Losing my dad made me more mature. Being an only child, I didn't have the right to act childish. I had to step up. I was earning money already in Turkey. I felt like I needed to protect the family and protect my mom and be a man.
My mom used to be a basketball player so I was really into it. Plus of course my height made it easier for me to decide what kind of sport I wanted to play, so at the age of nine I went to my first basketball practice.
I do yoga every day, some sport, have a meal once a day, eat some fruit, and drink one glass of wine. And once a month I gather together my close friends. But my wife and I do not like conspicuous luxury.
It's funny how the ruthless, murderous gangster has really been romanticized by the media. I mean, I grew up watching the 'Godfathers' and 'Scarface,' and they were the coolest. They're just really interesting stories with great characters. They're rock stars.
There are all these tests that are done on young kids and they all say they want to be famous but I just always felt that for my generation being famous was kind of corny and cheesy. Maybe because fame isn't something that proves you're good at something.
But I'll never forget my trip to Las Vegas. I'm a huge rollercoaster fan and we did the one at the Stratosphere, which curls around the hotel, and there's one that dips out from the roof then comes back in. That was intense.
I became this dorky 15-year-old, in my bedroom all the time with crossed eyes, staring at my computer. It was all drum loops, R&B and pop - silly songs that I hope to God no one ever hears. But that's what got me in to music.
It wasn't easy to leave the country. To make the decision to leave everything? I was born and raised with all my friends and family members. It was a huge step in my career. Now you're committed to basketball.
Because of things like 'The X Factor' and 'Autotune', the real art of communicating a song is not treasured any more. But singing other people's songs can be an intensely personal experience. I want the songs to be vessels that people fill with their own imagination, the same way that I fill it with my thoughts and feelings.
I remember dreaming about playing professional basketball as a kid in the gyms of Tbilisi, and now, after a journey across continents that began when I was a teenager, I am coming home with the championship trophy.
I love fruit. One of my earliest memories is climbing trees for figs, and I once got stuck in one when I was six. I could see the biggest, juiciest fig and I climbed up and got it and ate it right there, sitting on a branch. Then I realised I couldn't get down.