The sense of urgency? I definitely had that in mind, but I can see why that wouldn't be on the minds of other people. Our lives can be comfortable. Grander political issues don't necessarily touch our daily lives. The socially-conscious pop song is something that I have a great love of. A Michael Jackson song can make you want to dance and make you want to think about big issues in a very simple way. That's important. That's something I'd like to see more of in Top 40 for sure.
Can you talk about your photography project, "The New Revolutionists"?
To be clear, I didn't take any of the photos. I was thinking about album art; I was thinking about the portraits of Richard Avedon, especially one portrait called "Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution." And I was thinking about new American revolutionaries, revolutionary women. I wanted to have the album art reflect that, the Avedon-style, classic portrait, black and white, but to have them be these almost warrior portraits -- as if a woman were going on trail for everything she believes in. And once we started shooting the first round, it was clear it needed to be a bigger project. We turned it into a nominative project. I'm lucky to have had so many women featured so far.
There's great power in the portraits, especially to see them in a series, one after another. There's a real starkness.
That was the aim, to strip away. I wanted it to contrast the faces we see so often, you know, the whole celebrity culture. I wanted there to be a different image of women out there.