Man, choreography can be criminal. If you let Bey stans tell it, Ciara is the mastermind behind a covert (and treacherously crunk) operation. Apparently, the 23-year-old singer was so desperate to duplicate Beyonce's success with her latest video, the Timberlake-fueled “Love Sex Magic,” that she managed to infiltrate Beyonce's wardrobe — jacking animal-print catsuits, window treatment-inspired shades, and blond afro wigs left and right. The Queen of Crunk & B even recruited an insider from Mrs. Carter’s camp — a shady backup dancer/informant — to feed her stolen moves.
Shame on Ciara for such unoriginal artistry. I mean Bey, you are an original. Duh. Just look at “Like A…” er, “If I Were A Boy.”
Honey caught up with Ciara to set the record straight.
P.S. Anyone even tempted to call Honey a CiCi stan can "kiss my swag." Yeah, I said it…
Honey: The last time we talked you were getting ready for your album to drop. Let's talk about how it got pushed back, why you needed the time, and why you think now is the right time.
Ciara: It’s funny because my album technically only got pushed back one time, and it appears it got pushed back more than one time — at least from what I read and see — mainly because people have been loosely shooting out dates. I’ve consciously not been saying an actual date only because I knew nothing was solid or confirmed. I pushed my album back initially because I wasn’t finished recording when I released the first record. So as I kept recording, records kept getting better and better and everything started to feel like it was really coming together for me. We released a song way too fast. You know, that can happen. On my first album, I recorded two of my biggest hit records on the last days of recording while I had one hit single already out. It’s a process that you go through. But with this album, I wanted to approach it a little differently. I wanted to have everything laid out in front of me, because I’m being a bit more creative with this album and I’m taking distinctive direction. I want to make sure I have something on my album for everybody, and setting out more time allowed me to do that. That’s mainly why the day is now way later than the initial first date. We just put it up too early — we weren’t quite finished with the project.
Is there any real difference in the album? Has it evolved to something else?
Oh, my gosh — totally. It’s what I envisioned and more. I just feel really good about it. I feel really proud of it, because it’s been a journey for me. Making this record, going through a process of releasing a song and not being finished...It’s been a cool process because I’m learning so much and I’m very, very proud of the work. It’s everything that I wanted it to be and more.
So it’s the same album concept — Fantasy Ride?
That’s never changed. You’re still going on a fantasy ride through music, and you’re definitely going to get to learn a little more about me this go 'round.
We’re obsessed with the new video over at Honey. So hot.
Oh, yay! Thank you so much.
(We try to practice the pole stuff.)
You guys are crazy. Thank you so much.
Do you feel like you’re getting unfair flack for showing skin? Your peers don’t seem to get harassed for doing it. I mean, you are grown.
You know, it’s expected. I am growing older, and I think it’s just a different transition for me because people were used to seeing me one way — even my creative ideas. They’re so used to seeing me with one vibe. That’s what this record’s about — showing that there’s a lot more to me that you haven’t seen. There’s a lot more that I want to share. So it’s expected. Whenever you do something different than what people expect you’re going to automatically get, "Oh gosh! What is she doing? We want the old CiCi." Who I am, who you know me as in the beginning has never changed. There are things that feel really good to me and I’m happy to express that.
People are talking about the similarities between Beyonce’s choreography and your choreography. I know what you were going for...
Right, I got inspired by the Vegas show, but go ahead. What do you want to know?
How do you even address that? Have you seen the screen grabs?
I don’t think there’s really anything to address. I think it’s very, very funny. And you know what my response is to that? For the ones that have something negative to say? They must have really enjoyed it that much to go and nitpick it, because it’s something they pulled up and was like, “Yo!” There were a couple of things in there that I’ve never seen. I think that it’s important for us as artists to be original and to create something new, so it would be really silly of me to go and create something you’ve already seen. So not one time were any of my references another artist. My references were clearly inspired from shows that I’ve actually seen. It goes to show how creative we can be and how close the worlds are. I did my first video with my metal outfit. I was inspired by Thierry Mugler. Now, from my understanding, Beyonce is using Thierry Mugler for her tour. It just is what it is. It’s very petty to me. When people nitpick something and they say negative things, my response to that is they really must have liked it that much. They just said, “This just can’t be! We gotta find something!” That’s also the definition of a person having too much time on their hands to do nothing. That’s how I look at that.
The way that music, how everything is going digital — music and magazines and everything — how do you approach your fans? Does it affect the way you approach your fans or your music?
Oh totally. There are just so many opportunities, no, so many platforms now to use to spread messages, to spread music. Digital affects our record sales and all kinds of things now, because things aren’t as exclusive as they used to be or it’s not as limited. It’s so many options. Even down to the option to only buying a single and not buy an album is crazy, and I do believe it alters the sales of the actual records, the actual full albums. You get affected in good and bad ways, because it’s still just great to know that somebody’s into you and into your single. Whatever it is. If they’re buying it, that means something. At least they’re not stealing it.
Is there anything that you would say, physically, about your style or your fashion that’s changed with this new album dropping?
Oh, my gosh! It’s changed in so many ways. Anybody would tell you I’ve always been very stubborn in whatever it is I want to do and I never would try something different, and the Fantasy Ride is about trying something different — doing different hairstyles, doing different outfits, having fun. And my album artwork, I’m excited about. I’m doing a comic book illustration. There’s the superhero character named Super C. You can also call that my new nickname, too. It’s not my alter ego, but it’s who I am. I say that because on stage everything is intensified this go-round, and I’m trying to do a lot of cool things with my body — bend my body, stretch my body in crazy ways — and that’s Super C that’s coming out. And off the stage, I’m always staying focused on whatever it is that I want, and trying to help and just do all the things that I’m driven to do. You also have to get past the haterism, and that’s the inner superhero in me. All of us have a superhero in us; that’s the inner strength that drives you to overcome any obstacles. I’m very proud of that because it’s very real. I realize that more and more each day Super C is really strong. It’s like, “Wait a minute. You will not stop me. I will not let any negative energy or any person stop me and I will continue to let God guide me.” That’s the superhero that’s in me. It’s beyond just the comic book illustrations and the actual artwork. It’s real.
Is there anything you’ve done to prepare for this video besides dancing, like Pilates or anything?
No, I’m actually about to start taking yoga. I really want to because I want to stretch the heck out of my body.
It looks like you’re already pretty much there. (Giggling inappropriately.)
No, it’s fun! I try different things. I mean the dancers that I have are crazy. They’re like ridiculous, like no bones kind of stuff going on. It’s dope though. It’s inspiring; it’s motivating for me.
No. My music. (Ed Note: Of course. What was I thinking!)
Word association really quick. Lipstick or gloss?
Salad or wings?
iPhone or Blackberry?
Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter, I guess. I don’t go on Facebook or Twitter. I think Twitter’s dope though. I think it’s a great thing for my fans, so I’m trying to get into that but it’s really fast-moving for me.
Rock or reggae?
Reality TV or Netflix?
Oh, that’s tough because I like both. Both. Can I say both? (Ed Note: Boo. The game's called "Either, Or.")
Thugged out or clean cut?
Sneaks or stilettos?
Both. (Ed Note: Again, "Either, Or.")
LA or New York?
Both. (Ed Note: Never mind.)