Sincerity is something missing in a lot of musicians who delve into the mainstream side of the art nowadays. Many artists get caught up in the “act” they put on and become that “alter-ego, forgetting whom they actually are. Thats not the case with Fergie though. Shes kept a level head and is more than willing to be open, frank, and above all, honest with everyone she encounters.
Her openness has made her a favorite of her fans internationally, and has also made her a target for the gossip hungry media over the past few years. Rumors flying around about her group Black Eyed Peas breaking up, her addiction to drugs, her relationships and her sexuality have not daunted Fergie or stopped her from keeping her eyes open and looking forward.
From her beginnings as a childrens television star to finally breaking into the business as part of one of the most successful Hip-Hop/pop crossover bands in the world, Fergie has had quite the ride to the top. Now she has officially become a successful platinum selling solo artist with an album that has her on a world tour and still moving units across the globe almost a year after its release.
We sat down with Fergie to discuss her solo stardom, the Peas, and the many rumors surrounding her. She speaks candidly on her life, as the duchess of pop continues to make waves in the world of music and beyond.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Hi Fergie, how are you?
Fergie: Hey Im good thanks! How are you?
AHHA: Im not so bad. Thanks for taking time out to talk to me, I know its really early in LA right now.
Fergie: No worries. Its a pleasure.
AHHA: Great. So how have things been going for you since you proved to the world that you can be a successful solo artist?
Fergie: [With excitement] Oh god, things are amazing right now. Im currently on my first ever solo tour and everything is running surprisingly smoothly. Im just getting used to wearing the captains hat.
AHHA: So you are used to wearing the “captains hat now, or is it still daunting?
Fergie: Well I have gradually worked myself up to this point, you know? It is a natural progression, and its gotten easier with time, thankfully.
AHHA: Its almost been a year since the release of your first solo album and yet its still proving to be a strong contender on the charts. With the market being as terrible as it is right now, how do you think you have kept your music relevant enough for people to keep wanting to buy it?
Fergie: Well for me, every single I have released is really different. The new single “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is a real turning point for me though. Theres no tricks in this song or catchy sayings, you know? Its just a very personal song about a very personal time in my life where I had to make a decision to leave a situation that wasnt healthy for me. I think the right things to do can be the hardest things to do but you just got to be strong.
AHHA: Was this song cleansing for you then?
Fergie: Absolutely. I mean this song almost didnt make my album because it was literally pulled out from the vault. I wrote this before I was in the Black Eyed Peas, and my manager actually pulled it out and was like, “Youre crazy if you dont put this song on your album.” So I really started to listen to it. The song is just pure raw pent up emotion and people just seemed to connect to it, so I decided to make it a single.
AHHA: You stayed touring with the Peas during your own solo work. Was that intentional, not to distance yourself from the group?
Fergie: We all knew. Everyone knew I wanted to do a solo album. That was no secret when I joined the band, so after we did two albums and continued touring together throughout the albums, it felt like the right time to do it.
Honestly though, I would have liked a little more time to focus and marinate on my album but Jimmy Iovine [Interscope Records] got hold of the songs and was anxious to put it out, so I had to really hustle to finish it and get it done, while still also doing other tour and work commitments with the Peas.
AHHA: Do you regret doing it like that then?
Fergie: Well next time Im not going to do the album while Im continually on tour and have other commitments. Im going to take some time out and go into the lab like everyone else gets to and disappear from the public eye for a minute. You know, because it was really challenging doing everything at once.
I dont regret anything though because everything has been so wonderfully successful, and Im counting my blessings. Im really thankful for everything, but at the same time I wouldnt want to do it that way again as its just so physically draining.
AHHA: Youve seen so much success with the group, but yet you still get people who say that Black Eyed Peas were better before you were a part of the group. Does that hurt?
Fergie: Well, I had to get over that. I went through all of that pain and reading about people not liking me in the band, and obviously it is really hard to read that kind of thing but I have thick skin. Also, so many wonderful things have happened. The positives have so overshadowed the negatives. I think whats special about us is the strong male and female chemistry between us; its what makes us work.
AHHA: So you have spoken about your addiction to the drug Crystal Meth before. With so many stars in and out of rehab and breaking down, how did you stop yourself from spiraling out of control and finally say, enough is enough?
Fergie: I was lucky because I was around the same age as some of these girls who are now going through similar problems that I went through. But for me, I was blessed that I did not have paparazzi following me at the time, because that would be really hard way to recover and overcome your problems especially with having nobody you could trust. You have to feel that you can trust people when youre trying to get clean and I feel sorry for these girls.
In this day and age in this society, there is no sanctuary for them because everyone leaks everything to the press. I have huge disdain when I read about people from rehab who are leaking information about stars, and if what they are leaking is even true; theres that element as well. I just hope that people let these girls have a safe sanctuary and let them heal. I was lucky that I did.
AHHA: You also recently spoke about being bisexual. Bisexuality and homosexuality are often either frowned or mocked upon in certain circles. Does that bother you?
Fergie: No, it doesnt bother me. Im just me.
AHHA: Reports have been made that you and Nelly Furtado do not get along. Can you elaborate on that situation?
Fergie: Well we had kind of a little war of words in song and that was about a situation that was between us. I can say that its done now.
AHHA: Youre a very honest person and dont seem to hide anything in interviews even if they may cause criticism or cause unwanted attention into your private life. Do you ever feel youre too honest and that the press unfortunately uses your honesty against you?
Fergie: Sometimes sure. I definitely had to learn that interviews are not a therapy session. You know I am very outspoken and sometimes I say too much, but its also who I am as a person. I guess theres too ways of looking at it. It doesnt actually bother me as much as it bothers other people like maybe my parents and my publicist. [laughs] I think my honesty bothers them more than it bothers me.
AHHA: Ok so youve been dating actor Josh Duhamel for a while now. Hows everything going? Are you happy and content in that relationship?
Fergie: Yes I am. Hes right now filming a new film and hes also promoting a film that hes in thats coming out this summer. So hes super busy as well, but you know we make it work. When he has some time off, hell fly out to come visit me, and when I have time off, I do the same. Were both in really busy times in our life right now, but we show understanding and support each other. It works well.
AHHA: Youre touring with Justin Timberlake in the UK in July at the brand new Wembley o2 Stadium. Are you looking forward to that?
Fergie: I love touring with Justin. Our whole crews really get on with each other and know each other like family; its always a great vibe between us. Im excited as I believe the stage is actually going to be round and in the middle of the new stadium, and Ive never done that before.
I think Im going have to add some more dancers, and were going to have to figure out how to change my show a little bit to work it for the round stage. We shall see.
AHHA: So what does the future hold for you?
Fergie: Well, Im working til the end of the year touring both for my own solo album and then a world tour with the Peas. The future will definitely hold more Fergie albums, more Black Eyed Peas albums, and also I want to do some feature films.
AHHA: Have you got any new scripts or movies in mind?
Fergie: I read scripts constantly, but nothing is in the works right now. I do have a song on the Shrek 3 soundtrack called “Barracuda. Its a really great song; its more of that harder rock side of me that I think wasnt on my album enough.
I perform it live, and it really comes full circle and completes all the different types of music that I like. “Big Girls Dont Cry” has that rock side to it, but “Barracuda” is just harder, which just completes the live shows.
AHHA: So are you happy with how everything has gone so far?
Fergie: Im so thrilled! For me everything now is icing on the cake, you know, because all my goals for this album have been reached.
AHHA: Thats great. Just to end with then, whats the best advice you can share with us?
Fergie: The success is in the journey, because for me everything that I am going through right now, its important that I enjoy every moment of it and not let it slide by. So Id say to people, just enjoy the moment.