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— by Rashaun Hall, interview by Curtis Waller

Newcomer Ciara scores a #1 single and basically says, "So what?"

Why? Because the Atlanta native wants nothing less than to be the female P. Diddy, and one hit song does not a Diddy make. But with help from famous friends like Missy Elliott, Jazze Pha and Petey Pablo, the 18-year-old songstress might well be on her way to achieving her goal.

Ciara recently sat down to talk about her hit single, "Goodies," the hominess of Atlanta and why she's so scared to be near R. Kelly.

  "Goodies"
Goodies
(LaFace)
MTV: How does it feel to have a #1 hit with "Goodies"?

Ciara: I don't feel like I have the #1 song in America. I still feel like Ciara — I don't feel like the superstar Ciara. But for the most part, everything has really been a blessing. It's crazy.

MTV: Do you know what the next single will be?

Ciara: The next single will be "1, 2 Step." It's a song I co-wrote with Missy Elliott. Jazze Pha produced it, and Missy is on the record. It's another uptempo song. It's not talking about love, it's just about fun. We also have a dance that we're going to do for the video. We're just jamming in the club.

MTV: You also worked with R. Kelly, on "Next to You."

Ciara: Yeah, that's a ballad. It's about how I'm afraid of being next to you because I'm afraid of what I might do. Temptation is basically the thing on that record. I'm just saying I better keep my distance — I really want to be next to him, but I can't because I'm scared.

  Ciara exclusive photos
MTV: Have you recorded any tracks that don't appear on this album?

Ciara: Whenever I get a chance to go into the studio, I definitely take advantage of that opportunity. I'm planning to get into the studio when Christmas comes around to work more for the next album. I'm also trying to write for other artists as well. I like to record with younger artists — artists younger than me.

MTV: How was it for you growing up in Atlanta?

Ciara: I love Atlanta. If I had to define Atlanta, I would say it's the Hollywood of the South. That's where all the artists are migrating now. Atlanta is home. You know, it's like, literally, a home. I'm not just saying that because I live there. It just has a homey feel. It's very Southern.

MTV: Who are your musical inspirations?

Ciara: I want to have the impact that Michael Jackson had on the music industry. My female role model is Janet Jackson for what she has done in the female lane. Then I also have Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle — those are my vocal mentors. There's the heart and determination of Michael Jordan. And there's also the business success and the path of P. Diddy.

MTV: What music are you feeling now?

Ciara: Man, I love Maroon 5. I like Hoobastank. "The Reason" ... I love that record. I was actually just introduced to them at the World Music Awards, which is crazy.

MTV: Have you thought about acting?

Ciara: I do aspire to be an actress. I definitely want to do some modeling. I did modeling before all this happened. There are so many things that I have on the list and hopefully I can accomplish them. I want to be the female P. Diddy.

MTV: You want to have your own clothing line and all that?

Ciara: Yeah, I want to do it all. I want to live the best life that I can live. Why not? You only live it one time.


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Photo: LaFace

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