I have a summary page on mp3.com. Mp3.com has a feature called "MusicVine", in which artists orbit around each other in alleged "spheres of influence". As far as I know artists aren't consulted about who their influences are. Somebody else comes up with that.
So if you click on the MusicVine while you're looking at my page on mp3.com, I come up in a constellation where my closest influence is Steven Halpern. This came as a bit of a surprise since I have never listened to his music on purpose. There was a time when I worked at a metaphysical bookshop, and his music was on sale there, and sometimes we played it over the PA system for atmosphere.
The music industry is just a big alien galaxy. Most musicians just shake their heads over it. But, if you want people to hear your music in any appreciable numbers, you have to engage with it somehow. One of the first things that has to be determined is how to classify you.
I know my music is very hard to classify and that's how I like it. When my last two albums came out, I hired radio promotions firms, and in order to do their job and get me added to radio stations, they had to come up with a way to pitch me. For Summerland, Peter Hay, who promoted me, focused on the Celtic slant of my lyrics and pitched me as a modern folk artist. For Diogenes, Musik International zeroed in on my mysticism and promoted me as a New Age artist. The album even charted on New Age Reporter.
So this is apparently what stuck for mp3.com, who have me in a sphere of influence with Steven Halpern, and a little bit further over, Gabrielle Roth (who I have listened to quite a lot on purpose). I would rather be orbiting around with my real influences but there's nothing I can do about it. So go listen to my tunes anyway!