The reason I'm not more political is because I have music. And from a young age, I needed it. After prison, my father came to America, joined the Army, fought in Vietnam - and was exposed to Agent Orange. He died a slow, horrible death. Music was my escape.
My family was musical on both sides. My father's family had a famous flautist and a classical pianist. My mother won a contest to be Shirley Temple's double - she was the diva of the family. At 8, I learned how to play guitar. I used to play songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s in the kitchen for my grandmother.
All I tell artists is, 'Do what you love. Never let anybody talk you into changing what your musical idea is just to try to get a hit, because you're chasing your tail that way. It's not going to happen, and if you're successful, you have to do it the rest of your life. Stay true to it and do it for the sake of the art.'