Forget Partying, Money: Paris Hilton Insists It's 'All About The Music'

Hilton tells MTV News she's flattered by Gwen comparisons, torn between two tracks for next single.

"Just because my last name's Hilton and I come from this family, it doesn't mean I can't be talented or know music or know what I'm doing," Paris Hilton told MTV News about her budding career as a singer. "People will see. They just have to listen to the record."

So let's talk about the songs. Paris, due August 8, currently has 11 tracks — about half of which are dance- and hip-hop-influenced, the other half upbeat pop/rock. Because Hilton spends a lot of time in clubs, she's been road-testing the songs "all around the world — Germany, London, Paris, south of France — all over," giving DJs a few tracks, hiding out in the DJ booth and watching the crowd for a response. "No one even knows it's me, and they're dancing like they'd dance to any other hot song," she said.

Paris said she doesn't mind that her first single, "Stars Are Blind," is drawing her comparisons to Gwen Stefani. "I love Gwen," she said. "It's, like, so flattering, and she's one of my favorites, so that's a really big compliment to me."

Paris is trying to decide what the next single should be. Right now, it's a toss-up between the Scott Storch-produced "Turn It Up" and the "Grease"-sampling "I Want You." Either way, it's sure to give fans the impression that instead of channeling Stefani, Paris has Madonna on her mind. Paris' delivery on "Turn It Up" feels a bit like "Me Against the Music" ("Gonna lose my clothes/ ... Let's get exposed"). "I Want You" sounds like Madonna's latest, with its retro/futuristic combo. "I love Madonna," Paris said. "She's, like, my idol. She's amazing."

The bulk of the record plays up Hilton's sex appeal, in songs like "Turn You On" and "Fightin' Over Me," which features Fat Joe and Jadakiss, well, fighting over her. The sexiness continues in the squiggly synth track "Nothing in This World," with its taunt of "I can do what she can so much better"; the Giorgio Moroder-influenced "Not Leaving Without You," in which she commands someone she's interested in to stick around and keep her company on the dance floor ("Got my eye on you boy/ ... It's like search and destroy"); and, of course, her cover of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy."

"I think when you're in a club and you're dancing, girls want to feel sexy and guys want to see the girls looking sexy," Hilton explained. "That's the kind of music that works, so that's what I wanted to write about."

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Even if Paris is considered the consummate party girl, she's not as big a partyer as you might think. "I've never danced on a table in my life," she insisted. So she made sure to include a few songs that stray from sex, showing a more vulnerable side in "Heartbeat," "Jealousy" and "Screwed."

While "Jealousy" is purported to be about her rift with Nicole Richie, Hilton insisted "it could be about anyone." "It's just a song about how jealousy is an evil thing," she explained. And while she tries to steal another girl's guy in "Nothing in This World," karma catches up with her in "Screwed" when someone does the same thing to her. Earlier leaked versions of the song were more pop/rock (see "Leak Complicates Paris/ Haylie Fight Over Who Gets 'Screwed' "), but Paris added a few more guitars and clubbed it up a bit after partnering with Storch (see "Scott Storch Says He And Paris Are Making 'Amazing' Music").

"I completely redid it," she said. "It's totally different. At the beginning, I was doing a whole rock album, but then, I don't know, it wasn't my thing. I like the rock music, but I like the club music more, so I just threw all those songs away and started fresh and came up with a whole new sound."

And just to show us how serious she is about having completed her debut, Paris pledged to give up her summer vacation this year.

"This is actually the first summer that I've been in the U.S.," she said. "Every summer I go to Europe in May to September, and I don't come back. And this summer, I said, 'I'm not going to Europe, I'm going to be working in L.A., getting ready.' If I go to Europe, it'll be to do promo tours, so it's all work, because all I care about right now is my music. I love to entertain people and I love to be onstage and I love my music, so I'm not even thinking about the money or anything. It's just all about the music."

— Jennifer Vineyard, with additional reporting by John Norris