“My ultimate goal is to be one of the best female entertainers ever, like those I watched growing up,” she says with a glowing confidence. “You have to always be ahead of what you do and reach ahead and push yourself forward to be better.”
Her highly anticipated third album, Fantasy Ride is a testament to her growth. As evidenced in the sensual videos for the Polow Da Don-crafted hit, “Never Ever” (with Young Jeezy) and the smash single, “Love Sex Magic,” with Justin Timberlake (who also co-produced the track), she is boldly demonstrating her womanhood and sexuality without apology.
“I am taking my fans on a virtual fantasy ride through music and my life. I have changed since my last album, but it’s essentially the same Ciara, but with added elements and spice,” she says of the new album, most of which she co-wrote and co-executive-produced. “Look at the first two singles. They both are extensions of who I am and yet so different. ‘Never Ever’ is very warm and ‘Love Sex Magic’ is aggressive. Both are sides of me and there is so much more to share. It’s all a part of the Fantasy Ride.”
Boasting an impressive array of hit makers— including label-mate Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Missy Elliot, Danja, Dr. Luke, Tricky Stewart and The Dream—Fantasy Ride mixes Ciara’s trademark R&B and hip-hop thunder with a seducing dash of clever pop.
Ciara Princess Harris is an Austin, Texas-born self-described army brat who lived in Germany and California before settling in Atlanta, Georgia. The ambitious, self-starter scored a publishing deal when she was barely out of high-school. After a brief stint in a girl group, she ventured out on her own and teamed with noted producers Jazze Pha and Lil Jon, resulting in the # 1 hit, “Goodies” and the 3.5 million-selling worldwide debut effort of the same name. The album also produced two other #1 singles, “1,2 Step” with Missy Elliot and “Oh” with Ludacris. Other successful collaborations include the Top 5 hits “Lose Control” with Elliot (from her album The Cookbook) — for which the two won a Grammy for “Best Short Form Video”— and “Like You” with Bow Wow (from his album Wanted). She also enjoyed a Top 10 hit with “So What” with southern hip-hop duo Field Mob.
Her sophomore effort, Ciara: The Evolution, which sold 1.7 million albums worldwide, continued the hit parade yielding the #1 single, “Promise” and the Top 10 smashes, “Like A Boy” and “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone” with 50 Cent.
In addition to winning a Grammy in 2006, she’s received three other Grammy nominations so far and has won a litany of awards, including a World Music Award for “Best Selling Female R&B Artist”, two MTV Video Music Awards, two BET Awards, a Soul Train “Entertainer of the Year Award,” a VIBE award and five esteemed ASCAP Songwriting Awards. She has toured with superstar Gwen Stefani and is slated to tour this summer with label-mate Britney Spears on the pop superstar’s Circus Tour in Europe.
Ciara is ready for the world to join her on her journey. “Goodies was the crawl. Ciara: The Evolution was the walk. Now, I am running,” she says.
Fantasy Ride is now out in CDs under Sony Music.
Video credits: Jimmy Kimmel Live