Were you nervous when you first signed to Def Jam?
Yes! Are you kidding me? LA Reid was head here at the time, and I was like, Oh my God! I have to sing for L.A. Reid right now. But he was so cool about everything. He believed in me, so he welcomed me into open arms. Then he ended up leaving and doing X-Factor, so Barry Weiss came in. I had to re-audition and everything. Thank you, Jesus, that they both believed in me! That’s major. Not many artists can say that they had to audition twice.
What was the most difficult part of your journey?
That hardest would have to be me being in public school. Most people who want to be artists are home-schooled, but I did public schooling. When you’re trying to be a singer, and you’re in public school, people hate on you and they discourage you. I felt like that was pretty hard, but I believed in myself so that kept me going. I would be sad some days after school, but I kept pushing.
Touching on the topic of haters, your lead single, “Hater” takes on a different meaning. Hands down, it’s a very relatable and honest record about getting your heart broken.
That’s what I’m trying to do.
Did you pull anything from an experience for that?
That’s a real life experience. Then I see my friends go through it all the time, especially in college. ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he dates her!’ [Laughs]
Are you in a relationship now?
Yeah I am.
How is that influencing your music and even the journey of your career?
My business comes first, and as long as that’s okay and he gets that, it’s all good.
What are three tips for girls who are dream chasing and in a relationship?
Stay focused on your career because the relationship can come and go. At the end of the day, you always want what you’ve always dreamed of. So if this is what you’ve always dreamed of, make sure you stay focused and pursue that.
Communicate! You might not be face-to-face too much, so Skype or send a little text every now and then. You’re never too busy to text. Make sure you keep the communication going.
Whenever you have off, bring him with you. If he’s supportive and he’s happy about you and for your career, then he’ll support it. If he doesn’t, and he’s complaining? Big no-no. He’s got to be willing to let you do your thing.