INTERVIEW + PHOTOS : In House With Ciara: Singer Pushes Boundaries, Stresses Importance of Working With Female Writers
“Turnt up” is a phrase that decorates Ciara’s vocabulary. Rarely known to party hard like its definition suggests, the songstress uses the phrase to describe her forthcoming album, One Woman Army, and she even has one song on the effort dedicated to the term: “Super Turnt Up.”
The track, which was co-produced by Jasper Cameron and Ciara, is “mean and aggressive,” according to the singer. “It’s super swagged out,” she tells The BoomBox. “I love this song ’cause it just feels very unique to me.” There’s also an unexpected collaboration fans can look forward to when listening to the song. “I remember when I was writing the record, how I was playing around with the concept of it. That song is actually me featuring me. You’ll hear me in a different way on that record. I don’t want to give away too much.”
Ciara is hush-hush about who will eventually show up on the final One Woman Armyproject, but she’s not stressing that aspect of the recording process. “I have been very blessed to work with a lot of cool artists,” the 27-year-old reveals. “The funny thing in this process, what organically happened, the guestlist is very light.”
With no set release date for the R&B opus in sight, she could very well find herself teaming up with a big-name artist in the near future. “Anything can happen towards the end, as we’re finalizing the record. It just really turned into a one-woman army concept. I’m kinda rolling alone for the most part.” Duly noted.
2 Chainz is the only featured rapper as of yet — he appears on “Sweat” — however, Ciara’s locked down producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and songwriters Ali Tamposi and Livvi Franc for a few other notable tracks. Darkchild, who is responsible for producing some of the singer’s past songs, including “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone” and “Make It Last Forever,” worked with Ciara to construct the frenzied sounds of “Got Me Good.”
“I like Rodney for so many reasons,” Ciara explains. “He’s a friend of mine but musically, he’s one of the few music geniuses left that have had the history of the old school seasoning and the modernized way. He has it all in one. That’s what makes him very special.
“Creatively, we just have a strong creative connection that it was only right [to work with him on One Woman Army]. I think it makes the experience so much more fun. We’re all about the challenge.” Take a listen to “Got Me Good” to witness how the duo successfully completed that challenge.
Female songwriters like Timposi and Franc assisted the Atlanta native with writing songs for her new album, specifically “Washaway,” produced by the Underdogs. They both respectively bring a wealth of skill to the table — Timposi has penned projects for Kelly Clarkson (“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”) and Beyonce (“Save the Hero”), while Franc has written for Rihanna (“What Now”) and Christina Aguilera (“Red Hot Kinda Love”). “These girls are just so talented,” Ciara says enthusiastically. “They’ve had success beyond me, however, when we got together, I feel we formed something special. The vibe is so crazy.”
Working with a group of women also helped Ciara move One Woman Army in the right direction. “I think it’s so fun when I get to work with women writers in particular because we really understand the core story or foundation as women,” she shares. “That’s so important to me that the authenticity is there, you know, from the place that I speak from for my women. Having other females with me helps me dig deeper. We just gelled well. And that just poured into the music.”
Eight years ago in 2004, this blonde, statuesque entertainer stepped into the spotlight with her debut album, Goodies. She’s changed a lot since those days — her hair, wardrobe and choice in men to name a few. She’s also let down her guard, which can be heard in the selections featured on One Woman Army. “Vocally, I’m definitely pushing out more,” Ciara states. “That feels good. It’s very freeing. I’ve always been very private and consciously private. Now it’s kinda like, ‘Who cares.’ I’m gonna be free and gonna be me. I feel good.” The welcoming smile on her face proves that sentiment.
With the recording of her fifth LP coming to a close — she’s hoping for a winter release – there’s still more Ciara has to accomplish. Along with being a singer and dancer, she’s also an actress — catch her in the 2012 comedy “That’s My Boy” to view her acting chops. At the moment, she’s looking for the right movie role but fans won’t have to wait long to see her grace a screen.
“There’s a really cool TV moment that’s coming up that I can’t announce yet but I’m excited about it,” she discloses. “So definitely more things to come.” Her army of fans — the C-Squad — are prepared for them all.
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