Entrevista AOL a Jojo
JoJo Says Wants to Change the Sound of Radio With 'Jumping Trains' and Get a Doctorate, Too -- Exclusive
The last time we heard from JoJo, she was a 15-year-old with a voice well beyond her years. Now 20, the singer-songwriter is all grown-up and back with a new powerful single, 'Disaster,' and forthcoming third studio album, 'Jumping Trains,' a title informed by her transition into young adulthood. JoJo is also set to hit the road with Joe Jonas and Jay Sean on their upcoming, co-headlining fall tour.
JoJo stopped by AOL Music to talk working with her "mad scientist" music idol, Timbaland, her ambitions to change the sound of radio, and to reveal how she discovered she was 'The Other Chick.' Read up on all this and more in our exclusive interview with JoJo, and watch video footage from her visit to our office below!
What is the significance of the title of your new album, 'Jumping Trains'?
'Jumping Trains' is a song on the album and I thought that it would be appropriate for the title, because of what it represents. It means transitioning from one chapter to another. So for me, it symbolizes moving from Boston to L.A., transitioning from being a girl to a young woman. Moving out of my mom's house, living on my own, and leaving some negativity behind and moving forward.
So the way I wrote the song, it's about leaving a relationship that you feel is holding you back, and wanting to go out and see the world and not just being someone's girlfriend. It's about being a full person and living up to your potential. So, I thought that jumping trains would be a great title because it just means constant forward motion.
Was the song 'Jumping Trains' written about anyone in particular?
All these songs are written about real-life situations that I went through. Sometimes they're mean, brutally honest, but I wanted to be really transparent.
What about your song 'The Other Chick' -- did that happen to you?
It's a buzz single and it was a cool thing to warm up the marketplace and show people that I have something a little edgier than when I was 15, when I was last out. That is about dealing with the feelings of being humiliated. Believing one truth and realizing that it was a total lie, and just being like, "Damn, I'm the side chick?! Word?!" You know, because we never think that that can happen to us. And then it does.
How has your material evolved and how have you evolved as an artist since we last heard from you as a teenager?
I think that I grew as a songwriter most significantly, but also in my vocal control. I think that that's just something that happens naturally over time, and with studying and shedding, as we say. And just going through life. I go into every session with a purpose and I'm not goofing around. I'm super-serious. This isn't my first time on the merry-go-round. This is my third album and it was really important to me that I made it count.
And also, I feel like more than ever with this album, I'm able to connect with each song and not just sing lyrics, but really feel them. I know that might sound corny, but I feel like it's my responsibility as an artist and a songwriter to be honest in my performance and my delivery. It's something that I take really seriously. I think that because I was able to co-write or write virtually every song on this album, I had no choice but to really connect, because it was my truth.
What producers are you working with?
A variety of different people, from Danja, Rodney Jerkins, the Messengers, the Interns, just to name a few. What was cool was that I got to work with veterans in the game, and I got to take a chance on some new people, who have really fresh ideas.
Yeah, but I can't tell you. It's top secret!
OK, well how was it working with Timbaland on his album 'Shock Value II'?
Timbaland is a unique individual. He's a genius. He's like a mad scientist, like really [laughs]! So it was intimidating to work with him, I was nervous. I grew up being inspired by the way that he changed the sound of radio, with Aaliyah specifically and with Missy [Elliott]. I remember exactly where I was when I heard 'Are You That Somebody' and I remember saying, "Is that a baby crying? What in the world is that?" I think if any of us tried to say that Timbaland didn't inspire us in music, I think that's just not true.
So, I wanted to really impress him, I wanted to work harder than he expected. And we ended up recording two songs in one night, staying as late as I need to, cutting as many vocals as I could and I was so honored.
In between your second album and this upcoming album, you put out a mixtape. Why did you decided to do that instead of another studio album?
Well my fans deserved new material and it was really frustrating to read things online and read their tweets, and it was not my intention to have this long gap in between albums. By releasing something online, I was able to do it on my terms. And not having the support of the label is actually totally fine. And I just kind of did it as a labor of love.
We didn't push it, we just put it out. Since I've recorded so many songs over these past two or three years, I just selected ones that I thought would make an eclectic bunch. I asked my friend, who is an amazing photographer, to do the album art. Did my own hair and makeup, swagged it out and just kept it moving! My fans deserved it, and I want to put something out because I get itchy. I get anxious.
Did it allow for more creative freedom?
I felt like I was able to take a little more risk, Yes, absolutely, and I think eventually I'll do another that will be even way more left. Why not? But I must say that I think I really got to stretch myself with my new album too. It's not a down-the-middle pop album. I got to satisfy my creative self.
What did you need to satisfy that doesn't fit into "down-the-middle pop?"
I just didn't want to chase after trends, or to work with this producer just because he's the hottest producer. I was inspired by people like Nelly Furtado and Aaliyah and Justin Timberlake, who worked with Timbaland, because they changed the sound of music. That is my intention, that's my goal. I didn't want to go for dance music, because that not my passion. And it's not about being self-indulgent, it's about being true.
You also graduated from high school and applied to college. Why did you decide not to go?
Good question. It was something that tormented me. I was really distraught over it. My mom on the one hand was saying, "Joanna, you should be a doctor, you should be a lawyer. You're smart, this industry is ridiculous; don't lose yourself in this, blah blah blah!" And then I felt in my heart, I don't feel like a whole person if I'm not writing and singing and performing.
And I would always wonder, if I went to college at 18, would I say "Damn, did I make the wrong decision?" Because my youth is ticking, but college will always be there. So, I really want to take the time to live and write and immerse myself in this project and know by the end of the day, I'm getting an awesome education in life, period. It's one of my goals to go on and get a degree and before I die, I'd like to get a doctorate. A girl can dream.
What would you study?
Cultural Anthropology. And I want to specifically study in Africa, doing study abroad.
Fuente: AOL Music