Leadmego


Quotes by Billy Paul

Quotes by Billy Paul

All my life, I wanted to sound like myself. I never wanted to sound like anybody else.
I always liked Nat King Cole. I always wanted to go my own way, but I always favoured other singers like Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald – I loved Ella Fitzgerald. There are so many of them. Nina Simone was one of my favourites – Johnny Mathis.
I think about Marvin every day. The love I have for this man is unbelievable. We were close; we were like brothers.
I took my uniqueness and treated it like a horn.
I was singing totally jazz then, but when I heard the Beatles and heard the gospel influence and everything, I just said, ‘I can make jazz with R&B.’
I’ve always worked hard to create my own style. Nobody sounds like me. I’ve heard them call me ‘legendary.’ That feels pretty good… though the word is overused these days.
It’s a city of its own and has its own sound. I think what makes it different is the drama; you know how they say everyone marches to their own beat? Well, I think Philly has its own beat as well, and it’s distinctive. It sounds easy, but it’s hard to play.
The male singers who had the same range I did, when I was growing up, didn’t do much for me. But put on Nina Simone, Carmen McRae or Nancy Wilson, and I’d be in seventh heaven. Female vocalists just did more with their voices, and that’s why I paid more attention to them.
The most sobering thing is to have a number one record across the whole entire world in all languages.
When I heard The Beatles, that was my turning point. They were like my mentors. You know, the funny thing about that, when I heard ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand,’ at first I said these guys are like a flash in the pan. But the second album, I had to take all that back. John Lennon – one of the greatest writers in the world.

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