I love oldies just kind of sweet, slinky, Fifties music. The slow stuff. And Billie Holiday.— Nastassja Kinski
Promising Billie Holiday quotations
It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me.
I love to sing old Motown songs to myself, or some Patti Smith Edith Piaf or Billie Holiday. That gets me in the mood for singing.
With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.
In singing, there's a vibration that comes from deep down inside, literally from your sex. When you put out that vibration, people can feel it. Billie Holiday does it. Peggy Lee does it. It's very hot.
I've made my own music, and the way I've always described it is Peggy Lee with an electric guitar, or Billie Holiday with some PJ Harvey in there.
I have the ability to sing with emotion and feeling, but if you say I sound like Billie Holiday, that's cool. Let's look at who Billie was: she was this person, this singer, this beautiful diva who could move the audience with the slightest gesture of her hand.
I actually started the whole project some years ago with a live debut at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. The focus was mainly on my favorite period of Billie Holiday, which was the late-50s Verve recordings, with essentially a small version of the Count Basie band.
I have a fondness for jazz, particularly for jazz singers, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald all the way through the Sinatra era.
John Coltrane was an addict; Billie Holiday was an addict; Eugene O'Neill was an addict. What would America be without addicts and post-addicts who make such grand contributions to our society?
I know the history of the record business so well because I followed Billie Holiday into the record studios. It was so primitive compared to the sophisticated business today.
I listened to Billie Holiday a lot in order to learn to sing.
She remains one of the extraordinary jazz singers. But my intent is to become my own voice, to be able to interpret these songs in my own way.
I was trying to do Billie Holiday, because she was the voice to be heard at that time.
I loved Billie Holiday more than any other person other than myself on the stage. Yeah, I do.
I thought the Billie Holiday comparison was beautiful.
I think, Wow, what a wonderful, creative, helpful spirit. She's someone who wanted to help others by sharing her emotion. That's what I do, too, so I think that's a great comparison.
Jason [Moran] and John [Patitucci] and Eric [Harland] knew it was a Billie Holiday tribute. I'm sure they assumed it was going to be like another singer date, where we just have a bunch of charts and they write them down and they got paid and kind of moved on. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not what I intended.
The other songs [of Billie Holiday] - "Body and Soul" is like the standard - I also wanted some songs that I knew I would sound good on, as a producer. It's been the same nine songs since I debuted it back in 2012.
I also tried to focus on songs that Billie Holiday wrote, songs that she had a hand in shaping, like "Strange Fruit"; songs that were written for her or songs that she wrote herself, like "Fine and Mellow" or "God Bless The Child."
[Billie Holiday] was keeping it super real, and you can feel that to this day.
Everything that she sang, she believed in. So I had to pick songs that I felt the same about.
If you look at the other singers of Billie Holiday's time, they were really trying to entertain. They were trying to make people feel good. They were singing fast - and she was singing the blues.
I feel like, in many ways, Billie Holiday's still very under-appreciated as an artist. People focus on her voice, and all of the very recognizable vocal things that she does, which are great. But I wanted to, with this project, start the conversation again about her as a radical feminist, as a civil rights activist - taking a stance. And also just [her] being a non-conformist.
I really pulled from that repertoire that Billie Holiday was singing, and the way she sang it. It's sort of this beautiful, not really midpoint, but a period of her career where she really still had her voice. She had that deep wisdom that we've come to associate her with. To me, that's her at the height of her powers.
I was a 12 year old kid in Northern Idaho listening to Billie Holiday and Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole. This whole genre of music is a part of who I am.
When I was a teenager, I dreamed of being an opera singer like Maria Callas or a jazz singer like June Christy or Chris Connor, or approaching songs with the kind of mystical lethargy of Billie Holiday, or championing the downtrodden like Lotte Lenya. But I never dreamed of singing in a rock-and-roll band.
I guess my biggest influence was actually my Grandfather.
He used to play old records on vinyl, and would play old jazz and soul music like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and The Rat Pack and swing music.
Yeah. My singing and my songs were very influenced by all of that. People would come up to me and ask, Is that a Billie Holiday song? I'd say, No, it's my song. The lyrics would be in my style, but the songs would be very jazzy.
I don't see no more Billie Holidays, no more Marvin Gayes, no more Smokey Robinsons. I don't even see no more Nirvanas.
Im probably the only one in the world you can name thats worked with Billie Holiday, Louie Armstrong, Ella, Duke, Miles, Dizzy, Ray Charles, Aretha, Michael Jackson, rappers. Fly Me to the Moon was played on the moon by Buzz Aldrin. Sinatra. Paul Simon. Tony Bennett. Im the only one.
The first time I heard a Billie Holiday record, I thought, 'What's so great about Billie Holiday?'
I love the idea of having a kid who says, 'Yeah, of course I knew about Billie Holiday and Johnny Cash when I was nine years old.'
I really like Billie Holiday's husky voice, and I'd definitely like to find out more about her.
Billie Holiday I never met, but I love her music.
My mother used to play nothing but Billie Holiday.
I listen to music mostly in the evening.
I've come to love what is called world music, like the Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi and the Colombian singer Marta Gomez. I also love the Irish folk singer Mary Black. Other favorites include Chet Baker, Eva Cassidy, and Billie Holiday.
Billie Holiday's voice was the voice of living intensity of soul in the true sense of that greatly abused word.