Lyrics Born on His New Album, in Stores Today

April 22, 2008

Hyphen: I know it's cliche, but the only thing constant is change. What's changed since your last release and how have those changes manifested themselves on the new record?

Lyrics Born: Times have changed. Living in the digital age has changed the way we approach everything in life.  We have such immediate access to everything all the time, allowing us to be "Everywhere At Once."  The title describes my life and the sound of this album to a "T" right now. I'm a mulit-tasker by nature, and a pop-culture junkie, and I wanted to get that across on this record.

Why'd you decide to go sample-free on the new album?

My life goal is to be inspiring.  I can't be inspiring if I'm not inspired, and I can't be inspired if I'm
not continually challenging myself.  I have to constantly find new ways, means, and methods to create
and express myself, otherwise I get bored, and my work isn't stimulating -- for myself or my audience.  This is one way I can shake it up a little bit and keep us on our toes.

"Everywhere At Once" is more introspective than your previous releases. On "Is It The Skin I'm In," you discuss your identity and racial discrimination. You make references to your identity on a couple other tracks as well. It's not a topic you've discussed in the past. Why address this topic now, rather than earlier in your career?

Early in my career, I never wanted to be regarded as "The Asian One."  I wanted to be appreciated solely based on merit, and acknowledged for the quality of my contributions, as do all people of color in this country.  I have achieved that now. I laid down the groundwork so that I can be seen as what I am, and now I can talk about myself on my own terms, in a context that is constructive as opposed to divisive. Public Enemy's first album was not overtly political. Spike Lee's first movie was not the overt social commentary he became known for. We've been called names we didn't come up with since we were in this country, and I paved the way for myself to be seen and heard in the light of my choosing.

You've had crossover success, getting more love on the leading Bay Area commercial rock station, Live105, than the leading commercial urban radio station 106 KMEL. Why do you think that is? Clearly you've got the local and global following that would warrant spins on KMEL...


Musical taste is so diverse now, anything is possible. My commercial radio success is a testament to that. Tomorrow I may be played on the Jazz station, next week it could be the World Music station. This is all by design. I strive to be the most versatile artist in the game, and I have always said I wanted to exist in ALL genres, regardless of category, thus, "Everywhere At Once."  It's like I say on "Rules Were Meant To Be Broken:"  "They try to put me in a little, itty-bitty box, but I'm just too big to fit."

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