Five years after beating Bieber at the Grammys, jazz star Esperanza Spalding isn't done surprising: She has a new alter ego and prog-rock sound, inspired by "stuff people in suits don't give a shit about."

"I just want to say, if you're going crazy, take a break," says Esperanza Spalding. The Oregon-based jazz singer-bassist sits at Beverly Hills' Avalon Hotel, lit from behind by a window that opens onto a small courtyard. Her hair teased out to her shoulders, she's wearing a wild orange coat and gold glasses. Standing out is nothing new for the 31-year-old, but she seems extra radiant after taking two years off from a rapid, Grammy-stacking rise. "I felt overwhelmed by stuff that wasn't satisfying me," she says, "things I was supposed to do for my career.

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