India.Arie was on Last Call with Carson Daly on Friday to perform ‘Just The Two Of Us’ and another song. Arie talked about not having the desire to become as skilled on the guitar as say Santana, and how she nearly quit the music business after the Grammy awards and all the stress associated with singing. She took about 5 months off and started writing some songs. She says she doesn’t care how many people are watching, she just likes to play. Read on for a rough transcript.
Carson: Welcome back. India.Arie is here. You don’t do the “acoustic
soul” thing a lot? She’s in her, like, second day of toung, by the way,
India.Arie: Yeah. The “acoustic soul” thing is my favorite thing, and
I actually do it a lot, but I don’t study guitar that way. It’s not my
goal to be, like, carlos santana. I like playing and singing my songs.
I get satisfaction out of singing the songs that I write.
India.Arie: So I don’t really know how to go —
[ Makes guitar solo noises ] I don’t really want to. It’d be cool, but
India.Arie: You know.
Carson: The first record getting so much attention, the grammy nominations.
When you go back, and you’re working on “voyage,” what is in your mind?
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? “Let’s play this?? Musically, when you
want to put out this next record, which is out now, tell me about that.
India.Arie: I promised myself before I did “acoustic soul” that I was
gonna just be true to the music that I want to make, and really, “voyage
to india” is everything that I wanted. I would have had more songs if it
was everything I wanted, but I didn’t really go the “play I ndf I wasn’t
even sure that i was gonna reccord album, first of all.
India:Arie: AIot a little bit fed up with everything and I was like,
if ian fure out a y to not let the stress get to me, I might as well just
quit, or I’m just not gonna — my health is gonna be bad. You know, so
I took, like, about three months, three to four, five, maybe more– [ Light
laughter ] And I was still trying to figure out if I was gonna do it again,
so when I was writing songs, I was writing songs because I like writing
songs. People ask me what I do in my spare time? I write songs. So it was
just kinda — I just made the album I wanted. I don’t have a fear of —
India.Arie: Anyone taking anything away. I would play for 10 people,
or 1,000 people, or 50,000 people, at borders books, or rockefeller plaza.
India.Arie: Whatever, I just play. I like to play.
Carson: It’s a shame more musicians don’t share that same sentiment.
Tell me about the song you’re gonna do for us now. This is a bill withers
song, “just the two of us.”
Carson: How did you come to discover this song, that you would want
to play it?
India.Arie: I grew up listening to bill withers, and I love bill withers,
and I’ve got a chance to meet him two days before the grammys. He came
to my show. And no one really knows what he looks like, because you don’t
see him very often, but he was like, “bill withers,” and I was like, in
my band, “everybody, it’s bill withers.” And they all just jumped out of
their seats, like, “whoa! Wow!” Like, touching him and stuff. Whoa, cause
you never see him, you know?
Carson: Like the wizard of oz. He’s, like, always behind the curtain.
India.Arie: Stevie wonder’s that way, too, but you see him a lot, because
he’s everywhere, but you never see bill withers,
Carson: Well, good. I know you’ve been working with stevie a lot. India
is doing a motown christmas special with stevie wonder, too, on december
8th. Did some duets with him. But let’s go ahead with the music. Put your
hands together, please, for india.Arie. Here’s “just the two of us.”