Ciara: 'There ain’t nothing I can’t do'
The R&B artist returns with her deeply personal sixth studio album “Jackie.” She talks motherhood, seductive dancing and Baltimore.
It’s been a productive but turbulent past year for Ciara. First, the R&B singer gave birth to son Future Zahir Wilburn in May of last year, broke off her engagement to the baby’s father and rapper Future following rumors of infidelity, started on new album “Jackie” just a matter of weeks before her due date, and is appearing in NBC variety show “I Can Do That.” Clearly the 29-year-old, who’s about to embark on her first tour in six years, has got the motherly multitasking down; her record, as she explains to Metro, reflects her post-baby “empowerment.”
Your new album is named after your mom, so is she being particularly motherly and offering lots of advice?
My mom is super excited and super funny, too. When I told her the album was titled “Jackie,” of course my mom, like most moms, wanted to be very vocal about what she thinks I should be doing musically – so she almost took herself to be one of my executive producers. I was like, “Mom, don’t worry, I’ve got it” – but it’s so cute.
You’re also a mother too and your son seems to take after you in the fashion stakes. Is this your influence?
I’ve been fortunate to get some very cool gifts from my friends in fashion and he definitely gets a lot of cool things.
Has he already got his own walk-in closet?
Oh my goodness, it’s so funny. I have to add more racks and shelves. I can’t help buying a lot of shoes and clothes when I go to the stores. Having this tiny little human – I call him my "little juicy man" – you know is going to sprout. It’s just so exciting to dress and style. I do go overboard with the shopping.
Children, like mothers, can be quite honest when it comes to what they do and don’t like, so what’s his opinion of your new album?
He definitely loves dancing to my music. He loves the song I dedicated to him called “I Got You.” He’s on the song and every time he hears his voice he starts to laugh. Whenever I used to sing that song to him in his first few months, he would stop crying or whatever he was doing and smile – it was so cute.
Your album has a track called “Jackie (B.M.F.)” (Bad Mother F---r). What makes you a bad motherf---er?
I love this song. It was so funny; I went into the studio and just felt it was so heavy on my chest to just scream, “I’m a bad mother…” Of course I was inspired having my son and I was just thinking there ain’t nothing I can’t do; I feel like I can conquer the world. When I think about my journey and everything that I’ve experienced personally and professionally, I feel so strong and empowered, especially after having a child.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, you talked about some of the biggest moments and transitions in your life: growing up as a young girl with your track “Goodies” to a full-grown woman and having a baby. What’s the next big step?
I have honestly always had big dreams since I was young and I definitely see myself as having more kids… I can tell you that. What I see in the near future: I want to rock the world successfully with my world tour and I hope to be the best mum in the universe.
What would be a good number of children?
I definitely believe I’m going to have two more kids. I could end up with five… I used to say that back in the day – and then I would think about the price. I love kids so much; they bring so much joy and having my son has been the greatest reward and blessing. I definitely want to do it again.
Speaking of love, you sing, “Dance Like We’re Making Love.” Do you think we’re going to see a lot more thrusting on the dance floor once your song is released?
That song makes you feel good and just melts on you. There’s definitely going to be some hip-thrusting and winding and all that business.
You’re known for your sensual and raunchy dancing in tracks like “Love Sex Magic”. What is it about that style of dance that gets you going?
The thing for every woman is that we like to feel sexy – it’s a form of confidence. The songs that I do show the sensual side and when I go there with it, it’s fun to take control and it is a form of confidence. And I like to make sure that women are inspired by the dance moves and do it for their guy.
You’re also quite a prolific user of social media, like Instagram. Are you ever concerned that you’re in danger of overexposure, particular where your son is involved?
I try to find a balance. There are moments when the paparazzi see you out and about, so for me it’s okay to document things because it’s actually being documented by someone else.
Are you ever a victim of trolling and do you react?
Oh, absolutely and sometimes I do respond, to be honest.
Can you give an example?
Some people say, “You’re ugly” – it’s just a mean thing to say. It doesn’t affect me either way but when someone talks about your child in that way, it’s spiritually wrong.
You’ve also been quite active on Twitter in regard to the riots in Baltimore. What’s your response to what’s happening there?
I understand the frustration of the community and the heartache and I think that there has to be a better way to respond than tearing down the town – and the school. You should fight for your rights and beliefs but it is the kind of concept that if I hit you and you hit me back, we’re both going down. But if you hit me and I try to find a better way to respond, we can change the situation.
Would you like to be more involved in communities or politics even?
I do believe in taking advantage of this amazing platform that God has given me, which enables me to speak to and inspire millions of billions of people around the world. I’m joining Mrs Obama in Detroit this weekend to talk about education. It’s moments like this that allow me, as an entertainer, to use my voice to make a difference.
If you go:
New York City
Tonight, 8 p.m.
Best Buy Theater
1515 Broadway, 212-930-1950
May 7, 8 p.m.
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St, 888-693-2583
May 10, 8 p.m.
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside