vocals not knowing how they are going to turn out, and just scrap it if it doesn't work. It's my space. I'm running everything.

  • I often find myself having deep and emotive conversations with people.

  • I loved music from a young age. At school I played the violin but I didn't sing much; there was an expectation of the kids in the choir that they'd have really pure tones, and my voice had all this texture to it. The anodyne soul of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey was in the charts and I couldn't relate to it.

  • I wasn't interested in fame, and I'm still not. So I never felt I had to match that first record in terms of commercial success.

  • I recognize that my voice is kind of quirky, and I don't have a lot of range. But I use it kind of in a conversational way, like Billie Holiday, I guess.

  • I am engaged with the news, I vote, I write to my MP, I stand up for things that are important to me.

  • As an artist, you have to express yourself. You just can't stop being an artist.

  • I find this western idea that ageing is wrong really distasteful. You should be happy that you look 50, you look 60, you've got to 70 - it should be an achievement.