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" A couple of days working with Joe Jonas, I thought, 'This guy is a slayer of a singer; he's really funny, goofy, and sexy. We need to write that.' And that led to 'Cake By The Ocean.' "
" I'm not famous. I work with famous people. "
" For the most part, it's straight white men running these labels and publishing companies. "
" I've experienced some really very obvious, direct homophobia - when I was still trying to be an artist, behind the scenes, being told to be less gay, be less feminine. "
" I love to give the song away - it's so exciting - where, I think, a lot of younger songwriters, they struggle with that. And it's a big struggle, where they want the shine and they want people to know that it was their idea and it was their doing. But luckily, I've been through that, so I can just focus on helping other people do their thing. "
" I'm fortunate that I have a female publisher, and her boss is a man of color. My world is a little more diverse, but the majority of the business is not diverse at all. "
" For me, as a kid desperate to make music, I thought the only way I could do it was to try to be a superstar - which is a fun thing to be, but it can be exhausting and degrading. "
" I first fell in love with music when I was five years old because of 'Annie.' And then 'The Little Mermaid' really made me want to start singing. And then the fierce, amazing women of the '90s - Alanis Morrissette, Courtney Love, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Paula Cole, Patty Griffin - made me want to start writing. "
" My mom has a big ol' crush on Arne Duncan, so I hear about and see pics of him all the time. I think he could look great in heels! "
" I'm using the success I've had to help other people shine. "
" All songwriters are known as 'topliners' because the vocal goes on top of the track. "
" My fashion is inspired by Tina Turner and Sharon Stone. "
" The larger streaming grows, the less money there will be to get the music out there, which, to me, is the sad part. "
" This is the dream: to make money off of what you love. "
What You Love
" I don't like labels. "
" The bullying was so bad that I got to go to the arts high school instead. "
" We really like L.A. because it really likes rock and roll. "
Rock And Roll
" Young women should be telling stories of other young women. And if the superstar who is an amazing storyteller isn't a writer, that's totally fine, but we should get a young female writer in the room to work on that song with us. "
" I like to play this game where I ask people to count gay pop writers and producers they know. Everyone's always like, 'Oh, there are plenty!' But we always end up counting them on one hand. "
" Being a songwriter, you are accepting that this isn't about you. If you do want it to be about you, you're going to be really miserable. "
" I think that because we have these big female pop stars, people forget that women and marginalized people are so underrepresented in this business. "
" I really want queer kids to know that our experience is universal. "
" My success happened pretty late in life. I can't even believe it happened. "
" Once I got into pop songwriting, I was kind of just ready to help other people tell their stories... I'm here to facilitate and structure and grow and make things a little more fabulous and a little more urgent. "
" My existence is rock n' roll. "
" I was borderline deluded to think something as outrageous as Semi Precious Weapons could have been mainstream. "
" If a song is being written for a woman, there should be a woman in the room collaborating. "
" A little makeover never hurt nobody. "
" The thing is, if you tell your story specifically enough, it becomes so universal. Just because you're a gay man singing an honest love song, people should know that it's about men and that they can still relate to it. "
" I'm a walking political statement. "
" I was very lucky that my family really supported me in exploring my femininity when I was young, and so it was a joyous thing. "