The 19 year old Celebrity who says, “Mother father” when angry and obsessed with SpongeBob Square Pants, “It cracks me up every time,” Jordin Sparks talks to Hellobeautiful about her upcoming album Battlefield. “I love Battlefield…so into it when I recorded it,” she told us. In this album “fans hear my heart and what I’m thinking of.”
“Faith is absolutely my favorite song on the album. I wrote it four days before the inauguration. A lot of people needed that message…I balled recording that song. When you’ve written your own song, there’s no other feeling like it,” says Sparks.
HB: What is the image you’re presenting to your fans through this album?
Jordin: I’ve never really been very fashion-forward. So as far as style goes I’m still kind of just going with what I’m comfortable with and what makes me feel good. My first album I had pants on whatever. And so this album is a little bit more mature, but not too much, because I’m not at that level yet. I’m only 19 years old. So I have a lot of growing to do and a lot of different things to do. But for me I went back to the curly hair because I was like, “You know what? This is how people fell in love with me.” They saw the quirky curly-haired girl from Glendale, Arizona, and this is what I want to give them because I’m still there. I’m still the quirky girl who’s crazy and embarrasses herself on a daily basis. So I kind of wanted to show people that. And as far as the music goes, as I said before — I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, I don’t know if everybody can hear this — just with my music and being able to write it, I get to share a little piece of my heart with my fans, which makes me very, very excited.
HB: This album is more of an R&B Dance genre. Do you feel you have to conform to what artists, such as Beyonce and Rihanna are producing and bringing to the business?
Jordin: Oh, no. I think the one thing that is really cool is – they’re awesome in their own right. I definitely listen to their music. But the cool thing about me is I’m different. I’m kind of like, “Hey, the little young one trying to come up and, you know, be just as cool.” But I’m still me. Like I’m a ballad singer. That’s how people fell in love with me on Idol and that’s who I am now. But at the same time, I did want to try something different, like with “S.O.S” like I said before. I wanted to try a little bit of a dancer feel and see what could happen with that. So i did see that. But ultimately, I’m still just the ballad singer girl from American Idol.
HB: But that’s what your fans fell in love with, so…
Jordin: Exactly. Yes, and I wanted to show that. And in terms of like auto-tune and different things like that, I want my fans to hear me as I am because that’s also how they fell in love with me. So I’m sure they use auto-tune to fix a note here or there, but in terms of having a whole song in it, no I’m good. I want people to hear me as the real me.
HB: You had your fans pick the single for your last album. What was the purpose of that? Are you going to do it for this album?
Jordin: What was really cool about the first album is that when I put it out I had already had “Tattoo” out for a little while before the album came out. And then the album came out and “Tattoo” was still rising. So they were like, “Hey, what would happen if we put a poll on the Web site and saw what people wanted to hear?” And so we did. And they wanted “No Air”. And it was cool because we wanted to make sure the feelings mutual as well with the fans, because I wanted “No Air” as well. I love that song. And it’s really cool to be able to say, “Hey my fans attributed to this and they wanted to hear this song.” And that’s one of the reasons why it got so huge. I had no idea it was going to be as massive as it was…
HB: Do you think it was because of Chris Brown as well with the collaboration you guys had?
Jordin: Definitely. No, he was definitely a big part of it and I’m so thankful for that. It was so great. But at the same time, like you never know what your music is going to be like and how people are going to react to it. So it’s all because of the fans that it was as massive as it was, and I’m thankful and I’m definitely thankful for Chris as well. But this time around, I think I want to do that again and see what they think. I mean I think “S.O.S”, I think we might already be considering that as the second single. But as far if that’s already chosen maybe we can have them see what the third single that they want or the fourth single, God willing if I’m allowed to have a fourth single. So we’ll see.
HB: Do you feel that the industry treats you as a 19-year old or do you feel you have matured because of the industry?
Jordin: I think it’s a little bit of both, actually. The industry, I think, on younger kids makes you grow up a little bit faster. You have to make more adult decisions and you’re having to make decisions financially and about music and how you want to be portrayed as. And so it kind of makes you grow up a little bit. My mom always told me that I’ve been a lot more mature than my age…but being in the industry is definitely-I’ve grown up a little bit. I don’t know what kind of shaped it but just having to make all these different decisions, (I) definitely think that it helps, you know, people growing up and helping us sound a lot older than we actually are.
HB: So because you are more mature, or at least you act more mature than 19 year olds, do you feel now that people in the industry expect more of you?
Jordin: You know, I never thought of it that way, but I definitely think there is some people who expect that. I mean I think that’s why i keep saying it, because a lot of people do forget that I’m only 19 and that I’m still a kid and that I still want to have fun and that I want to go to the theme park if I can and if I see it. And I want to go see Ice Age 3. Like, I’m still a kid and I think a lot of people forget that. And it’s partially just because of the way I am, just because I do sound and talk and act like I’m older than I am. But I do try and remind people. So I definitely think they do expect a lot more or expect me to be or do a certain thing because of how they perceive me to be older. But at the same time I’m like, “Are you crazy? I’m 19 years old.” Like I have people thinking I’m married right now. And Im like, “What?”
Jordin: I’m like, “There’s no way. I’ve got like ten years until that actually happens.” So it’s always crazy. There are always a bunch of different things that are thrown at me and I’m just like, “Okay-you guys?”
Listen to Jordin’s Single Battlefield:
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Idol to Battlefield