McKay at the Farm Sanctuary 25th Anniversary Gala in New York City on May 14, 2011
|Birth name||Nell Marie McKay|
April 13, 1982 |
London, England, United Kingdom
|Origin||Manhattan, New York City|
|Genres||Rock, pop, jazz, reggae, rap, funk, disco|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, ukulele, cello, xylophone, glockenspiel|
|Labels||Columbia Records 2002-2006
Vanguard Records 2006-2009
Verve Records 2009-present
I have trouble with any kind of focus or concentrating, or getting anything done at all, really.
Love is such a fleeting emotion. It's such a small part of the things you do in your life.
If we went back to the basics of vegetables, legumes, grains – the things closer to the Earth – it's a lot better for the Earth and for other people. We can feed more people, we can feed the starving people.
You know, I wanted to get married, and so I – but I, you know, I realize no matter what you want, it's kind of a fantasy.
In New York City, when they develop something, they never use the old buildings. It's so wasteful. Why not use what's there?
Music can make the cerebral accessible, the subconscious hummable. It communicates our shared needs and desires as sentient beings better than any other medium.
I used to play in the subway. If everyone tossed in a quarter, at the end of the day it would add up. It shows you aren't invisible. And it's better than being ignored, or kicked in the head, or worse.
I'm glad if people can listen to some music and maybe fix some prejudices of their own, just by thinking.
I think there are nice things about every era. I wish we could just take the nice things.
If you look through the century, certain things have gotten better and certain things have gotten worse. I wouldn't say overall that things have gotten better. I think you could say things have gotten worse, but I don't think you could say that things have gotten better. Overall. You can't say that.
I never know how to get off the phone, so I'm terribly admiring of people who can.
I don't listen to much rap, really. I can rarely listen to a whole record of it, because musically, it's very formulaic, and oftentimes it doesn't have the best hooks on every track.
I tried to be just a singer of standards when I was starting out. And there was nothing special enough about my voice to make it that far. So I feel a bit like Rod Stewart. Once you've had that rock career, people will give you that chance where otherwise they might not.
I'm not sure I know how to make music anymore. Maybe you're given a window into things for a time, and beyond that maybe it goes away. Why should you expect it to stay?
I will say that art may well be the only thing that lasts, so I guess it's worth trying.
I'd love to give my music to someone who really likes to wow the crowd. I feel like half the time I just want to hide in the dressing room!
I love writing for dancers. You don't have to worry about the lyrics. I think to write words without music must be so frustrating. It must be always be so good, so perfect.
It's always so nerve-wracking being up there on stage. It's even harder playing in your hometown – and I have a couple of home towns – but, you're playing for all the people you knew in high school, so it causes no small degree of panic in my mind.
In the hierarchy of instruments, if you're a harpist, you're considered someone with a brain much more than if you're a singer.
The other kids wanted to play Destiny's Child, but I wanted Anita O'Day.
Public radio is the last oasis of free and independent music. For satellite radio channels, you have to subscribe; commercial stations are as corporate as basic cable.
You can criticize something you strive for, and you can avoid something you dream about.
I really don't care what people say. It's amazing that feminism continues to exist at all, considering how much counter-feminism is out there.
I thought I had a talent for alienating people, but I have no idea what it is that doesn't go over.
In high school, I was always into Jerry Lee Lewis, and they decided they needed a piano player for the jazz band. I had my little boogie-woogie thing that I did, so I did my little boogie-woogie thing. I had a very high-pitched voice.