With just two singles, the number 1 smash "Goodies" and the follow up "1 2 Step", behind her it seems like Ciara has already entered the surreal world of the tabloid gossip. "Ciara's a hermaphrodite!!! Ciara's Pregnant!!! Ciara's going out with Bow Wow (the artist formerly known as Lil' Bow Wow, which we're presuming entitles us to call him Big Wow Wow next time we see him)" scream the gossip columns across the web. Designer Magazine's Alex McCann side-stepped the gossip and talked to Ciara about being an army brat, getting crunked up and how's she's rapping on Missy Elliotts new record.

Q: You spend your formative years of your life travelling from city to city and country to country as what you describe as an "army brat"
A: Up until the age of 8 I was travelling and it was 14 when I decided to do music. I'm definitely an independent person and it opened up my mind so much as to the type of person I am. It made we want to try different things, it makes me want to explore more and it informs me who I am as a person.

Q: Living over in Europe in Germany did it make it more important for you as an artist to make your name over here as well as in the States
A: You know what, I think it's important period. Even if I didn't live there, it would still be important to me. You know, it's very meaningful to have fans all over the world. It's means so much to me, yer know, I think it's important regardless of whether I lived there or not

Q: Were you surprised at the success of Goodies?
A: You know what. I definitely believed in the record when we were writing it, but I didn't know it would go to number 1 as fast as it did in America. I definitely was caught of guard with it being number 1 in the UK. That was just amazing to me even though I believed it was a hit record.

Q: "Goodies" was the second ever crunk'n'b song. For those people that haven't signed up for the crunk revolution, would you like to explain what it is?
A: When I define Crunk Music I define it as the heavy metal of hip hop. It's high energy music and I think what makes a crunk record a genuine crunk record is like for example if Lil Jon produces it. Lil Jon is the King of Crunk and he's know for making that crunk music and that crunk beat and that crunk sound. So when you add R&B to it you make this high energy crunk'n'b.

Q: So you're the Queen of Crunk'n'B then?
A: No. I don't like being called the Queen of Crunk'n'B, nor the Princess or the Lady of Crunk'n'B. I've only got one Crunk'n'B song on my album, but I guess people want to give me that the title for some reason. I'm definitely not the queen of crunk

Q: As you said earlier, you've only been in the business since you were 14. It must have been a mad journey
A: It's been crazy. I've had my bad experiences and good ones. All of them have made me a much stronger and wiser person. It's made me who I am today and there's so much more that I have to learn, but it's definitely been a journey for me. At the end of the day i've enjoyed it and look what's happening to me now. It's been a great journey, it's a blessing.

Q: Before you went solo you were actually in a girl group. What happened there?
A: I went to audition for the group and there was actually a girl who went for the same spot who'd been in a profession big recording group before. It was a funny thing because I got the position over her and i'd never had vocal training. I was just singing off natural talent. We were together for a little bit and we started to have differences. I just decided that going solo was what I wanted to do and what would be best for me. At first I was interested in doing the group situation, but then eventually I realized that being solo was what I really wanted to do. It's just easier when it's one.

Q: At the time you started singing you were rapping as well
A: Well, I used to rap around and play around outside in the neighbourhood with my friends, but I never went and recorded rap records or anything like that. I used to do a bit of freestyling which was fun. It was crazy. Missy made me rap on this song. It's crazy because I'm so shy when it comes to that. But she got me to do it. If you've got Missy digging what you do it must be good. She's incredible. I can't even remember the freaking songtitle at the moment, but it's gonna be her first single back and it's about how music makes you lose control.

Q: Some of the people you've worked with on the album - R Kelly, Ludacris etc
A: Missy...Lil Jon...Jazzy. It's been crazy. It's been a blessing yer know. All the people are so talented and they've been around for so long and to know that they believe in me as an artist and to know that they were interested in working with me means so much to me.

Q: When you sit down on a day off and look back you must think "19 and i've done all this"?
A: I definitely think about how blessed I am. I appreciate everything that has happened to me and that is happening to me. Especially at this age. I do realize that a lot of people don't even get half as much as what i've had happen to me almost for their whole lives. I pray for a long career and strive for longevity.

Q: And I guess that's why you've co-wrote most of the songs on the album. Do you think it's important for an artist to write their own songs
A: For me I like to be involved in my record just because I want my music to reflect who I am as a person as much as possible. I think it's very important that I give people the real me. And because I love writing. Writing is something i've been blessed with, i've been blessed with this talent to write. It's great to have that talent under your belt, but I don't think that everybody has to be a writer though.

Q: Would you consider writing for other artists?
A: For sure. I've actually done it before. There was a song that I wrote when I was 15 that Mya loved so she used it for her album. And I also had a song on The Proud Family Soundtrack, it was on the America Idol featuring Alicia Key's (but Alicia Keys wasn't on the record). I've also done a song for Fantasia's album called "Keep Me Waiting", a song I wrote with Jermaine Dupri.

Q: You sing, you write, you dance, you rap - is there anything you can't do?
A: Oh my goodness. There are some things I can't do, but i'm working on the things you wouldn't expect. I'm working on a clothes line at the moment, but I don't wanna tell you much cos someone will then go and get that idea. It's gonna be hot though.

...and at that point as if someone was looking down on us the fire alarm sounds in the hotel and we're ushered out on to the streets of London. Ciara - the girl who's so damn hot she set alarm bells off!!!


Ciara Answers Fan Submitted Questions

Ciara is the 18 year old singer whose two songs “Goodies” and “1-2 Step” have become two of the most popular songs of 2004. Ciara, who is known as the princess of Crunk N B (which is a hybrid of crunk and R&B), is not only a remarkable dancer, she is also a very good singer and a song writer. Ciara took time out from her busy, busy schedule to answer a few questions that Bella Teen readers submitted.

Ciara’s debut album “Goodies” is in store now. The entire album is hot start to finish. Don’t sleep on this album, get it today! Also, keep requesting “1-2 Step” at radio and on TRL and 106 and Park.

Were the little girls in the “Goodies” video your sisters or cousins?
Ciara-Well there was only one little girl and that was my sister. Her name is Maysi.

Were you ever a background singer or background dancer before your record deal?
Ciara--I did dancing, but never background dancing. I did dancing in the stadium, I was always doing everything, not really singing though.

Now that you are famous, do you notice that your old friends treat you the same or do they act differently towards you?
Ciara--Well I say my old associates. They change the game up on you. I don’t have too many friends, but the friends I have they are still the same.

What would you tell young girls to look out for as far as getting into show business?
Ciara--Umm…the most important thing is to stay focused. Watch out for shady people, I can say that much.

What do you want for Christmas?
Ciara--Uhhh my two front teeth (laughing). Love. I appreciate all the love to give and receive love. I love all the fans, everyone that shows me love I try to do everything I can sign autographs take pictures, I try to do as much as I can.


Ciara Interview

Ciara is doing her thing. This 18 year old singer/songwriter, dance phenomenon has literally caught the music industry off guard. No one expected this young singer to blow up in the major way that she has. Her debut single "Goodies," held down the number one spot for more than 6 weeks earlier this year. "Goodies" was such a catchy song, some people were speculating that Ciara might be a one hit wonder (remember that song from last year Uh-Oh…right), but no no. Miss Ciara bounced right back with "1-2 Step " featuring Missy Elliot. "1-2 Step" raced up the Billboard chart before the video hit the airwaves good.

Ciara is a very busy young woman. The day of our interview, the time was changed because I was informed Ciara was rehearsing late the night before. When my interview time rolled around I was informed I would have 4-5 minutes to talk with Ciara. Yikes! 4-5 minutes to do two interviews! Ciara was a trooper and so was I. We got most of the questions answered. You can check out my Bella Teen Ciara interview here.

How long before you were signed did your record actually come out?
Ciara-Almost a year and a half.

Was "1-2 Step" always going to be the second single?
Ciara-Yes. That is what I wanted to be the second single. Some people at the label felt stronger about another record, but I always knew "1-2 Step" was the second single. We had to go in and fix it and then it was like, this is the record, hands down.

Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Ciara-No, I love them all of them all.

I like "Ooh Baby."
Ciara-That's nice. Thank you.

My three year old loves "Pick Up The Phone."
Ciara-Really, thank you. That's cute.

What are your favorite cities to visit?
Ciara-Ooooh…L.A. Miami.

That's hot.
Ciara-Yeah. Uh huh. I would definitely have to say the U.K.

Do you like to shop? If so what are your favorite things to shop for?
Ciara-Yes, I so like shopping. I am impatient though. I will go to the mall and in 30 minutes be ready to go. The good stuff will have to be right in my face. It is so soothing to see those racks of clothes. Sometimes the good stuff is far back in the racks. I also like shopping for shoes. I love shoes.

In the current S2S Magazine, you mention that if you were an artist you would be in college. Down the road do you see yourself still going to college?
Ciara-Oh yes, I'm definitely going to college.

Have you starting thinking about or writing for your next album?
Ciara-Yes, I have studio time in January, February and March.

How did you get into songwriting?
Ciara-It was just something that came from the heart and mind. I think I came up with some good melodies and a few months later…..

Have you ever considered modeling or acting?
Ciara-Yes both. Actually, I was doing the modeling before I got into music.

Do you have any tour plans coming up?
Ciara-Definitely. Big plans. Working on them now.

Do you ever get star struck when you meet other celebrities?
Ciara-Ummmm star struck, I don't want to say that. I can't say it doesn't catch me off guard. It's just reality. It's like oh my goodness. This is crazy. When I met Patti Labelle, oh my goodness she is somebody I really respected it was like whoa and really showed me how blessed I am.

How are you doing with being a celebrity and getting recognized and everything?
Ciara-Ummm …you know I'm pretty much the same person. I take it for what it is. I love the fans. I appreciate it


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