Ciara Princess Harris can sing, write music and act. Earlier this year, the 22-year-old released her second album, The Evolution. Fresh from the "Screamfest '07" Tour with T.I., T-Pain, and Yung Jock, Ciara is getting ready to promote her upcoming film role in Mama, I Want To Sing! starring opposite Patti Labelle. Ciara talked with VOA's Larry London about her role in today's R&B music scene and her latest success.
Twenty-two-year-old Ciara exploded onto the music scene in 2004 branding a unique sound, called "Crunk and B".
Ciara signed her first record contract as a teenager with the hopes of a number one single. Her infectious dance moves and sultry vocals, backed by the industry's top producers, soon made her dreams a reality with the success of her hit single, "Goodies."
"I was 17 and they asked me where I saw myself the next year. At that point, my album was pretty much complete. I said, 'I see myself having the number one single on the charts.' And then that happened," she says with delight.
Originally from Austin, Texas, Ciara grew up in an Army family. Though she moved from city-to-city as a child, her love for dance assured her that she would one day work in the entertainment business.
"I always felt I would do something in the world of entertainment. Especially when I was younger, I was doing a lot of dancing. That was one thing,” Ciara says. “Modeling was something I also felt I would try to do, and I did at one point in time. Put it all together and I was like, 'I can be a singer and do all of this’."
Ciara's latest album, The Evolution, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums Chart selling more than 300,000 copies the first week.
Though record sales highlight the success of her career, Ciara believes being a positive role model is just as important. "I don't think God gave me this career just to do music videos and dance and perform. I feel he put me in a position to where I can deliver messages to people that do look up to me. And so I'm aware of that and it pushes me to be the best I can be," she says.
With millions of fans across the world, Ciara enjoys traveling abroad to connect with fans from different cultures.
"Touring outside of your own country is one of the coolest things and, I think, one of the most rewarding things. To be able to do that alone is a blessing. To know that people from different nationalities and culture(s), love what you do means so much. When I go into the studio I give my all. To know that people love what I am doing means a lot."
Ciara has come a long way since 2004, earning music awards, hit singles, and songwriting credits. But, we can expect to see a lot more of her in the coming years. With plans for a clothing line, a book, and a career in movies, Ciara has big goals for her future.
"The success of my career has been the highlight of my life,” she says. “I am living my dream. Words can't really explain exactly what I feel."
Video courtesy of Zomba Records