UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Raven-Symoné isn’t asking for guys to do backflips over her. One is fine.
“Backflip,” the first single from the actress/singer’s new album, is, in her own words, “about respect.”
“I like to explain the video, it helps the song,” said the “That’s So Raven” star, who just shot the clip in Los Angeles. “I’m with this guy and he’s just being disrespectful to me. I’m coming in the house trying to offer him popcorn and he’s throwing it all over me, talking on the phone [when] we’re supposed to be having some quality time together. So through all of this I’m just typing on my Blackberry and writing something down mischievously and we don’t know what’s going on.”
The video, directed by Sanaa Hamri (Prince’s “Musicology,” Jay-Z’s “Song Cry”), continues with Raven’s birthday party, where the guy shows up late without a present. “Not that it matters, but you can get a card or something,” Raven said. “Anyway, we find out that I’m reprogramming him, kinda like ’Stepford Husbands,’ making him a little more respectful, loving and [willing to] listen some more, not necessarily catering just to me, but come on now, let’s be serious.”
The R&B-flavored “Backflip” was written and produced by Scott Storch, whose credits include Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and Christina Aguilera’s “Can’t Hold Us Down,” and Kara DioGuardi, best known for Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me” and Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean.”
Raven’s album, This Is My Time, due September 21, also features production and songwriting contributions from Tricky, Robin Thicke, Diane Warren, Walter Afanasieff (Destiny’s Child), Guy Roche (Brandy) and Matthew Gerrard (Jessica Simpson). There are no guest stars, however.
“I wanted this album to be pure me,” said Raven, who co-wrote five of the songs. “I’ve had two albums prior to this, but not a lot of people know about them, so I didn’t want to come out with someone to help me. I wanted to do it on my own.”
Raven has, however, had plenty of help from Disney, which broadcasts her show on the Disney Channel and owns her label, Hollywood Records. Disney included the title track of This Is My Time on the soundtrack to “The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement,” which also co-stars the actress (see “Kelly Clarkson, Lindsay Lohan Provide Entries To Princess Diaries 2 LP” ).
As Olivia on “The Cosby Show,” Raven started her entertainment career early, and in 1989, at the age of 5, she became the youngest artist to sign with MCA Records. Her 1993 debut, Here’s to New Dreams, featured the single “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of,” which was the first radio hit for a then little-known songwriter by the name of Missy Elliott.
Raven’s second album, 1999’s Undeniable, featured a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, and in promoting the release she opened several dates for ’NSYNC.
Along with picking up the pace of her music career, Raven is lined up to shoot a few more movies in the coming months, including “All-American Girl” and a remake of “Sparkle” (see “Look Out, Hilary Duff — Here Comes Raven” ).