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Ciara: Never Scared

Ever since Ciara one, two stepped onto the Hip-Hop/R&B scene, it became cool again for ladies to rock hard on the dance floor instead of always slow-winding on some cat’s groin. With her Lil’ Jon-blessed debut “Goodies” in 2004, the proclaimed First Lady of Crunk‘n B upped the ante, leaving motionless crooners fine-tuning their choreography.

 

Railroading through the sophomore jinx with the success of her 2006 album Evolution – Ciara is proving her resilience in the game, as a modern-day role model for young entertainers. BET underestimated the thrust, positioning her at the bottom of the network’s “Top 25 Dancers of All Time” countdown, beneath Diddy and Bobby Brown. But that hasn’t knocked her hustle any more than ripping her pants on the Scream Tour runway.

 

With a hearty James Brown-style rebellion on the back of her jersey tatted “25?” Ciara was named spokesperson for Roc-a-Wear clothing’s new advertising campaign “I Will Not Lose.” Ciara proves that regardless what skeptics may think, she will rise from the hate-filled ashes.AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Tell me how you got involved in the “I Will Not Lose” Campaign. Ciara: Well Roc-a-Wear reached out to my management team, and they told me about the campaign “I Will Not Lose” and I felt you know with the message behind it, it felt like it was definitely something to be about because that is my mindset. I do believe that I will not lose or at least that’s the way that I think when I approach anything I do in life. So I said absolutely…and I also love the fact that Roc-a-Wear is trying to take their clothing to new heights and higher levels and they’re also maturing, they have more mature pieces. I feel like there were a lot of things about that that would be really cool to be a part of.AHHA: So tell me about your story and how you personally will not lose. Ciara: I don’t think I have the story that you would hear from a lot of artists in this industry, or at least I will just speak for myself. Growing up, I didn’t have the training or I wasn’t able to be pushed in like talent shows and all things to train me and make me better, so I feel like I have so much more to do with so little time and I feel like the only thing to get there is by thinking I will not lose.

 

I think my whole thing is I’ve come too far from where I started, and I don’t see myself going back. I have so many goals, and I really think the only way to get there is by believing I will not lose.AHHA: What kind of adversity have you had in your career that has gotten you to this point or maybe made you stronger in your career?Ciara: I think it was more about people not believing in me. When I first started, pretty much no one really wanted to give me a shot. And even when I got signed and still to this day, no matter what place you’re in until you just get there like Michael Jackson status or Madonna status then you really don’t have to worry about nothing. But still you always like okay I got to prove, that I got something here.

 

I guess for me, it was kind of like that because no one…in the beginning there weren’t too many people that were like, “She can do it.” There was a lot of people that doubted me, and that also gave me motivation. I can say that’s apart of it. AHHA: So do you still feel like you’re doubted a little bit at certain things? I know there was a question with the dancing this year that just past. You killed it at the BET Awards, by the way, but the 25 and the question mark because you were ranked that way?Ciara: Well BET did a countdown, a dance countdown…They put me at number 25 which was the last number on the list. And I just was like wow, like I put in a lot of hard work to do what I do. I rather not be the one to toot my horn like I am this, I am number one and I am whatever.  But you know that was definitely crazy to me.

 

I love Diddy, I think he was right before me and I mentioned that he was somebody I remember was in a lower number and I’m like, “Diddy has his hop.” He has his hop that he does and he rocks, I love it because I do it sometimes too…but what is your definition of dancing? And I guess maybe they have their own way of defining it and it was just other people that were in different places. But I’m like “Okay I get number 25,” but I kept it moving. I did ask BET what the 25 was about. AHHA: What is your definition of winning?  Ciara: We talk about the difference between winning and losing. Let me just be real, winning is really being on top in my eyes and for my goals. Also I think winning happens in many different ways and whether it’s the way you win personally or professionally and in my eyes it’s being the best at what you do. Really standing out and also being able to be remembered, that’s really important to me. AHHA: Give me an example of a very difficult situation and how you got through it.Ciara: I always have the mindset that there is nothing I can’t make it through. I think if anything it’s pushing through the energy of the doubters and non-believers but one thing I will say is, my faith within myself has always been very strong, my confidence within myself has been pretty strong, for the most part.

 

I have areas when I get shy like when I’m on stage and it’s other moments. But I’ve always pretty much believed in myself from the beginning. I really felt like I had to be strong in the area, because there’s no way I’d be able to persevere or make it to this point where I’m at right now.AHHA: Who has inspired you to be the successful person you are today?Ciara: My inspiration comes from a couple of people. I’ve chosen in my eyes their strongest attributes, I kind of created a person I haven’t named but it’s basically the professional performance and entertainment of Michael Jackson, the drive and ambition of Michael Jordan, and from the woman aspect of things, the financial success of Oprah.

 

It’s kind of hard to say one person, I would say my friend Missy for her humility. When I’m around her I know that she has been in the industry for so long and she remains so humble, and I really believe that’s why she has been here as long as she has and has been able to remain on top and really just doing it. And that’s one thing I love about her and Patti LaBelle – the list can go on for days and days – for many different attributes that I take from each different person, to be all these different people combined into one at some point in time that’s what my goal is. But I get inspired by those like Michael, Madonna, Prince.  AHHA: What do you think about Jay-Z?Ciara: I think he’s real cool. I got to say I know he started this a good amount of time ago and it’s really cool to see him still doing his thing, and still being able to be creative and think of new things, the clothing line and all the other ventures he does. I think it’s real cool and I’m happy to be a part of it.AHHA: Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?Ciara: I think I have had a moment. I think there was one time where I almost slipped, but nobody saw it. Like on stage dancing? I’ve been making it through so far. But Oh! And I had one time where my pants ripped, it was on the Scream Tour actually, but I don’t think too many of my fans got to see that, it was a secret. But I had to run from the set we were on down stage.

 

I was panicking like “yo, yo, yo, yo,” people couldn’t really hear, the music was so loud, we was trying to get through. I made it back up to finish the show and then my second pair of pants ripped again, but I made it through. And I guess it was embarrassing within my team, so that was a secret I just let out the bag. Yeah that’s pretty much it for dancing. I haven’t had that moment, knock on wood and I’m not looking forward to it either…so that’s it for me.AHHA: What’s your favorite love song?Ciara: My favorite love song…Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” She has tons of songs that I love. I was actually listening to her yesterday. You know what’s a beautiful song? “Dangerously in Love” by Beyonce. It’s a beautiful record. Love songs…you’re making me think.AHHA: You have a nice one, “And I.”Ciara: Oh thank you! That was actually one of the first ballads I wrote in my career. I was 15 years old when I wrote that song. And I was inspired from a real life experience. AHHA: What are you working on now, what’s next for you? Ciara: My album. I am excited I’m getting ready to go in. I have a lot of goals in mind with this album. I want to tour, tour, and tour and go around to all the places I haven’t been to yet. So I have a lot of big goals for my fans. I just want to make my fans dance, that’s when you go in a club you rock from the beginning until the end. So the young girls have songs to dance to and routines to keep on creating.

 

I must say, because I went to a basketball game the other day, it was a group of young girls in the middle of the court and they were using one of my records. And every time I see that, I get inspired. So I just want to create more music for my fans to dance to. AHHA: I always wanted to know what you thought when you heard this song. It was on Bow Wow’s last album, I can’t think of the name. It was clearly written about you, do you know what song I’m talking about?Ciara: Well I don’t think there is anything wrong with a person expressing what they feel in a song. That’s one thing about music it is somewhat of an outlet for you to express yourself. Even for myself, when I write I go in and write, I write about things that come from my heart. So I don’t think there is anything wrong with a person expressing what they feel on a record. You know it’s definitely cool for a person, if it’s about you, it’s cool for a person to say great things. And in this case this is my past and in this case. My eyes a long time from now, that’s the way I look at it. At the end of the day, when I do a reflection – when I walk past him I’m able to say “Hi.” I think that’s the way to be, and it’s all about being positive and I’m looking forward to my future. So I’m in a different space.Oh and Diddy I have to say, I love you. I don’t ever want you to think I was attacking you. But yeah the Top 25 countdown, that was crazy. And at the time I wouldn’t speak on it at that time, but my fans, because I go on some of the blog sites and the fans was right there. I was like “Okay ya’ll was holding me down.” So I will make sure I rock for you even harder next year.AHH: Who would you pick as the Number One dancer?Ciara:  My judgment on dancing, I judge it to the core of what I feel is true dancing. I think what it was for them is there is a difference in entertaining and dancing. One of the ultimate entertainers is Michael Jackson and Prince; I think he’s on fire. He is one I think he may not do many dance moves, but you’re going to be locked in watching his show from the beginning to the end and if he does any move, you love it.

 

There’s a difference between entertainment and dancing to me, and if you’re going to judge dancing on its own, I would pick a street dancer or an artist that rocks all the way day in the streets. But one person I don’t know if they know but I think they’re aware of…is on fire when it comes to the moves, that are raw (and when I say raw, I mean hardcore), is Omarion. He is on fire with the moves; I’m not going to front. He’s clean with his moves when he does it. There’s a difference when you can get crazy and get raw and rowdy, but Omarion gets it cracking.

 

One person that also dances like fluid moves through him is Usher. Usher is on fire. I think once he gets a routine, he’s going to lock it in and make it look like nothing else. He’s to me for our generation, when it comes to male singer; he’s the one that really knows how to combine the two, dancing and singing. He is at this day and age, a true entertainer. He has it all to me.  AHH: I think you definitely respect for the ladies. What about any other women?Ciara: I think it’s very obvious, and it’s funny because people compare us a lot. But I think Janet, to me, is one of the women that really, puts her foot in her performance and she really knows how to do both together. So she is a true entertainer.

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