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Meeting the new Christina, messing with The Formula and screaming like Courtney Love ...


Page 2


The pain of abuse, backstabbing and disses from the rap/rock boys' club ...


Page 3


Exploring sexuality, confronting childhood demons and surviving sonic therapy ...


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Christina Aguilera:
In The Studio
Los Angeles, CA,
02.12.02



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-- by Kim Stitzel, with additional reporting by SuChin Pak

"I have a lot of aggression in me that needs to come out in a not-very-precise or articulate way," says the petite blonde in the pink sleeveless sweater. "Like, there's one track where I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, kind of like Courtney Love. It's crazy."

Pushing up her Lil' Kim shades, Christina Aguilera sits back in her chair inside an L.A. recording studio. She adjusts the collection of slender gold chains around her neck; a Playboy bunny logo charm dangles off one, while another bears a flashy b-girl nameplate reading "X-tina," her nickname. Cartoon-kitten pins dot the legwarmer on her right arm. She nonchalantly checks her makeup, drawing attention to the tiny barbell that pierces the skin just below her lower lip — a recent companion to the ring in her left nostril.

This isn't exactly what we expected from her nearly three years ago, when she submitted "Genie in a Bottle" as entry into pop's class of '99. When your first album debuts at #1 and goes on to sell nearly 8 million copies, you'd think messing with The Formula would be a bad idea. Yet it was always apparent that Aguilera isn't like the other girls. She has brass, this one.

"Whenever you're new to a label and 17, as I was at the time, you're kind of told what to do," Aguilera, now 21, explains. "I just get really bored with sticking to the norm and having the proper conservative image. That's just so not me. When 'Lady Marmalade' came out, so many executives were like, 'She can't do this.' 'It's too Rockwilder and Missy.' 'It's too urban.' And I was like, 'I'm doing it.' Even with certain outfits that I wear, or speaking openly about my past ... I'm not going to sit there and lie. Whether you like me or hate me, that's me.

"Seeing firsthand how crazy this business can be kind of makes you grow up a little faster. In my case, I feel like it's brought me down to Earth, just 'cause I see how fake things can be, or how unreal it is. That's why this record is so important."

Christina Aguilera
recording "Infatuation"
Los Angeles, CA
02.12.02
While there've been other albums in the interim — a holiday record, a Spanish-language LP and an unauthorized collection of early demos — "this record," still untitled, is Aguilera's second album proper, a melting pot of soul, R&B, rock, hip-hop and Latin influences; a tapestry of songs that are raw, reflective and personal, bearing little resemblance to the readymade ballads and spunky, safe pop of her self-titled debut. Aguilera says she's calling the shots this time around, from her image to production to songwriting.


NEXT: Christina delves into the pain of abuse, backstabbing and disses from the Eminem/Fred Durst boys' club ...
next
Photo: MCA

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with Lil' Kim, Pink, Mya and Missy Elliott
"Lady Marmalade"
Moulin Rouge
(Interscope)



"Come On Over (All I Want
Is You)"

Christina Aguilera
(MCA)


with Ricky Martin
"Nobody Wants To Be
Lonely"

Sound Loaded
(Columbia)



"I Turn To You"
Christina Aguilera
(RCA)



"What A Girl Wants" (live)
Oakland Coliseum
Oakland, CA
(RCA)



"Christmas Song"
My Kind Of Christmas
(RCA)



"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
My Kind Of Christmas
(RCA)



"Genie In A Bottle" (live)
2000 MTV Video Music
Awards
(MTV)



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