Oprah: Is it true that after your album sold a million copies, you went to Blue Note and said you wanted the record pulled?

Norah: That story has been a bit distorted. We'd already made a low-budget video for the single, and when sales started to pick up, the record company wanted us to go in and make a bigger-budget video, which I was not willing to do. The first had already been out there for six months and although it hadn't received heavy airplay, people had seen it. It would have been stupid to have a new video—and besides that, I didn't want to do tons of press interviews. That's why I said, "We've already sold a million records. Why do we have to cram it down everyone's throat? Haven't we sold enough?"

Oprah: But you never asked that your record be pulled from the stores.

Norah: No, I'm not totally naive.

Oprah: How did your record company respond to what you said?

Norah: They laughed—they're so used to working on commercial records. But I hate it when records and artists are overexposed.

Oprah: You're the only singer I know who's complaining of too much airplay.

Norah: There are some great songs, but when you hear them 20,000 times a day, you get sick of them. I'm already sick of my own song. My friends are sick of it, my sister's sick of it. My sister said, "I heard your song in the drugstore the other day—I'm so tired of it."

Oprah: In an industry that cares more about a singer's image than her music, how did you manage to stay so true to yourself on this album?

Norah: Until I started making this record, I wasn't that aware of what's involved in the industry of pop music—I was into jazz. I didn't even know what was on the charts.

Oprah: Until you were on the charts yourself.

Norah: Yes—and now I've been looking at the charts every week. I'm suddenly hyperaware, and I don't know if that's a good thing. We made this record in only three sessions. That's probably why it sounds honest—it was all live. The single ["Don't Know Why"] was from our first demo session, and it was also the first take. I didn't know it would be on the record until we'd recorded everything else and then said, "Wow, that was special—we should use it."

Oprah: I've heard you were inspired by Billie Holiday. What was it about her music that moved you?

Norah: It was very raw. You could just see her heart and soul.


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