How did Buddhism change your music over time?
This practice of Buddhism has given me several realizations. One of the most important ones is to realize finally that this thing that I’ve been kind of placing up on a pedestal, sort of as my object of worship—music and being a musician—I wasn’t looking at it the true way. I realized that being a musician is not what I am, it’s what I do. I’m also a father, I’m a son, I’m a neighbor, I’m a citizen, I’m an African-American. I’m a bunch of things. But, at the center of all of that is I’m a human being. Now I view music from the standpoint of being a human being rather than being a musician. So, that’s a much deeper overview.
Consequently, I’m able to come up with concepts for musical expression that are different every time. And that’s a request from myself—to make each record different than what I’ve done before, to have a particular function which would be my reason for doing the record. And even the idea of having function is something I never thought about before. I never thought in those terms—”What is the purpose, or what is the function of doing this?