Do you think it’s harder to be an artist now than when you first started out?
[With] female artists, it’s harder. You see you have to play the game; that’s what the system wants. So you have to make yourself available 24/7. And if someone takes your picture at a time when you really don’t want that picture taken, and you didn’t have any say as to whether you wanted that image taken of you, and that person just going to take it and they’re going to sell it and make a ton of money out of it, I find that really intrusive and really invasive. Some people welcome that, they want that — they want to live that lifestyle 24/7. I don’t understand that, I really don’t.
So for the young artist coming up, if they think that they just want to be famous, they have to live with that. They have to live with the responsibility of what that means. And it’s quite cannibalistic; it eats you up. You have no privacy. You are living in this goldfish bowl. If that’s what you want, fine, but once the genie’s out of the bottle, there’s no turning back. And I find that quite disturbing as a human phenomena… It’s here today, gone tomorrow. You can be famous like that and everybody in the world knows you for two seconds, and what happens after that? You crash, I can guarantee. You crash and burn, and where’s the sustainability in it? Where’s your real value as a human being?
So what advice do you have for new artists, particularly female artists, trying to establish a lasting and real career now?
It’s very challenging nowadays; the pool of music is over-subscribed and just so generic. You have so many talent shows with beautiful kids coming and singing, and they have this notion of fame and celebrity, and what that is — and really, it’s illusory. It’s completely illusory, and that concerns me, because it’s like this instantaneous notion.
The truth of it all is that, first of all, it’s exceedingly hard work. And maybe you want to do a lot of hard work, but it also can be a bit exploitative. And that’s the thing: You really got to have your wits about you. You have to be grounded, because if you’re not careful, somebody else is going to come and they’re going take your soul away. And you will be left with the shadow of the person that you really are. It’s dangerous.