Alexis Jordan seemed to appear out of nowhere with last October’s dance hit ‘Happiness’. Her new single ‘Good Girl’ is out this week, with her self-titled debut album following on Monday (28th February.) Here’s what she had to say for herself when we had a chinwag earlier this week.
You featured on America’s Got Talent when you were just 14. For the uninitiated, please tell us a little bit about what happened next.
Of course I didn’t win the show [but] I was very grateful to get that experience. After that, I started to put up YouTube videos and at first I didn’t want to do it. My mom was the one who was like, “Come on, let’s just try it, it can’t hurt to try it.” From there StarRoc – which is Stargate and Jay-Z – saw me on YouTube and signed me. And I was very very happy and excited. At the time I was 16 years old.
How would you describe your debut album and which are your favourite tracks?
I would describe my album as very universal, I have songs on there that tell a story in every single song and I like that about my album. For example, ‘Happiness’ is talking about finding love in yourself before you find it in someone else.‘Good Girl’ is telling you you can better yourself, even if your past isn’t as good as your present. One of my favourite songs on the album is ‘Habit’ and ‘Love Mist’ of course… ‘How You Like Me Now’, I want to say my whole album is great. I’m very excited.
‘Happiness’ is a big dance tune and so is the follow up ‘Good Girl’. How did the sound come about?
It came to me from Stargate and this songwriter, Autumn. They were like “We have this song for you Alexis,” and I was like, “Play it for me.” I was like, “Turn it up, turn it up!”, and we recorded it in less than hour. I love the sound, it sounds so clean and crisp.
Can you tell us a bit more about some of the songs?
‘Good Girl’ is about a girl who has a little naughty side. She wants to be a good girl for this guy and loves the way he treats her. It’s a girl’s anthem; your past shouldn’t matter how you’re going to be in the future.
‘Habit’ and ‘Love Mist’ are both my favourite, they’re hardcore attitude songs. So are ‘How You Like Me Now’ and ‘Shout Shout’ [which uses a sample of Tears For Fears] and High Road. [Sings] “I’m walking in the club, with my high heels on…”
The UK is the first market to release your album, rather than the US. How does it feel to be starting out in Europe, and what are your plans for America?
I feel very blessed to start from Europe. And hopefully in the summer we’ll go to the US and build and build and build.
You featured on ‘Together’ with Tinchy Stryder. How did that come about?
RocNation [artist management company founded by Jay-Z] manage Tinchy and they were like, “Alexis, there’s this song and you would sound great together on it.” It’s just a fun and light-hearted song. I loved it.
Who else would you like to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with Kanye West, because his music is so unique.
Dance is very on-trend at the moment, though your album is quite evenly split between dance and a more acoustic / ballad-driven sound. What direction do you see your music taking in the future?
I feel like my music will travel from not only dance, but also hopefully into country. I don’t want to be put in a box, so not just only dance songs, but also r&b, pop or even strong, Whitney Houston-type songs.
One song on the album, ‘Say That’, I feel it has that country vibe with the guitar. Andit would be great to cross over to country. I love Taylor Swift. She’s a really great country artist, and not only is it totally relatable, but it’s also crossing over to the pop-side, because it’s relatable to the whole world.
In ‘Good Girl’ you sing “I can be a good girl, but I’ve been bad before”. What’s the baddest thing you’ve ever done?
The baddest thing I’ve done? Oh, I’m really a good girl. The baddest thing I’ve done, is probably cheat on a test at school. I’m a really good, good, girl. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink or have any tattoos.
Well, you have plenty of time to cover your body in tattoos.
Maybe the naughty side will come out later…
Good Girl – Alexis Jordan
Alexis Jordan’s new single ‘Good Girl’ is out this week and her self-titled debut album is out February 28th.
Video: Hurts ‘Sunday’