And I’m glad that you mentioned that. With all the deaths, recently Whitney Houston, you have to look at fame and really dissect it. How much pressure are we putting on these people, you know? On a lighter note, you mentioned that new acts have it a little bit easier than when you came into the game. Elaborate on that.
It’s crazy. I think that nothing happens before its time and everything happens right on time. Personally, when I did my record deal, it was 2008, and it was that weird place. The internet was taking on this huge presence, and it was a very weird place where you almost felt like you couldn’t win, but we did. We had to work so hard. My team and I worked so, so much harder than artists now. [They are] like, ‘Hey, I’m a superstar. I’m gonna make a YouTube video, and it’s gonna get eight gazillion views, and I’m gonna be famous, and I’m gonna end up on every TV show!’ Meanwhile, I’m busting my ass just to get spoken about on radio and television. I appreciate the process I went through to be honest, and I actually feel bad for the people who don’t have to go through that process because they get hit with a harder blow when it doesn’t work. I think that they create the one-hit wonder phenomenon rather than the career artist.
That 15 minutes…
Get your 15 minutes. I’ll get some Grammys. I’ll be working on those in the meantime.
What’s interesting is that while you’ve been collecting Grammys, your heart has been breaking. Will your heart ever fully heal?
You know, my heart has broken and healed and mended for the last 10 years of my life. I feel like there’s nothing that heals a broken heart except for time really. And your heart breaks all the time. People tend to only associate hearts breaking with someone but things happen all the time. Disappointment can break your heart all the time–disappointment in yourself, your friends or family and like things around you all the time. I definitely think there’s a point when it shifts your energy, and for me, I just know that even when I’m in love, I still write about heartbreak and that’s an emotion that I draw on and I know people need to hear about that. I think that there’s strength in owning that [hurt] and sharing that and saying like, Yeah this is who I am and this is where I’m at. And I think that why people love the music. I will always do my best to keep that truth in my music, whether it’s the happy things people are going through, the sad things people need to hear about, the sexy things people need to hear about. There’s a song called “Break Down These Walls.” The song is about being a strong partner for your partner and helping them to break down their walls of insecurity because you know love shouldn’t be that way. And there’s another song, “Bones,” which is super, super sexy. I’m so obsessed with you, I wanna be mixed up in you, I wanna have your bones; It’s almost really dark and twisted, but it’s sexy as hell because that’s love and that’s the intensity! It’s important that I feel that my audience gets a good balance of both; however, they always tend to want those heartbreak songs.
Tell me the story of your first heartbreak.
The first cut is the deepest. I had a boyfriend when I was 16; he was a jerk, but I loved him. It was when I was recording the first album, and it was right after I got off the Kanye West [Glow In The Dark] tour in 2008. I was absolutely devastated because that was like the first crazy-stupid love I’ve ever been in in my quote-unquote adult life. I actually made the decision to end it because I decided that I had gone back and forth enough. I had decided I was not going to allow this person to really break my heart, pick it back up, treat it like shit, pick it back up and just do this rollercoaster with me. That really took me outside of the character of my true self and who I wanted to be as a woman and what type of love I wanted to experience. I had to go through it; I had to go through the lying and the cheating and everything really. I figured out all those things that I really didn’t want to see after [the breakup] ’cause if I was in it while it happened, I would’ve been like, Peace! But I was so blinded by it that when it hit me, my heart was devastated. Right after I had gotten off the Kanye West tour, when I had experienced and achieved something so grand in my life, I took a look at my life and said, I’m trying to go up and this is the one thing that’s weighing me down. And I cut it. I cut it off clean. I mean like, Do not talk about me, don’t ever call me again, we have nothing to discuss, you are not the person for me and we don’t need to be friends. That hurt because this was five years of my life. I was young. But I experienced a lot, [and] I grew a lot from that relationship. When I got off the tour actually, I tattooed this purple heart on my left wrist and that is my center of strength to remind myself that I’m always stronger than I think. Every time there was a moment where I got emotional and I wanted to call him, I’d look at this tattoo and give myself ten seconds. I’d count to ten, take a deep breath and say, Remember why you did this, remember how you got here and remember what your focus is. Sure enough it stopped me every time from calling him back.
Wow, and you haven’t talked to him since?
No. We speak now like occasionally. I promise you I didn’t speak to him or see him for three years after we broke up.
As far as your current heartbreak, are you in a place where you’re swearing off men for awhile?
I’m on a Melcation [Laughs]. I am like all about me right now. What am I going to do with my life, and what are the things that are gonna make me happy and fulfilled? There are some guys that can be around that, and be like, ‘Yo, I totally love you and I support you’ and then there are other guys who are like, ‘Ugh, you want too much! You’re too independent.’ And it’s like no, no, no, that’s definitely not it. It’s just the right guy who’s gonna fit perfectly into what it is that I’m doing; it’s just a balance. But no, I’m not swearing off men. I just don’t want men around for the sake of having men around. Too often, we make that mistake of keeping men around for the comfort, you know, just that dependency. I think is where the problem lies. And when you get away from that and just really be like, I’m cool, you can get a man in your life on a random Thursday or a random Saturday and it just adds something to your week rather than being dependent on it.