With props from the likes of Justin Timberlake and Dr. Luke, and an impressive résumé of co-writing hits for Miley Cyrus (“Party in the U.S.A.”) and Chris Brown (“I Need This”), it’s no surprise that Jessie J is turning heads now that she’s launching out on a singing career. MTV News spoke with the 22-year-old Brit about her breakout hit, “Do It Like a Dude,” her upcoming album and bringing her music to the U.S.
“It’s almost my middle finger up to the industry in what I don’t want to sound like,” the singer said of “Do It Like a Dude,” a blunt tongue-in-cheek dance tune about the egotistical male persona that was originally meant for Rihanna. “It was almost like me doing a parody of myself. It’s fun and it’s young and it’s club and it’s cool. … It’s a play on words for anyone that feels they got someone in life that has an ego, and sometimes you really wanna say ’F off’ to. Everybody has that person in their life that intimidates them and makes feel them uncomfortable.”
Despite the track’s club-ready vibe, Jessie revealed that her debut album, Who You Are, won’t stick to any one genre. “I kind of wanted to take a risk on one album being quite eclectic,” she said. “I’m so glad the label has let me do it because that’s who I am. I could never have an album that was 14 versions of the single. To me, it would be just so boring.”
Jessie J explained that her goal was to make music that “stood the test of time” and represented her generation. Ultimately, Who You Are, is set to give “a very honest” impression of who she is. “I think you get to know me as well, my personality, my humor, my emotions, what makes me sad, what makes me angry. I think it’s really relatable, which I think is very important. I can’t wait for it to come out.”
While Jessie has a few recordings left before wrapping up the LP, the songstress says she’s planning for a March release. In the meantime, she’s also written tracks for Britney Spears and Willow Smith, which, if they made the finished products, would up her profile considerably.
But Jessie is intent on creating an American fanbase the old-fashioned way. “I wanna do shows and get people talking and do it the organic way and how I’ve done it here,” she explained. “I obviously know I haven’t got seven years of promotion that I’ve been doing here, slowly and surely building up the buzz, but I’m ready to go to the U.S. and do what I gotta do and hope that people like it.”
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