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Music Interview

Jodie Connor

By
Jodie Connor
Here at DS we like a success story - especially when it concerns an ex-reality contestant who's defied the opinion of one Simon Cowell. Cue Jodie Connor, who despite failing to make the live shows of 2003's Pop Idol, has since penned and featured on Roll Deep's number one smash 'Good Times', scored her own top 20 hit with 'Now or Never', and has worked with songwriters behind the likes of Rihanna and Beyoncé on her debut album. Excited, we caught up with her to find out how she's found the whole experience.

What's 'Bring It' all about?
"Basically it's just a feel good song. When I wrote it I didn't really have anything in mind. It wasn't really personal to me, but I thought the music was really uplifting and needed the powerful lyrics to go with it. It's about getting back up and showing people what you're made of - don't let anyone knock you down. If you've done it once then you can do it again."

How did the Tinchy Stryder collaboration come about?
"I've worked with him before and we're signed to the same management so we've crossed paths quite a lot in the last 12 months. I treat him more like a friend now, so it was really good working with him again."

You co-wrote and featured on Roll Deep's 'Good Times', how was that?
"I wrote the track with a producer I work with and at the time he was in Manchester, so I sent him through some tracks and he was like, 'I love it - put Roll Deep on it'. He put Roll Deep on it and got it a deal. The first time I met them was at the video shoot for it. They're lovely guys and we got on really well."

How did the deal with Polydor come about?
"At the time there were a few labels interested in signing me, so I was quite lucky as I got to pick who I went with. I had meetings with the Presidents of about three or four labels, but Polydor understood what I wanted. They had the same vision as myself for my own career. With other artists they have on the label like Take That, Cheryl Cole and Nicole Scherzinger, it just felt like a good move for me."

How's work on the debut album going?
"It's gone really well. I went out to LA last year to record and write most of it with [Jay-Z's] Roc Nation. I've just finished it, but it's still being mixed and mastered. Once summer is out of the way and we release it I can start work on some fresh material, though I've got a few more singles to release from this one yet."

Have you thought of a title for the record yet?
"No I haven't got a title for it yet! That's what I'm doing at the moment - writing down loads of different ideas and hopefully one morning when I wake up it'll just come to me. Otherwise I'm going to have to get somebody else to help me!"

What was the recording process like?
"I worked with a lot of different songwriters - people who have worked with Rihanna, Beyoncé and Chris Brown over in LA. I've also worked with some amazing songwriters in the UK, but only producer! He's called David Dawood - he produced 'Good Times' for Roll Deep."

Would you say that the singles you've released so far are indicative of what to expect from the album?
"No - it's very mixed. I've got some nice ballads on there, some really good heavy rock ballads. It's just happy music, I think. It's all quite nice and there's nothing too serious on there. It's just a fun album. There's a track on it called 'Clocks' where the melody reminded me of clocks ticking and time so I wrote the song based on hearing that."

Are there any further collaborations the pipeline?
"I think there's going to be another one yes, but we're still in talks as to who it's going to be."

Have you ever written a song with another artist in mind?
"Yes - I wrote a track a few summers ago and I said it would be perfect for Kylie Minogue. I would have loved for her to have cut it, but it's just such a tough industry to get tracks placed. It's just been signed by another label now and their putting a different singer on it."

You appeared on the last series of Pop Idol - how did you find the experience?
"It was very different from what it is now. It was more about the music and not about the television show. It was a good experience - I did it because I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity, but it wasn't something that I was excited about. It was just another way in. I'm glad I did it - I have no regrets. I enjoyed it and I made some great friends, but it didn't open any doors for me. Luckily I've managed to open them for myself."

Did you ever consider entering The X Factor?
"No, I wouldn't do that again. The thing with people from The X Factor is that they wake up and decide they want to be a singer and go on the show. I mean, there's a lot of people that have been doing it for years as well and they might feel the same as me - if you write your own music and you feel you can take it to the next level, then maybe it's not the best show, as you don't get to showcase any of your own material. My passion lies in songwriting and being in the studio, whereas X Factor is all about your personality and if you're a bit eccentric. It's not something that I would like to go on."

Jodie Connor's new single 'Bring It' is released April 3.

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