Last week, I was given the chance to talk to 21-year-old singer-songwriter JoJo! In 2004 she became one of the youngest artist to have a #1 single on the Pop Charts with “Leave (Get Out).” Fast forward to 2012, the now grown up songstress is getting ready to release her long-awaited third studio album Jumping Trains this Spring. With first single “Disaster” already climbing up the charts, JoJo tells us she has a lot plan for this new era in her career. Check out my interview with JoJo below where we talked about Jumping Trains, her future plans, Adele, and more!
Jon: Hey JoJo! How are you?
JoJo: I’m good. How are you?
Jon: I’m great, super excited to talk to you.
JoJo: Perfect. I’m excited to talk to you.
Jon: Yay! Good. You must be excited, I was just actually looking at the Mediabase Charts and “Disaster” is doing so well.
JoJo: I know! I actually woke up to a great phone call about some new adds that came in today and I’m very excited. You know historically things don’t happen overnight for me [Laughs], It’s always been a climb and a build, the result of hard work and dedication, but I don’t mind that at all. I think that it makes me appreciate everything more when things do happen. I’m really excited, the time is great, I believe in the song, I love to sing it, and I’m thankful that I’m still here.
Jon: Yes, definitely. I feel that’s what everyone else is thinking. They’re happy its doing well and hopefully it just continues to do so.
JoJo: Yeah! Exactly.
Jon: Do you plan on doing some performances for “Disaster” soon? Maybe a television performance?
JoJo: Definitely. Although it may feel like the single has been out for awhile, It’s quite early on in the game. We haven’t started on the full campaign yet. Especially for Jumping Trains or even “Disaster.” There is a lot more that will come of course as far as promotion. Right now we’re focused on the radio aspect of it. There’s a couple different components that go into an unveiling of a single and moving into the era of the album release. All those things are on our agenda.
Jon: Great. The song has a chance to have some great longevity and I think it’s always better when it works out that way.
Jon: Other than the album and the single, I recently saw that you filmed something with Clearasil. Tell me more about that.
JoJo: Yeah. I’m really excited because I’ve never had someone put me as the face of their product. I’m representing them in their product, Clearasil Perfectawash, and its a product I really really believe in. I don’t feel comfortable letting myself do something that I can’t personally stand behind. That’s just the way my mama raised me [Laughs]. When I was approached about this, I was happy to find out the product really works. We filmed the commercial over two days and I can’t wait for it to come out.
Jon: Yeah, that’s going to be great. You’ll basically be taking over our televisions [Laughs].
JoJo: Yeah [Laughs]. I’m excited.
Jon: Good so that will be out and ultimately lead into the album release for Jumping Trains. Is the album done?
JoJo: I have not stopped recording and I probably won’t stop until they say ‘Ok, you have to turn it in’ [Laughs]. The album continues to take on a different shape every month honestly. I’m just always in the studio. There is a couple songs that never change, you know. For example “Jumping Trains,” the title track of the album, “Disaster” and a few other ones. Besides that, as life unfolds new inspiration follows so I’m always in the studio. I need to express myself so we’re always recording.
Jon: That’s great to hear. I love that when you feel the inspiration you have that outlet when you need it.
JoJo: Oh, I’m so lucky. I think I would’ve already combusted if I didn’t have that outlet to express myself [Laughs].
Jon: [Laughs] Totally. Once you’ve completed the album; Is there anything specific you want your fans to take from it?
JoJo: The thing I hope my fans and the listeners take from it and from albums to follow or anything else I record is that; I want it to feel like its the soundtrack to their life. I want them to feel like this is an excerpt from their journal or something like that. I want it to feel real. I want it to feel transparent and something that people can live with and live through because I write about life. I have to express myself and I just hope the way that other artists effect me and encourage me through their music. I hope I do the same for my listeners.
Jon: Yeah, I think that’s the best thing that can happen. When you can reach out to a listener or fan just through your music that you’re proud of, that is the best gift ever.
JoJo: It’s the greatest feeling in the world. That human exchange and human connection is what we do it for or what we should do it for. It’s really all about connecting and telling stories. We all feel the same things regardless of age, race, sex, sexual preference, anything, we all feel. That is what music does, it makes you feel.
Jon: Exactly! That’s how it should always be.
JoJo: Completely agree.
Jon: So what are your plans next? Touring? Another single?
JoJo: Yes. The intention is to release another single before the album comes out but right now we’re focusing on “Disaster.” Like you mentioned, its still climbing and just starting to get its legs so that’s very exciting. What I’m doing is a lot of promotion with radio and just little show dates here and there. That’s what I’ll consistently be doing. Then eventually my intention is to go overseas and start promotion over there and do a proper roll out which I’m really looking forward to. I love to travel, soak in new cultures and learn new things so that will be fun. I’m also doing a few tour dates with Big Time Rush next month and just gearing up for the promotion of the album which will come out this Spring.
Jon: Yay! That all sounds amazing. I know people can’t wait. It’s been awhile since we’ve received a proper JoJo album.
JoJo: I’m really really excited.
Jon: I’m excited for you. Alright. Let’s take some fan questions. First up: What do you think of Adele and her success?
JoJo: I think it’s great for music. I think its so refreshing that we’re hearing a real voice without any effects or any auto-tune on the radio and its winning in a major way. I don’t want to say pioneering but I do want to say pioneering almost because its ushering in a new era in 2012 where people are going to want to hear real stories and real voices. It doesn’t need to be records about we’re getting drunk, we’re fucking everything we can [Laughs]. You know? It’s really exciting that a real singer is winning in such a real way. She is not compromising her integrity, I have a great respect for Adele and what she does.
Jon: Well said, I completely agree. Next one. Can we expect any songs like “In The Dark“?
JoJo: I don’t think this album. Well… honestly, I never stop recording so you never know. The album takes on a different shape, like i said, so who’s to say actually. I really don’t know [Laughs]. Who knows what I’ll come up with tomorrow night or whenever. “In The Dark” was a labor of love between me and my musical director and band. I really like doing records like that but I’m not sure a record like that has a home on Jumping Trains.
Jon: Gotcha, gotcha. Will just have to wait and see. Next question. What has been one of your biggest accomplishments so far in your career?
JoJo: That’s a good question. It’s not necessarily in my career but definitely a result of my career. I bought a home at 18 and that’s something I’m really proud of. I’ve been a home owner for three years. I want to be smart with my money and that is something I’m really proud of and its thanks to everything I’ve done in my career so far.
Jon: Yeah, that’s awesome. You should definitely be proud of that.
JoJo: Thank You.
Jon: Alright, so lets take a step away from the fan questions and we’re going to do this thing I like to do with everyone. I’m going to list a few random things and I want you to say the first thing that pops into your head.
JoJo: Oh my god. Okay [Laughs].
Jon: It’s going to be anything from food, artist, etc. Are you ready?
Jon: Role Model
Jon: Guilty Pleasure
JoJo: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Jon: [Laughs] YES!… Lingerie
JoJo: I collect it
JoJo: Turth or Dare documentary. That is my shit!
JoJo: Bill Cosby
Jon: Romantic Comedies
JoJo: The perfect night in
Jon: Whip Cream
JoJo: Four play
Jon: Britney Spears
Jon: Celebrity Crush
JoJo: Ryan Gosling
Jon: Same! Last but not least. JoJo
JoJo: -pause and silence-
Jon: I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, she’s been around for awhile [Laughs]
JoJo: [Laughs] Yeah, I’ve heard of her, she’s a bitch [Laughs]. No, No. Girl from New England with a lot of little tattoos and a big dream.
Jon: Yes! So perfect. That was it.
JoJo: [Laughs] Thank You!
Jon: No problem. Thank you for taking time for me. I’m excited for the album and I’m happy the singles doing well. I can’t wait for everything to get moving. I’ve been a fan of yours for awhile and I think you’re an amazing person and artist. I wish you the very best.
JoJo: Thank you so much Jon. I really appreciate that. Trust me, I have my moments so to hear you say something like that means a lot. Everyday there is a new thing to face but I’m very thankful for your support. Thank You!
Jon: Of course, you’re very welcome. Take care!
BUY JoJo’s new single “Disaster” on iTunes NOW!