In 2004, JoJo broke pop records with her debut single “Leave (Get Out)”. At 13, the pint-sized vocal powerhouse became the youngest female singer to score a pop Billboard number one single and her debut album sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.
JoJo followed it up with her sophomore release, 2006’s The High Road, which spawned platinum-selling, Top 5 hit “Too Little, Too Late.” And then the music stopped.
“Since my second album, I graduated high school with a 4.0, which was a big deal for me. I never really took school seriously, but when I turned 16 and 17, I became very academic,” JoJo admitted. “I also went through a really bad time relationship-wise and had some legal things that were out of my control career-wise.”
To whet fans’ appetites in 2010, JoJo released her Can’t Take That Away From Me mix-tape online. The project hinted at a sexier, grown-up (blindfolded) JoJo when the steamy and sensual video for “In the Dark” debuted online. Unlike her previous efforts, this project featured a majority of tracks written or co-written by JoJo.
“I came out when I was 13 and I didn’t have experiences under my belt to pull from,” JoJo explained of her songwriting. “As I’ve been growing into myself as a woman, I’ve found my voice.”
In 2011, JoJo released “Disaster”, the first single from her long-awaited third album Jumping Trains. Sadly, it was announced shortly thereafter that Jumping Trains would not be released.
“There was nothing dramatic about [not releasing] Jumping Trains,” JoJo shared. “Over the last six years, I’ve been in the studio recording different incarnations of this third album and as I’ve evolved as human being my music has followed suit.”
The latest incarnation is new single “Demonstrate”, a sexed-up, R&B-laced jam reminiscent of Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation”. “Demonstrate” is produced by Noah “40” Shebib best known for his work with Alicia Keys and Drake.
JoJo came to Shebib’s attention when her 2011 cover/remake of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” became an internet sensation. The viral video amassed nearly 30 million views and featured JoJo rewriting Drake’s lyrics surprising fans and herself with the finished product.
“I wish I could say I knew it would be a hit but the fact is I was nervous,” JoJo admitted. “I thought there might be a negative backlash because people hadn’t seen me grow up. They weren’t acquainted with the person I am today which is more outspoken, rough around the edges . . . a bit unafraid.”
One thing JoJo isn’t afraid of is ‘demonstrating’ her love for hey gay fan base. “I felt the [gay] love on my
second album as I was getting older and the boys felt like they could connect with me,” JoJo shared.
After a performance at Miami Pride, JoJo is ‘proud to be’ part of the 2012 Savannah Pride Festival. “I have such a good time at these Pride shows because anything goes,” JoJo laughed. “I love to play around, I love to get sassy and have that connection with the [Pride] crowds.” And it’s guaranteed with the building anticipation for her new music, the Savannah Pride crowd is eager to connect with JoJo.
JoJo will perform at the Savannah Pride Festival on Saturday September 8th at 9pm. You can follow JoJo on Twitter @Jojoistheway and on Facebook www.facebook.com/JoJo.