Going solo: Jessica Sutta talks success after Pussycat Dolls
Thu. June 13, 2013 by Jerry Nunn
The gay community had such a strong following for us. I fell even more in love with the gay community after that but I have always been in love with them.
jessica sutta performs at roscoe's in boystown
Jessica left the pop group, which is known for a string of hits including "Don't Cha", "When I Grow Up" and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny), in 2010.
Stepping out from the shadow of the band that made her famous, the 30-year-old redhead singer continues to forge a successful solo career and recently released her new single, "Again" from her debut album Sutta Pop. The debut single "Show Me" hit number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Chart.
The rising solo singer returns to Chicago to perform at Pride Fest on Sat. June 22.
ChicagoPride.com's Jerry Nunn talked to Jessica after her most recent Chicago performance at Roscoe's Tavern.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Jessica. Start off with your background.
JS: (Jessica Sutta) I'm originally from Miami.
JN: What is your nationality?
JS: I'm Irish.
JN: How did your family wind up in Miami?
JS: I believe they took a boat to America. [laughs] I think they are originally from New York then moved to Miami. That is where I was raised.
JN: I know you have been too Chicago a few times before this.
JS: So many times, I love Chicago. Actually when I was asked to do this show at Roscoe's I lost my voice I was so excited. This is such an alive city with all the Chicago house music. This is really the life source of house music. I might be searching for that tonight.
JN: Tell our readers about being involved with the Pussycat Dolls in the first place.
JS: I moved to Los Angeles in 2003. I just got off a soap opera called Ocean Avenue where Megan Fox played my little sister. I played a gothic teenage who turned into a singer in the show. It was funny how it projected where I would go in life. So I moved to LA to act and my first job was with Smokey Bear. Yes, the one to prevent forest fires.
JN: I know Smokey, well not personally.
JS: Me either! [laughs]
JN: You were setting fires downstairs here in the club.
JS: Thank you very much. So Robin Antin was the choreographer and we just hit it off on set. She told me to cut my bangs and be in the Pussycat Dolls the next week. When I started in the Pussycat Dolls it was about 50 girls. I had a great time. Carmen Electra was the lead. I didn't know where it was going to turn.
JN: Was Nicole Scherzinger in the group then?
JS: No, not at the time. She is an extraordinary lead singer. We couldn't have had a better one. Melody came in and we formed into a six-girl band. We were presented "Don't Cha" and overnight it was a success. My whole life completely changed.
JN: What did you learn the most from being in the band?
JS: It was boot camp because I was this normal girl from the suburbs of Miami then overnight turned into a pop star. That is when singing became part of my heart and I started developing it.
JN: When did you break away and do your own thing?
JS: When Nicole started doing her solo album I started working with Paul Van Dyk. I did a song called "White Lies" that went number one. I shot a video for it and just love him. I'm a house head. I love house music! I then did a song with David Aude in that style. I have always been around house music so when we broke up I knew exactly where I was going. In the moment for me I was developing as an artist, not as a back up singer or dancer. I was the first person to break away from the Pussycat Dolls, which was a very hard situation.
JN: It's just like Geri Halliwell when she left the Spice Girls.
JS: Oh my god, she's a red head too! What is up with these gingers? I guess the red head goes into the brain.
JN: Well, that was a good move.
JS: Thank you. They are talking about reforming the group, which is amazing, because going in we knew it would be an ongoing brand and we would be replaced. Honestly for me it was a platform.
The gay community had such a strong following for us. I fell even more in love with the gay community after that but I have always been in love with them. They were the reason that the Pussycat Dolls were huge. I will never forget it. I owe a lot to the gay community.
I hope they reform the group and it travels the world because it has such a beautiful meaning with female empowerment. That is what I try to express in my music. Not only is it about female empowerment but embodying who you are. My platform as an artist is gay rights. I say it is my benevolent duty as a human being to stand for the LGBT community because I feel that our generations have been completely wired to think other than what is right and wrong. They are wired into thing that something is not right so they need to fight against it. For me as an adult now and doing my music, I am standing for the awareness to show these parents that they are wrong. It is the same thing with segregation with women and blacks. We are now going through that with gays right now. The majority of my friends are gay. I can't help it. I have a thing for gay men! For me I think it is so powerful for me to stand for that community.
JN: We appreciate the support.
JS: Well, I appreciate the love and support that I have. In middle school I always had a hard time in life and in middle school. I was the outcast so all of my friends were gay because they felt like the outcasts. We just bonded together.
JN: Why did you feel like the outcast?
JS: I was an artist and eccentric. I didn't fit in and didn't understand the cattiness. I created a friendship with my gay friends. I have been friends with some of them since I was ten.
JN: Who is your gay best friend?
JS: Danilo. He is the love of my life. If I could marry him I would [laughs]. We actually talk about because we could both have boyfriends on the side!
JN: What music do you have coming out?
JS: I have a new single called "Again." It is on iTunes. I wrote the song. I am writing all of my music now. It is all about my life.
JN: What distinguishes you from the Pussycat Dolls to a solo act?
JS: When you listen to my music, you know who I am. "Again" is about the repetitive cyclone of energy that you get into when bad mistakes are made over and over again. Everyone does it with bad relationships or bad lifestyle choices. I am trying to shed light into that. I also wrote a song called "Lights Out," which is my next single. It's a banger.
JN: Do people follow your new music on Twitter?
JS: Yes, @IamJessicaSutta and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jessicasutta.
JN: What are you doing this summer, maybe some Pride events?
JS: I am doing so many Pride events. I will be in San Diego and St. Louis for their Prides. To me Pride has become such an event and we see everyone come together as a community. We are in the forefront of such a huge change. I'm all about that. I'm about love and freedom to who you want to be. I am coming back to Chicago in June.
JN: Amen, sister!
JS: I will be performing my new single "Lights Out" so people better come out, heyyy!
JN: We need to get you on a float.
JS: I want to do a hula hoop while I am on a float.
JN: Can you hula hoop?
JS: Not really but I will practice my ass off!
Jessica Sutta perform her new single "Again" and a number of other tracks from her debut album Sutta Pop at Chicago Pride Fest at 4:30 p.m. on Sat., June 22. Chicago Pride Fest is Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. The 44th Annual Chicago Pride Parade is Sunday, June 30. For more on Chicago's Pride events in June visit the ChicagoPride.com Pride Guide. Follow ChicagoPride.com on Twitter @GoPride.
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