The Wisdom of Esperanza Spalding: Musician. Lyrical Sorceress. Rebel
New Album EMILY’S D+EVOLUTION out now
On Art as Commerce:
It’s a pity if someone who has a really profoundly potent art to share chooses not to or doesn’t fit into this very thin slice of what’s desirable and marketable, chances are the public will never get a chance to hear what they’re doing.
There is an assumption that if you’re young and pretty, you will get all these opportunities that are way beyond your musical foundation. People are more used to seeing men who are masters at an instrument than women. When people say, “Oh, she plays like a dude,” it’s usually dudes who are the ones saying it. They’re saying, “Oh, she’s as good as us.” Of course, that’s a stupid statement. It’s totally stereotypical to say, “We have an advantage on this, and if anyone else can do it well, it’s only because they’re like us.” I think more men are starting to learn that this attitude is totally hollow and based in imagination. As more women are involved in music, this kind of thing gets said less and less.
You can grow up with literally nothing and you don’t suffer if you know you’re loved and valued.
On Life: I’m not gonna sit around and waste my precious divine energy trying to explain and be ashamed of things you think are wrong with me.
Whoever you are, if you know what you’re doing, you don’t want other people to overtake the merit of your art.
On Getting Shit Done: You don’t have to be fearless to do anything; you can be scared out of your mind.
Photos: Holly Andres