JoJo :: Classic InterviewBy: Sindy
She isn't old enough to drive but her single, Leave (Get Out), is speeding up the charts. Sindy sits down with JoJo to talk about her upcoming debut album and how she's adjusting to life as a celeb.
Sindy: Congratulations on the new album. The release date is soon, how are you feeling?JoJo: I'm feeling good. It comes out June 22 - I'm excited.
Sindy: You've been working towards this since you were really young, do you feel like you're missing out at all on being a normal kid?JoJo: There are parts I miss about it. You know, like, I'm homeschooled now so I don't get to see my friends as much as I'd like to, and I'm traveling a lot - but that passion and that drive just keep me going. If I didn't want to do this, it would be a different story, but I love doing it and I do keep in contact with my friends and I do get to hang out with them when I get the chance.
Sindy: Cool. How do your friends feel about your success?JoJo: Obviously there are the haters, and stuff like that. But I do have a really good circle of friends in New Jersey and I keep in touch with those people.
Sindy: There's a lot of tough competition in your industry. What makes you unique?JoJo: I think that some young artists that we've come to be familiar with have just skimmed the surface and haven't really looked that deeply at real issues that affect people. I think that my music speaks to a wide age group - I don't think it's just for the six to 14 year-olds. I think a lot of people will like it for a lot of different reasons.
Sindy: Who are your musical influences?JoJo: Growing up I listened to a lot of Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and even Bob Seager and The Beatles. My mom and dad liked different types of music, so I'm sort of a product of that.
Sindy: Cool. What are you listening to now?JoJo: I love Kanye West, The College Dropout - I think that's a great album. Also, The Darkness, Permission to Land. I mean, they're crazy. I really like them.
Sindy: So who's the coolest person you've met so far?JoJo: It was really cool to meet Bow Wow - I've always been a fan of his. He's so cute - I was freakin' out. It was a wonderful experience.
Sindy: What's your favorite track on the album?JoJo: I like all the tracks for different reasons. I like Breezy, the Happy Song, Keep On Keepin' On, obviously Leave (Get Out), Fairy Tales... God, I'm gonna name all the songs on the album!
Sindy: Your single, Leave (Get Out) is doing really well. Did you expect that?JoJo: I always expected - or at least hoped - it would do well. I'm just really excited that it's taken off finally.
Sindy: You wrote three of the songs on this album. What inspired you?JoJo: Basically just real life experiences. So I'd draw from things that I've been through or that my friends have been through - and I let the track speak to me before I write.
Sindy: Are you concerned about how image-conscious the music industry is - that often it seems that people succeed based on how little they're wearing versus how talented they are?JoJo: At this point, I'm not really worried about it. I've gotten this far while still keeping my clothes on. The way I look at it, what do you have to show when you're 20 or 25 if you've shown everything already?
Sindy: What advice would you give to kids who want to do what you're doing now?JoJo: I would say, sing for anybody who will listen. Take any opportunity that comes up - but just make sure you have your parents there because you never really know what you're getting into and you don't want to get into a situation that you can't really handle yourself. Even though you feel like you can do anything when you're a teenager, you still need your parents.
For more on JoJo, go to www.jojoonline.com.