Jessica Sutta :: Ex-Pussycat Doll shows the world
When you generally hear ex-Pussycat Dolls group member, you immediately think Nicole Scherzinger ("Dancing With The Stars" champ, "X-Factor" judge, pop singer), but if the latest Billboard Club Chart’s #1 "Show Me" is any indication, Jessica Sutta will soon be the other former Pussycat Doll that will come to mind.
As with other girl group members such as Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, and Sarah Dash of LaBelle, many would assume that the supporting members of the Pussycat Dolls, music’s most successful girl group in dance music history, would fall behind in the shadows of the groups more popular lead singer, Scherzinger. But Jessica is out to prove that notion wrong, and her debut single from her forthcoming album "Sutta Pop"(with Hollywood Records) is nodding in the right direction.
Her spot on the top of the dance music charts is not the first time Jessica has been in the spotlight as a soloist. Her #1 dance singles track, "White Lies," produced by Paul Van Dyk, and the #1 club track "Make It Last" with hit remixer Dave Audé were also an indication we were in for more from Sutta. In fact, she credits Dave Aude for being the one to believe in her and help her pursue a solo career in dance music. While taking a minor break from recording in the studio, I chatted with Sutta about her desire to prove herself beyond the success of the Pussycat Dolls, the decision to sign with Hollywood Records (parent company is Disney Music Group), staying humble through all of the group success, and her support for Marriage Equality.
BeBe: I am so excited for you with the latest and debut solo single you have out "Show Me".
Jessica Sutta: Thank you so much! Yeah, it went #1 on the Hot Club Play chart on Billboard.
BeBe: Well, hey, hey, hey!!!
Jessica Sutta: That’s right, hey, hey! I can’t believe it. It’s so cool.
BeBe: You know you can’t go too wrong when you are working with remixers like Dave Aude, Ralphi Rosario, Alex Gaudino and Jason Rooney, right?
Jessica Sutta: I know! You know when I got signed to Hollywood Records, I had been doing dance music for a long time. So, when it came down to the remixes, I knew who I wanted to work with. My remix CD has like eleven remixes on it. It’s unbelievable.
BeBe: I have the "Show Me - Remixes" CD and it is amazing.
Jessica Sutta: Great.
BeBe: You know when I first heard the name of your single from when I interviewed Dave Aude and he mentioned you in the projects he was working on, I kind of read into the title a little bit. I read a little double entendre. Because the song is about you telling a guy that he tells you that he loves you, now you want him to show you. You think the public is doing the same thing to you? In other words, we hear the other members of the Pussycat Dolls outside of Nicole are talented, now ’show me’.
Jessica Sutta: Absolutely! I feel like... that’s such a great question. It’s so awesome. That is the thing when I started to go into my solo career. I was apart of this huge band where we traveled all over the world, and we were famous. But now that I’m branching out with my own solo career, I feel I have to start from the ground up. And, humbly, I do so. The fact that people are open-minded in saying ’you talked the talk, now let’s see you walk the walk’ is amazing. You know what I mean? Because you always get bad things said like they (Pussycat Dolls members) didn’t sing or they were just background dancers. But the truth is during the whole process of the Pussycat Dolls that I started developing as an artist, and learning and going to voice class, and writing. I had a game plan all along for my solo career. So, I’m going to show everyone.
Connecting with her music
BeBe: Exactly, because it is rare that successful groups such as the Pussycat Dolls have multiple members that are very talented (the Beatles are a rare exception). Unfortunately, not all of them get the spotlight. I admire your tenacity for coming out and doing what you want to do and making it happen for yourself.
Jessica Sutta: Thank you.
BeBe: Now, have you always written songs?
Jessica Sutta: I’ve always been a creative writer. I’ve loved writing ever since I was a little girl, but I developed as songwriter since leaving the Pussycat Dolls over the last 2.5 years. It has been exceptional for me with writing because of all the things I have gone through. It’s a humbling experience for me and I’ve fallen in love with it. I’ve been working with other writers which has been helping me."Sutta Pop" my album is cool because I get to describe everything in my life, truly. Everything I talk about in my music I am really connected to. I feel as a writer when you have that ability to do that that people can really connect with you. You have to be honest with your music. If you are putting up a front and acting like you are something that you’re not, they (people) are gonna be able to tell.
BeBe: You mentioned all your success with being part of the most successful dance music group in history with hit records, Grammy nominations, and world travels to boot. And with all that, you had the protection of being apart of a group. Now, you are doing it on your own, honey. Do you feel you’re ready, babe?
Jessica Sutta: I’m more than ready! It’s scary, I’m not going to lie. You can’t hide behind anything. It’s on and it’s all on me. I have to really have thick skin, and I feel that is something I have developed through the years. Luckily I’ve stayed humble through out this whole process, because I feel that is super-important in this (music) industry. Yeah, I’m ready for it. As long as I’m out there speaking to people, to inspire, that’s all I’m interested in.
A life-changing experience
BeBe: You have said the word "humble" a few times already which seems to be extremely important to you. Have there been some experiences along the way that have just totally rubbed you the wrong way?
Jessica Sutta: I just feel there have been people around me that have become famous where their whole attitude changed. They became something (different) and lost respect for other people. I don’t like that.
I learned a couple of years ago living in Los Angeles and seeing the truth behind it (fame). We are all human and are here for a purpose, and if you feel you are better than another person then you have a problem because we are all equal. That’s why I stay humble and stay grounded. I keep people around me that are not just "yes" people. I have people around me that love me and respect me, and they will tell me the truth.
BeBe: You also give back in various ways. I know you re involved with a charity out of India, correct?
Jessica Sutta: New Possibilities. The first time the Pussycat Dolls went to India, I visited this little town called Rishikesh. And basically the charity brings awareness to the children in poverty there by raising money for their schools and change their mindset that they won’t be able to go to college or become a doctor or whatever. This experience completely changed my life. They take classes sitting in rubble sitting on a rug to get their lesson that day. And all they get to eat is an apple, some bread, and dirty milk.
It (the experience) changed my life so much. I think I can spread awareness and help them.
About marrriage equality
BeBe: And I also know you have been a strong supporter of Marriage Equality Acts across the country, not just as a way to support your gay fan base, but because you feel it’s right.
Jessica Sutta: I think it is despicable that people are not allowing everyone to be equal. Growing up all my friends were gay. I’ve seen what they have gone through in their lives with their parents not accepting them, and then they go and fall in love, and they can’t even marry the person that they love. It just bothers me because of someone’s opinion. It’s just the same way that segregation was. It’s the same thing. It’s 2011! Wake up. Who are we to judge? It makes me very disgusted.
BeBe: I can tell you are very passionate about it, which is really, really cool.
Jessica Sutta: It bothers me that someone can have such opinions about another person’s life.
BeBe: Now tell me how Hollywood Records (Joe Jonas, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez) came along?
Jessica Sutta: My manager, Andre Recke (Boo Management), used to manage Hilary Duff and had a good relationship with Hollywood Records. Hollywood Records was on top of my wish list for labels I wanted to work with. They are the best match for me. They are smart, they’re good people, and I just love them all.
Heart in dance music
BeBe: I know your heart is in dance music because number one, you are from Miami; number two, you’ve trained in dance for so long. But on your upcoming album "Sutta Pop" any ballads or other genres?
Jessica Sutta: It’s interesting because in making my album one of the things that was really important was to make sure that the album was a reflection of me. And the music that is coming out of it has R&B flavor, pop music, and dance influence. It’s great that music is not just one thing anymore, and that is sort of where my album’s going. There are so many difference influences because that is who I am. My personal tastes in music are all well rounded. I don’t just listen to one thing. But when comes down to remixes, I definitely have a hand in that because that’s my world.
BeBe: Another facet of you can definitely be seen in your music video for "Show Me". When I see you in the video, I can see you tackling some onscreen film stuff in the future. Is that something you’d like to delve into?
Jessica Sutta: Oh, thank you. Absolutely! I would love, love, love to do film. Another passion of mine is acting. So, yes, definitely.
Okay, y’all. Just like I went out on a limb when I first interviewed Lady Gaga a month after "Just Dance" was released and predicted that she was going to be "the star" amongst stars, I will say that Jessica Sutta will be "the pussycat" amongst the Dolls we know as ex-Pussycats. I’m taking bets!
Jessica Sutta will be performing her new #1 Club Play single "Show Me" on Saturday, November 13 at Tom Whitman presents Super Cherry Pop at Ultra Suede/Factory in West Hollywood www.tomwhitmanpresents.com. She next appears at Roscoes Tavern in Chicago on Friday, November 18, 2011.
For more on Jessica’s upcoming CD and to learn of upcoming tour dates, visit her website.
As an actress, BeBe was introduced to film with a lead role in the independent film "Under One Sun" with her character dealing with religious, racial and gender issues. Additionally, she appeared in the campy musical "Devious, Inc" (Australian Film Festival, San Francisco Short Film Fest) also adding additional vocals to the musical soundtrack. Both of these performances led to her selection for a lead role in Aisha Media’s next short film series, "Con-tin.u.um" to be released in 2012.