It's been six years since Jordin Sparks released Battlefield, but that length of time isn't reflective of her efforts to release new music. The Idol star has been hungry for musical projects, the most recent of which was her #BYEFELICIA mixtape that dropped late last year. Jordin is excited to be working on a new album, but before she even thought about releasing it, she knew that there were experiences she needed to have.
Jordin's world has undergone a lot of change over the past several years, the most public of which was her breakup with longtime boyfriend and "Wiggle" singer Jason Derulo. She's talked about their split countless times, but she's okay with that. "It will always be a part of my story," she admits.
Jordin also ventured into film last year with a role alongside Nicolas Cage in Left Behind. She continues to pursue acting, but right now, music is the priority. In fact, Jordin is so focused on her music, she forgets that she was meant to put herself on tape for an upcoming role.
"And I really wanted that part, too!" she says as she remembers. "Hopefully they'll still give me time," she adds, her disappointment overshadowed by her tireless optimism.
A major change in Jordin's career was her switch in labels from Jive Records to Louder Than Life, where she and Salaam Remi, the label's founder and producer, have been cooking up new music. The album is called Right Here Right Now, and the sound is "pretty music with a bump to it." If you're curious as to what that sound is, #BYEFELICIA is a preview.
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Right Here Right Now is more urban than the pop ballads we're used to hearing from the singer, but it's also more well-rounded.
"There's a '90s R&B influence in there, a pop influence, the rhythmic, urban influence. The overall tone is feelings," she says, noting that she recorded the album before, during, and after "the breakup." Whenever she says "the breakup," she says it with a thud. Jordin knows everyone still talks about her split from Jason, but in her mind, she's far beyond that period of her life, even if it was less than a year ago.
Jordin, 25, is living on her own in Los Angeles, a venture she never thought would happen considering she grew up near her mother, who "lived right around the corner," and her grandmother, who lived "two minutes down the road." Living on her own has done wonders for Jordin's sense of freedom and adventure. She's making new friends, such as Amber Riley of Glee, and finding inspiration while hiking, exploring her neighborhood, and scoping out "go-to" spots.
Her positivity is fueled by her athlete's perspective, a mindset her father, former New York Giant Phillippi Sparks, instilled in her. Jordin cites her parents as the ones who have given her the most important pieces of advice she's ever heard. Her father's advice, in particular, sticks with her. "There's always gonna be somebody coming up behind you to take your spot," she says, repeating her father's wisdom. "Somebody younger, somebody faster, somebody quicker, somebody better. You can't change that. The thing you can work on is you."
And that's what she's been doing. She's lost weight, regained a sense of self via her move to Los Angeles, and she's cleared the bad energy from her tumultuous relationship with Jason. Jordin has moved on, and while it's clear from the way she talks about the breakup that the subject has been exhausted, she's not bitter about it. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
"I wish [Jason] nothing but the best, and I hope he finds somebody that makes him really happy," she says. "'Cause I did."
Stay tuned for the release of Right Here Right Now, which Jordin predicts will get a summer drop.