'Anything But Ordinary!'
At an age when most teens have only begun to discover themselves Jordan Pruitt already has a good sense of who she is. "I'm an all-American girl," she says. "Half girly-girl, half tomboy. I can go without make-up and go fishing with my dad; other times, I buy pink shoes and shop at Betsey Johnson."
There may be two sides to Jordan the teenager. But when it comes to music, there's only one side: Jordan Pruitt is a monumentally talented singer/songwriter with a maturity far beyond her 15 years. As her Hollywood Records debut CD No Ordinary Girl shows, Jordan has the chops to command the youth audience of today and for many tomorrows to come.
Produced, arranged and composed by Keith Thomas (Nick Lachey, Mandy Moore, Whitney Houston, Amy Grant), Jordan co-wrote most of this CD with the help of lyricist Robin Scoffield and Keith Thomas. It is with great artistry that NO ORDINARY GIRL reflects the world as seen through a bright-eyed fun-loving teen, while still managing to hit upon "the universal" in every song.
In the months preceding the CD release, Jordan has been setting the stage. Her "We Are Family" cover is featured on the soundtrack of Disney's DVD movie "Air Puppies." Jordan also had a chance to perform with labelmates Aly & AJ at the Disney co-sponsored 2006 Youth Marketing Conference.
With so much happening in her life and career, it's fair to ask how the 15-year-old handles it all. Her answer is simple: "I've got amazing people around me," says Jordan. "People always tell me to keep my head on straight. Well, I have my family to help me do that. With my music, I'm not saying I'm going to change the world, but I do want to it make a better place."
Jordan Pruitt. No ordinary girl. No ordinary artist.
Unlike most young pop singers, you seem to already have a grip on what you musically and personally want to be. Is that a true statement? ”Pretty much. Yeah, it definitely is. I just think that making this record I just wanted it to sound different from anything else that’s on the radio right now. A lot of lyrics these days are very meaningless. I feel my lyrics have a very positive message and will last a lifetime.”
Did you purposefully steer clear of writing generic bubblegum pop songs? ”Definitely. It was very easy. I just found my sound and … you know, I don’t really know how I do it, I just do it,” she laughs.
The lyrics are well-rounded, very descriptive, and knowing that you largely co-wrote the majority of them, I’m curious as to if they are all personal to you? ”Yes, definitely. I think the titles of the songs definitely say a lot about my personality and who I am. We wrote these songs about stories about my life and what I went through and what I’m still going through.”
Please tell us more about what was going on in your life when you were writing/recording these two songs:
’Miss Popularity’ - ”Well, it’s definitely not about me,” she laughs. ”It's a song about how there’s always that one really popular girl in school that everybody loves … and also loves to hate. So, it definitely relates to everybody in the sense that there is always that one person that is always so popular in school.”
’Outside Looking In’ - ”I started writing that in the 6th Grade because I just felt really left out at school. And that’s really tough for people my age, you know … being made to feel left out for doing the right thing.”
Why were you feeling left out at school? ”Just the whole peer pressure thing. There’s a lot of peer pressure that goes on in every school especially these days as kids are growing up so much faster.”
Which of these new songs has already become a firm favorite with you to sing live? ”’Miss Popularity’ is definitely the one, because it has such a big vocal range. It’s just such a fun song to sing and act out.”
We saw you recently on the Cheetah Girls tour here in MI. What was that like and how nervous were you? ”It’s such an adrenaline rush at first and then … and it’s over with so quickly!”
Like in the blink of an eye?! ”Yes, oh my good yes,” she laughs.
Do you ever have people videotape you and so you get to see yourself afterwards? ”Yeah, sometimes that happens.”
Are you very self-critical? ”Defiitely, oh my gosh. I’m like the most critical person ever. I would look at my singing first. I just try and stay kinda focused on that more than anything. But I just love to have fun. But I love for the audience to have fun also not just me,” she laughs. ”I think that is definitely a big factor that they enjoy themselves also.”
Knowing that you are only 15 and that you’ve been working solidly for the past year or more to become who you are today, what do you miss most about being an ordinary girl? ”Probably just hanging out with my friends, because they all live in Georgia. I just moved here to Nashville so yeah, I miss them.”
Do you have any bad habits you just cannot shake? ”No not really … none at all.”
Come on now, everyone has a bad habit they wish they could get out of! ”OK, … biting my nails,” she laughs.
Are you really a Betsey Johnson kinda gal? ”Deeeeeefinetleeeeeeeeeeeeey,” she chimes proudly. ”I like their dresses. I also like Banana Republic, definitely comfortable. I love BCBG’s also, … yeah.”
Did you set out to record the cover of Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’ in a whole different way for this album? ”I came in and yeah, I was kinda nervous at first ‘cause I knew Sister Sledge had done it. But, I just came in and we recorded it in just two days. Hey, it was nerve-wracking but it turned out great. We just went through every line and just kinda made it my own.”
When it comes to naming your debut album, is it something that you choose or the record label chooses? ”It’s something I do and the label does. So, I could have called this album something else, yeah.”
So was there a choice of names? ”Well, it was not really a choice … the record label wanted to go with ‘Teenager,’ but we just agreed on ‘No Ordinary Girl’.”
Finally, is there something that you do or have that you haven’t mentioned yet in other interviews that you can give us an exclusive on?! ”That I love riding my 4-Wheeler,” she laughs.
Wow, couldn’t you get hurt on that thing?! ”Yeeeeeah,” she laughs ”But I haven’t come off yet.”
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