Few of us can remember having a bank account at eighteen that rivals that of most adult professionals. In fact, at eighteen, I don't believe I have that much exceptional experience to shower people with stories of. Definitely little in comparison to that of "Crunk & B" superstar Ciara, who states that she is in reality, a "simple" girl. A simple girl who has achieved platinum sales before being able to have a drink legally.
Barely into her teenage years, she began her struggle to climb the music industry ladder. Starting off in an unsuccessful group she quickly moved up the ranks, with the assistance of Jazze Pha. "I think it's just that natural hunger that I really have for music. [It] really made me want to work harder in order to get these things accomplished." Evidently it paid off.
Immediately prior to our interview, Ciara's manager informed me of her tight schedule, stating that they were extremely starved for time as her Letterman appearance was penned to be taped mere minutes after our interview. Another matter which slips my memory as part of my teenage experience.
Though Ciara claimed that she still maintained her independence in opinion and spoke freely, enough of the recording industry politics have subconsciously (or consciously) seeped inside her to keep a lid on certain matters. When asked of her thoughts regarding Petey Pablo signing to the infamous Death Row records, she responded with "You know what; that's his thing. Whatever makes him happy." Not quite what I'd hoped to hear, but a politically correct and safe comment nonetheless. "I mean Petey's a cool person and a good associate of mine in this industry. If that's what makes him happy, that's what it's about." With her apprehension at declaring something more solid, I refrained from questioning her on working with R. Kelly.
Her inter-personal skills are also well developed. Possessing a faded cockney accent with a Canadian twinge, she would always let me finish my questions, propelling my words along with "Right," just to meet me at the end with, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch a word of that. Can you repeat the question?" Though mildly irked, amidst playful chuckling on her part, I had no choice but to repeat myself.
From the standpoint of being five years her senior, I wondered how she managed to appear so sincere around subjects that she may not be as educated on as she perceives herself to be. "It just depends on the person," she responded. "I think that some people have the love experience, some don't." The O'Jays had inspired my curiosity from their doubting of contemporary R&B singers. "I can't say that things are very different from what they were back in the day. I know this from experience - just watching my parents, or things my parents told me. I just know that things aren't much different or much more fast than what they were."
Even with the success that she has garnered through "Goodies," Ciara appears level headed, remaining determined to work harder and heading back into the studio within the next couple of months to record a follow up album. She's also very aware of what she has already managed to accomplish. "I was really blessed for my first single to go number one, and I'm aware that a lot of times people don't get that opportunity. Either way I can say that I have had a number one hit single in my career."
"Goodies" features Ludacris, Missy Elliot, R. Kelly & Jazze Pha. The album is in stores now on LaFace Records.
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