Thursday, May 23, 2024

Q&A: JoJo

JoJo made her mark on the music industry in 2004 with the release of her hit song “Leave (Get Out)” when she was just 13 years old. Now, she’s back with three new songs, and she’s ready to show the world how she’s grown as an artist. Boca Mag caught up with JoJo before she her performance at the Culture Room (3045 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale) tonight as part of her “I Am JoJo” tour.

You made a name for yourself when you were so young. Do you remember what it was like when you found out your song was number one on the Billboard charts?

It was absolutely surreal. I was in London with my mom, and she tried not to make it that big of a deal because she didn’t want my head to get big. We ordered a pizza to the hotel room, and we ate it all. It was kind of a blur because I was so young. I didn’t realize what an accomplishment it was until a few years later.

You had some issues with your old label, and it’s been awhile since you’ve released new music. Did you continue writing during that time? How did you keep your love of music from fading away?

My love of music was never something that was in question. I wanted to continue on in the industry, but the contract I was in was so binding that I wondered if I would ever be able to take ownership of my voice again. My love of music definitely did grow, even during that time, and it’s something that remains consistent. Writing was a great outlet for me and a way for me to dive into something creative.

How did you get involved with acting? What do you like about it?

I’ve actually been acting since I was a little kid—since I was six. I did theater and commercials and a couple of independent movies. After I had some success in music, I had the opportunity to do acting again, and I jumped at the opportunity because it was something that I always wanted to do. I really like it. I’d like to get back into it, but music is definitely my number one focus and passion—It’s an extension of me.

Now you’re back with three new songs, and you’re about to release your third album. How is the process of creating this album different from when you were younger?

I’m a lot more present and thoughtful in the choices that I make. I’m now a 24-year-old young woman with experiences under my belt. I pull from those real-life experiences and allow that to dictate what I want to sing about—that’s where I get inspiration for the content. With this go-around, being signed to a new label and with this new energy and opportunity, I wanted to leave any darkness that I felt in the past, really step into the light and not dwell on the strife—but really step into the next chapter with love.

What do you hope that people take away from your new music and your comeback in general?

We all have to work through our own adversities, so my story is really no different from anybody else’s. I just had different things to jump over—different hurdles. I just hope that people feel that they can have victory—that if you stay focused and you really never question what it is you love and why you do it, if you stay true to your intentions, and you surround yourself with good people, nothing is impossible. I hope that people also learn not to compare their journey to someone else’s because there’s no one way to get to the destination that we want to get to. I hope that people feel that anything is possible—because it is.

Are you excited to come to South Florida? Have you ever had a concert or vacation down here?

Yes! I’ve played in Fort Lauderdale before, and I’m very excited to come back to Florida. It’s beautiful, and it’ll be a nice departure from some of the colder places we’re playing. And I have some family who lives near Fort Lauderdale.

What does the future look like for you? Where do you hope to be in five years, 10 years after this album comes out?

My ultimate goal is to be happy. I’m really trying to live in the moment and find what it is that makes me happy. I’m not really big on thinking of where I’ll be in five or 10 years because, had you asked me that five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I would have been in a lawsuit. We can’t really predict the future, but I know that I’m going to try to be my best self. In five years, I’ll be 29, and I still want to be touring the world. I want to put out a few albums in the next few years, and I want to maybe start my own record label, where I can be instrumental in starting the careers of other young artists and help them avoid some of the struggles that I went through.

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