The first person that I ever heard sing a song I wrote was Jason Derulo. I was in the studio when he was doing it, and I mean, I've heard that guy's voice my whole life. When he was singing words I wrote, I started kind of choking up, but I tried to be all manly and puff my chest up and be all, 'Yeah, it's not a big deal.'
I write about love, but it's me wanting to be in love. I've never been in love. I love my mom, my dad. I want to be in love. I think I have to allow myself to get there. I'm just so in love with music. It's weird. I'm at a crossroads because I want to be in love.
He's the reason why I write music. If he's reading this - James Taylor, I'd love to work with you! My mom would put headphones on her belly before I was born, so I've been listening to him literally all of my life. When my dad played me 'Walking Man,' I heard those chord changes and that melody, it completely blew me away.
'Marvin Gaye' came about my first day in L.A. It was kind of crazy that that's my first song that I wrote and it blew up that much. What's crazy is the next day I wrote 'See You Again,' so that's pretty interesting. I was trying to prove myself as a songwriter.
When we used to go to the car-wash where people would wipe the windows, my dad would go out and help them and then tip them as well, so I learned my empathy from my dad, and my mum is very empathetic too, but in a very stern way; she will always check my ego.