JoJo Speaks on Fall Album 'Jumping Trains' and Remaking Drake's 'Marvin's Room'
"I was drawn by the boldness and honesty of Drake's lyrics," says JoJo. "If something speaks to me, I get the itch to take a stab at it."
This latest itch also signals a rebirth for Joanna "JoJo" Levesque. When her third album, "Jumping Trains," arrives this fall, fans will encounter a more mature JoJo-both sonically and lyrically-than when she launched her career seven years ago. It's a style JoJo sums up as "pop with an anger management problem."
JoJo has been fighting for a musical makeover behind the scenes during the last few years. When then-label Blackground Records refused to release her from a seven-album contract, the 20-year-old expressed her frustration on YouTube. On October 12, 2009, JoJo finally reached a deal with Blackground to have "Jumping Trains" distributed by Interscope.
Then, in 2010, JoJo took matters into her own hands and released a mixtape "Can't Take That Away From Me." Her friskier voice turned heads, specifically on the sensational track "In the Dark."
JoJo recalls, "I got feedback that said, 'Wow, she's taking it too far. I hope JoJo doesn't follow the path [where artists] exploit their sexuality or curse.' But that's not my intention. My intention is to be transparent and truthful. Art imitates life, and that's what I allow it to do."
For "Jumping Trains," JoJo is collaborating with well-established producers like Danja and Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and newcomers such as the Messengers and Da Internz.
"With this album, I've taken what's been going on in my life and dropped that into each song," says JoJo. "I want people to feel because that's what we all want. It's quite transparent for what I was going through."