Ciara on ‘Jackie’, Her Baby Future and Being Fearless: PopCrush Interview
Ciara is feeling more confident than ever these days, and it's not hard to understand why.
Riding high off of the birth of her baby boy Future Jr. last May (yes, it's been a whole year already), the success of her latest single "I Bet," a killer cameo at Coachella, the release of her sixth studio album Jackie and an upcoming NBC summer variety TV series called I Can Do That, there's simply no stopping the "Super Turnt Up" superstar from continuing to thrive.
While CiCi was in town last week to put it down at the Best Buy Theater for her fans on the ongoing Jackie Tour, we caught up with the "Dance Like We're Making Love" diva to chat about her latest LP, the meaning behind the music and her special bond with her son.
Plus, she supplied some words of encouragement that have us feeling ready to take on the world, too.
Maggie Malach: First of all, congratulations on the new album.
Ciara: Thank you.
It's so perfect for this time of year because it just makes me happy and warm. I know that's what you were saying was one of the themes.
That is it. Thank you so much!
Obviously to name an album after your mom, she must be a huge inspiration for you.
Oh! Absolutely. My mom is so funny, because when I told her the title, she was like "What?!" She was so excited. I named it after her because being a new mom, I can now see the world from her eyes, and I really know what it feels like to be in her shoes. It is a super special time and so Jackie was the perfect title, because I really am a mini-Jackie.
Was there any advice that she's given you over the years that really stuck with you when recording the album?
My mom is one of those women...she don't take no mess. She is very vocal about what she wants and what she doesn't want. And I think that is something that I had to learn over time. You have to say what you want. Otherwise, you are not going to get it. If you don't like something, you don't like it, and it's okay to not like something or to have an opinion. So, my mom has kind of shown me how having an opinion is very important in life. You got to be solid. Whatever you want, you got to be solid about it.
I thinks that's reflected in the album. It's a very assertive statement.
I also feel like it's very empowering for women on so many different levels. You can be a mother, you can be a badass. Is there one lyric that sums that up?
"One Woman Army." I think "One Woman Army" sums up the overall picture. I talk about love, about life, and I talk about what I want and would hope for and what I need as a woman. It kind of just says it all, you know? I can put it down hard when I have to. I talk about maybe not having the most perfect, ideal situation but that's okay. You know, I am a strong woman and I can be a strong person by myself. I am very vocal about that in that song. And then there is "B.M.F.", which is one of the songs that expresses a lot of my thoughts, and I kind of just reflect on everything — my journey all the way up until now — including having my son. I don't know. I just felt so empowered when I was recording the record. I just felt this super cool feeling come over me when I was screaming out "I'm a bad motherf--ker!"
I love the line about having the 9.5 pound baby, and being like....I can do anything!
That's how I feel. After I had my son, I was like 'I can conquer the world.' I just delivered a 9 pound 10 ounce baby. I was walking in my living room like 'Yeah, the champ is here!' That's how I felt.
Absolutely. That is so cool. You have Missy Elliott on the album. You guys worked together on "Lose Control." What was it like to work with and record with her again?
To work with Missy was so much fun, you know? Missy is just truly an awesome friend, first and foremost. Having her support has been awesome over the years because she is really a friend that is there beyond the music. A lot of of my special moments happened with her: me having a Grammy, the Moon Man and all these great things. I would like to say that Missy gave a huge contribution to a lot of my sweet times in my career, and I am forever grateful to her for that. Yeah, she and I have a very special creative chemistry and I feel like it's a consistent one, always. Just feels really good.
I have to say, I was surprised to see Joe Jonas on the album. That was the most surprising collaboration. How did that come about?
We are on the same show together, show called I Can Do That, and Joe would always be singing the song on set. I was like "Um, maybe you should join me on this song" because he sounded so good singing it, and he was like "I would be glad to!" He literally hopped in the studio, like, right away.
That's awesome. I got goosebumps the first time I listened to "I Got You."
The best kind of goosebumps.
That is awesome.
Your son was in the studio with you?
Yeah he was in the studio with me. So sweet.
How did that change the mood of recording it? I imagine that was a different setting, having him there.
Having my son in the studio, he just brings a ball of energy and positive spirit, sweet spirit. Having him around during the recording process was awesome. It helped me keep going. I can't help but to think about him in all that I do. Having him there just allowed me to keep on going, and allowed me to stay focus and to have fun whilst making the album. So I would go play with him and check up on him. It just felt really good having him there. For the song, it was so cool and so sweet because he had his own microphone too, which was fun! He sat in my lap and his microphone was lower than mine and mine was higher. It was so cute.
Adorable. What can you tell me about the show? What made you decide to do it? It sounds like a really cool concept.
It is really fun. This chapter of my life is about growth and it is about challenging myself to grow, and to do things that will help me to grow. I really feel like this show is awesome. It's a variety show, and it's comedy as well. Marlon Wayans is the host. We really have a great time with the show. It allows me to share with my fans another side of me they don't get to see from my music and interviews. You know we don't do interviews everyday, and you know music can say but so much for me. So in this show, I think it allows people to kind of, my fans see I am just like them, you know what I mean? It is really, really fun. I walked away from the show feeling like there is nothing I can't do. There were some things — a lot of things that were out of my comfort zone, and I think those are the great moments you need to help to push you. I really walked away feeling like even more of a new person. I really am truly ready for the world, and there is nothing I can't do. I really believe in myself. I have always said that, but I definitely have even more. This whole new chapter with my son has given me a whole new level of confidence — a newfound confidence within myself — but doing shows like that also pushed me and added more to my confidence, so it's super cool. My fearlessness...added more to my fearlessness, how about that?
Which is awesome. Do you have any advice for someone who's going through a hard time or trying to get to that place of fearlessness but they're not quite there yet?
You know what? if you give up, that's failing. Giving up should never be an option. You know, you have to know that you are not in the battle by yourself. We all go through things. We are all human. Just when you think your situation is really bad, you never know what is happening to the other person. Sometimes you have to stop to think, regroup and regather yourself and realize how lucky you are to still be living, and to still be breathing and still be able to even have a chance. Just stay focused. Understand that believing starts with you. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything and it's really that simple. It's all a mental thing. You gotta find that inner zone within yourself and stay on the course. Don't lose sight. Don't lose focus. Stay on the course and you will be surprised at how much more further you'll get along in life and how everything will really work itself out.
I feel so inspired now! I'm just going to go out and conquer the world. Thank you so much.
That is so funny! That is awesome.
Jackie was released on May 5.
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