Ciara: Around The Way Girl

When you first see Ciara on your television screen, you may think that she is just a beautiful young lady made to compliment the scenery. Do not be fooled by first impressions, kiddies. This 18 year-old is the scenery, the backdrop, and she is determined to be the entire show. With a hot scene like Atlanta on her side and a whirlwind of talent that she brings to the table, Ciara is primed and ready to set your ears on fire.

Her newly titled debut, Goodies, is set for a September 28th release, and the single with the same name has gotten as much airplay as any hot single released this summer. In a recent conversation with Alternatives, Ciara took time to let the people know what exactly to expect when her album drops. She also offered words of encouragement and enlightenment for those open to the message. Take a listen. Alternatives: By now, music fans have gotten to know you and have seen you quite a bit recently. Talk to me about all the different activities you have going on.

Ciara: I’m actually doing a lot of promo right now, promo touring [and such]. I’m also in the process of finishing up the album.

AHHA: How much grandeur and exposure has ‘Goodies’ gotten you to date? Radio stations and television outlets are playing the song and the video pretty heavily.

Ciara: It’s been going really good so far. I’ve been trying to get more live show dates, like [BET’s] 106 & Park, places like that to get exposure. The schedule is crazy right now. It’s been real hectic, but it’s all good.

AHHA: Did you honestly believe that the single would blow up this much? I cannot imagine that you knew right from the start that your song would be one of the hottest singles of the summer.

Ciara: I really believe in the record. Truthfully, I believe the record is definitely a hit record. I just didn’t know that it would move so quickly. I knew people would love the record. The first part of my goal is accomplished.

AHHA: Was the beat and the overall flow intended to sound like Petey Pablo’s ‘Freek-A-Leek’? There is an undeniable commonality between the two tracks.

Ciara: I didn’t even know about Petey’s record when I did ‘Goodies’. It was written five or six months before. I did ‘Goodies’ before Petey’s record came out. I’m not going to sit up here and say that I’m the best singer in the world. But, I definitely have some vocal talent. You’ll get to see and hear more of it on the album. There’s no other record on my album like ‘Goodies’. All of the songs are different from each other and they are all great records. The record is something that everybody and their mother can sing, though.

AHHA: Describe the ‘Crunk & B’ style that you have implemented on this album.

Ciara: It’s not my style, but this particular style is Crunk & B. It’s just when you mix crunk with R&B.

AHHA: Talk to me about the beginning of everything with your music and how everything has gotten you to where you are.

Ciara: I started out in a group, but the group didn’t work out. The company that I was signed to decided to stick with me and develop me as a solo artist. That’s where it all began.

AHHA: You were also a military baby as well, right?

Ciara: Yes. My father was in the Army and my mother was in the Air Force.

AHHA: With all of the traveling that you have obviously done, have you incorporated all of those different experiences growing up into your music?

Ciara: Most definitely. I think it was kind of prepping me. I was able to adapt to different cultures and different surroundings. I think it was really beneficial for me.

AHHA: Atlanta’s music scene is on fire like no other region has been in a long time. How have the locals accepted you and opened up to what you have to offer?

Ciara: Just knowing that artists have been out well before me and they are showing me love and support is really crazy to me. It’s not about who the people are; it’s about the respect that I hold for each individual and they’ve been showing a lot of love. It feels real good. What can I say? This is my first album, and all the support I’ve been given is crazy. God is really blessing me.

AHHA: Is there one message more so than others that you attempt to get across on the songs that you sing?

Ciara: I hope my music will reflect the person that I am. I know who I am. I’m just a real around the way girl and down to earth. I want people to love themselves for who they are. I don’t believe that I’m here just to do records. I do not believe that God put me in front of millions of people to just sit there and do songs. I definitely have a message, and hopefully I can inspire people to go out and do something good with their lives. Whatever you see yourself doing, it is definitely possible.

AHHA: Let the people know what they can expect to get on Ciara’s debut album.

Ciara: It’s going to be crazy! It’s innovative and it’s refreshing. Jazze Pha is the executive producer on the album. I worked with R. Kelly, Missy Elliott, and Jermaine [Dupri], although you may not hear anything from Jermaine on this album. I also worked with Dallas Austin, and other up and coming producers. I also co-wrote on 10 out of the 12 songs that will be on the album. You’re going to love it. It’s a whole new sound and something that all demographics can relate to.