I only knew classical music, which to me was the only true music. The only way I could survive at the bar was to mix the classical music with popular songs, and that meant I had to sing. What happened was that I discovered I had a voice plus the talent to mix classical music together with more popular songs, which at the time I detested.
More quotes by Nina Simone
I do not believe in mixing of the races. You can quote me. I don’t believe in it, and I never have. I’ve never changed. I’ve never changed my hair. I’ve never changed my color, I have always been proud of myself, and my fans are proud of me for remaining the way I’ve always been. I married a white man one time, but he was a creep.
Everything that happened to me as a child involved music. It was part of everyday life, as automatic as breathing.
More quotes about Music
You not only have to know your own instrument, you must know the others and how to back them up at all times. That’s jazz.
The other day I came across a recording I made of a night at my apartment when I was living with Kris Kristofferson. Bob Dylan had been around earlier and we were all passing around the guitar. Whenever it came to my turn I would run into the kitchen and say I’d left the coffee on the stove or something. Shyness. Scared to perform.
I used to play pianos in bars. You know in hotels, you’d see guys playing piano with a snifter? That was me, with a painted-on mustache. I was about 15.
I cringed when I heard myself described as a Jazz singer. I’ve always thought of myself as a Jazz vocalist.
I am an improviser, I improvise music. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all improvised music. I may capture it and go back and write it down for others, but it was originally improvised.
I think the idea is now for blacks to write about the history of our music. It’s time for that, because whites have been doing it all the time. It’s time for us to do it ourselves and tell it like it is.