Christina Aguilera Talks About Her 'Back To Basics' Tour (Part 3); Win Her CD
How you doing, Christina?
Christina Aguilera: I'm well. How are you?
I'm cold, but doing OK other than that.
Christina Aguilera: Oh, no.
I've heard that you finally got to meet your idol, Etta James. I'm curious what you talked about with her.
Christina Aguilera: Oh, boy. I did. We did a photo shoot together for In Style actually ran a spread on you know, you and your current artist and their - and their icon. And for her - or for me, she's always been that person, that favorite singer, that amazing vocalist that I'd always looked up to.
And when we sat down together, I was so nervous, because you never know, you know, who's going to have maybe an ego or who's going to be you know, kind of weird or you know, what goes on because every artist is different, but she was so down to earth and so real. And it was so refreshing and so nice to sit down with someone that you admire so much and then their personality just exceeds your expectations. And she was completely that for me.
She - oh, my God, she was just telling me that actually that - she called me an old soul and said that my voice actually reminded her of almost a Janis Joplin to a Dinah Washington and having that old soul - you know, so complimentary. I mean she made my life with her compliments and the things that she had to say. But you know, she also said you know, don't pay attention to any of the negativity out there. You keep doing what you're doing and don't care what other people think. She's like, because every time that you stand up for what you believe in - and these words will stick with me forever - every time you stand up for what you believe in, you're sticking up for so many artists before you that never had that opportunity or that chance to speak up for themselves. So, it's a really stand up thing what you're doing, but - because I always do try and voice my opinions of you know, where my headspace is at, what I'm thinking in general and I think a lot of artists shy away from that because they're afraid of what other people might think of them. And it was just so inspiring to hear that, not only from another woman, but a woman that, you know, lived at a time whenever artists didn't have any say-so over anything. And to hear that from her mouth and say that she was proud of me for doing what I'm doing, was such a huge compliment. It will stick with me forever. And we had such an amazing time on that shoot. We actually got to sing together and - amazing woman. Can't say enough about her.
From your - from your birthplace of (Shaolin) no less. How are you?
Christina Aguilera: Very good. Thank you.
I wanted to ask you, you know, I know that you've already talked a little bit about sort of how this new record and the tour is in a lot of ways a throwback to some of the jazz of the '20s, '30s and '40s and stuff like that. And I'm sure that you love your band and that you would never replace them with anyone of course. But I'm wondering if you could pick somebody from that era to be your band leader for this tour of North America, who might it be?
Christina Aguilera: Wow, that's a really interesting question. I've never been asked that before. Oh, my God, so many. Just one, oh man. It might be between two people - Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. That would be amazing.
Hi Christina, how are you?
Christina Aguilera: Hi.
Just wanted to know, when you're singing the lyrics to these standard songs, what does it - what do they say to you as opposed to doing a straight up pop song?
Christina Aguilera: You mean a song of old?
Christina Aguilera: Oh, God. There's a - there's just a feeling about it - a quality that's so authentic to anything that we - I think now, can create, really.
Christina Aguilera: Just because the style of recording was so different back then. Everybody sat in a room together, recorded it live, everybody together as a band. Nowadays, you know, you're lucky if you see another musician that even played on your record half the time, which was actually the cool thing about what I did with Linda [Perry], because we did have those moments where I sat in the room with the other musicians and we recorded the music that way. Which I - which I think is apparent on the disc, too.
Christina Aguilera: If you really listen …
Christina Aguilera: ... you can notice that. But, that's what so great, I think about the old music, is that it definitely came across with such authenticity that you can't - you can't get today because you just, you know, technology has advanced itself so much you just don't get that sound anymore.
OK. Thank you.
Christina Aguilera: Yes, sure.
Hey Christina, that guy from (Shallyn) totally stole my question.
Christina Aguilera: Oh, no, are you kidding?
No, I'm just kidding. Now, you came out the same year that Britney Spears came out - and this is not a Britney Spears question …
Christina Aguilera: OK.
... but when she kind of quickly burned through four albums and like a greatest hits package, it seems like your career's been so much better managed. I'm just wondering, you know, how much of that has been like a conscious effort to like hold back material, avoid quick flame out and really kind of go, you know, establish yourself as a career artist as opposed to somebody who's going to, you know, just a quick flame out …
Christina Aguilera: Right.
… if it were.
Christina Aguilera: Well, for me, you know, it's always - I noticed early on that a lot of the people around me that did come out at the same time, during that pop explosion that I talked about earlier. You know, they kept putting out things so quickly and I never wanted to rush through something because going into this business, I knew that I wanted to be here for a long time. And I didn't want to burn out right away, you know, not making any comparison with anyone else, but just saying you know, for me, myself, you know growing up where you do see the Debbie Gibsons burn and you see people just well come and go so often.
You know, I did want to make a conscious effort and choice early on to make sure that it was about the quality and not the quantity. And that was a term that I'd always said to myself from the minute that I came out because people were spitting out records so quickly around me, especially in the pop world where you are pushed by the label as well so, it's not completely the artist's fault.
But for me, you know, and that's why I made the "Stripped" record and thank God I was able to be in the position to do it with the success of the first, but it's really keeping that focus for me. You know, I really have a game plan for myself, I know where I want to end up many, many years from now and I'm extremely determined. I have a drive in me that's been with me since a really, really young age and I've been doing this.
I mean, people think that your career almost starts from the minute you get you know, truly successful, but for me, I've been - I've been doing this and making a living really for myself in this business since I was six or seven years old. I've been singing, you know, I started locally and going on. So, it's been instilled in me at a young age that this is what I want to do even when I became a teenager, I wasn't completely that boy-crazy person, like I really kept my focus. And I think that's just why I was able to just you know, stay in it and keep, I hope putting out quality work and that comes from the heart.
Hi, how are you?
Christina Aguilera: I'm good. How are you?
I'm doing well. It sounds like this was quite a challenge to work on this all in between writing such a personal album, the different things that went on with the video shoots. What do you think was the biggest challenge of either promoting this record or writing this record?
Christina Aguilera: Jeez, I think everything's a challenge nowadays. It's crazy. You know, I was so excited to finally be done with this record because I never ever in a million years went in to making this a double album or thinking that it would be. It just happened to be that way, because what I was getting on the Linda Perry side was so different from the A side what I was getting from Premiere and other beat makers. So, I just - but I had - I was so into both worlds that I had to give my audience and my fans the best of both worlds. So, I really took my time in diving into that world. So, I mean sometimes I just thought, my God, can I just end this already, you know. It was just long and I had to record it while I was planning my wedding, so there was such chaos involved in just all the everyday details that went into everything, because I'm extremely detail oriented and as I mentioned before, an extreme perfectionist. So, you can imagine, between a wedding and an extremely important and personal album for me, it was - it was a lot on my plate. So, I think the promoting it was much easier than actually recording it and everything.
And towards the end, I was just like, OK, almost there, almost there. You know, so I think I was just so excited to finally have a - you know having finally finished it and accomplished something I was really proud of - I was just ready to promote it and just talk about it finally.
Yes, hi again. I want to go back to something you just mentioned briefly and I've seen it - I've seen Linda Perry talk a little bit about this in an article where you talked about having a vision for years down the road and a real idea of where this is going - or where you want it to go …
Christina Aguilera: Right.
... and I haven't really seen you explain very much about what your vision is a little bit longer term.
Christina Aguilera: Right.
-Click here for Part 1 of the chat transcript.
-Click here for Part 2 of the chat transcript.
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