Jordin Sparks turned 25 today and, if our chat with the gorgeous and immensely talented star is any indication, it may be her best year yet. Check out these eight tidbits about her upcoming album and you’ll be a believer, too.
1. #ByeFelicia and Right Here, Right Now are one and the same
Well, essentially. When asked if there was a difference between the mix tape that has been garnering so much buzz and her album, slated for release next year, Sparks said, “There will be new music on the album that you haven’t heard — the mix tape only has some snippets of some songs, so we’re going to put some full-length versions on the album, as well. And there will be some songs on the mix tape that aren’t on the album, too.”
2. Don’t worry, ladies — she hasn’t forsaken the ballad
If we were judging by what we’re hearing on #ByeFelicia, we might assume Sparks’ entire album will be filled with the same sort of base-heavy, fun and sometimes-vibey records. But don’t fret. “Listen, I didn’t forget my ballads,” she assured us. “I can’t forget about those! I love to do them, so there’s definitely some on there, as well.
3. This “new” music isn’t new to her
A ton of the feedback surrounding #ByeFelicia has centered around how different the sound is for Sparks. And, sure, it’s definitely not the stuff 2009’s Battlefield was largely made of.
“It’s different for everybody else because they remember my last album, but this rings so true to me! I’m jammin’ in my car all the time to music like this — I’m dancing to it all the time, me and my friends are dancing to it,” she said. “I just want to have a really, really good time, and I hope that people feel that through the music and that they’re able to feel the emotion, too.”
4. She’s completely shaken things up since 2009’s Battlefield
There’s a very logical reason her music sounds different than it did in 2009: because it is. Although she never stopped making music following Battlefield‘s release, she did have what she calls “a couple of obstacles” to get past. Now, she’s with a different producer on a different label, and it shows.
“It’s just been so amazing to get to have somebody in my corner,” she said. “His name is Salaam Remi — I’m on his imprint, Louder Than Life — and he was one of the first people who asked me, ‘Well, what do you want to say? What do you want it to sound like?’ And to be able to have, like, 100 percent freedom like I’ve had this go-round, I really feel I’m in such a great place.”
5. Right Here, Right Now is one of her New Year’s resolutions
Did you know that the more people you tell a New Year’s resolution to, the more likely you are to keep it? Such is a fact Sparks became acutely aware of when she teamed up with Microsoft Lumia for #MakeItHappen — a campaign through which the company makes people’s resolutions come true every day of December.
And for her, music is the No. 1 goal coming into 2015. “With the new album coming out, I’m hoping my resolution is to just keep my head screwed on,” she said, laughing. “And also, I’m really excited to go back out on tour and to see my fans.”
6. It’s not all set in stone
Although Sparks has a roster of songs set to be on the album, she isn’t carving any in stone just yet. “If I find a song or I write a song that happens to be better than something that I think is going on the album, I could switch it out. So that means there could also potentially be more or less,” she confessed. In the end, it’s all about creating the best album possible for her fans.
7. She’s got some killer collabs in the works
Have you been digging the vibe on “Double Tap” with 2 Chainz as much as we have? Well, then you’ll likely be as stoked as we were to hear she still has some collaborations up her sleeve. “I do have some collaborations that are being worked on right now,” she said. “Like, we’re waiting for them to either lay down their verse or sing their part, so we’ve got some great stuff coming.”
And she isn’t ruling new collaborations out, either, teasing, “You never know!” You hear that, Taylor Swift? We’re banking on you and Sparks becoming besties this year anyway.
8. She isn’t letting breakup drama distract her
Chatting with Sparks, we were blown away by how amazing she looks, how great she sounds and how infectiously happy she is. (Jason Derulo, who?) Truth: She really seems to be coming into her own.
“Oh, my gosh, thank you for saying that, thank you!” she said. “It’s crazy, because I named my album Right Here, Right Now and I think that phrase applies more in my life than it ever has. I’m having fun right here, right now. I’m putting out this music right here, right now. I’m coming into my own right here, right now. I’m coming into my womanhood right here, right now. Everything!”