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Kanye West On The View

Rap star Kanye West stopped by The View yesterday, to talk about a host of things. He also confirmed that he will be going on a joint tour with Lady GaGa! Peep the interview above.
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Pharrell Talks Usher’s ‘Monster’ LP

Usherpromo6 Pharrell Talks Ushers Monster LP
In a recent interview with Billboard, hit-maker Pharrell Williams talked up Usher’s forthcoming ‘Monster’ LP:
The beatmaker divulged that Usher has chosen a new direction with his latest project.
“The Usher album is crazy. His album is the review of the mind of a monster,” said Pharrell.
“He’s somewhere else right now…like a whole different kind of R&B,” he added. “Its really great, its super edgy. He’s taken alot of time to really sit and study and we really built something that is like…it’s just…it’s mean.
Pharrell is also working on Rihanna’s upcoming album as well forthcoming projects from Shakira, Incubus, The Clipse and N.E.R.D.

Sounds real interesting. Will be checking for this one for sure…

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Jordin Sparks’ ‘Battlefield’ Album Cover

j+sparks Jordin Sparks Battlefield Album Cover
Peep the official album cover for Jordin Sparks’ brand new album ‘Battlefield’. Put simply, no, no and no. One cannot shy away from the fact (IMO) that the cover is actually a hot steaming mess. It’s beginning to amaze me at how she can have such a solid song on her hands with ‘Battlefield’ – a great way to usher in the album – yet everything else i.e. the video, album cover etc are all missing the mark. Nevertheless, I’ll definitely be giving the album a look-see when it drops.
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Follow That Grape Juice On Twitter

tgj+twitter Follow That Grape Juice On TwitterAs some of you may know, we announced a few months back that you can now follow That Grape Juice on Twitter! Adding to the ever-expanding ways to be apart of the That Grape Juice community, our Twitter page allows you to receive up-to-the-minute updates about the latest posts on the site as well as what’s happening in the Urban Pop Culture world more generally.
What’s more, you, as well as the thousands who have already joined, will be able to keep up with me, ‘Sam’, while I’m on-the-go. I’ll be making use of Twitter’s cool SMS feature which allows me to let you guys know what I’m up to via my mobile/cell. That means everything from checking in with you guys while on location at an artist interview to complete randomness from the wackiness that is ‘my world’. So what are you waiting for…

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Massive Beyonce ‘I Am…’ Tour Update

Superstar Beyonce is currently over here on our side of the pond on the UK leg of her ‘I Am…’ tour. During last night’s final show here, at London’s 02 (until November), she was joined onstage by none other than George Michael (random, ey?), with the two performing a duet version of ‘If I Were A Boy’ (even more random LOL). Pretty enjoyable I must say, despite uncle George messing up the words.
Now, as some of you may know, That Grape Juice was in the house on Beyonce’s 2nd London date (May 26th). I had plans to do an in-depth review, however only remembered at the end of the show LOL. The show was that good, that captivating, that….ahhh!!! Ms. Knowles-Carter really showed why she is the best performer around today. Period.
Without turning this too much into a personal post, the day itself read like movie-script. From me racing down from one side of London with a friend to the other to make it in time – in a £60 taxi (BPT is ok sometimes, but it’s a recession people!) – and missing the opening act Shontelle (who apparently sucked LOL), to having my sisters, who are big Bey stans (shout-out to Beyonce World, where Miss Junior Grape Juice lives daily!) screaming down my phone about how ‘serious’ our seats were – first row of the 2nd stage (they were at the arena already), to Bey giving my sister her towel, to seeing Jay-Z. As you can probably tell from my awful grammar above (lol), we had amazing time – even better than The Beyonce Experience.
Check out some of the pics I took from the show below – That Grape Juice exclusives:
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The winner of our Beyonce ‘I Am…’ tour after party ticket give-away, which was hosted by Beyonce herself and saw performances from Solange, was 21 year old Omar from London. Peep his email after attending the show:

Hey Sam!

Just want to say thank you again for the tickets. We had a really good time and we managed to be front row!!! Beyonce was hot and Solange killed it. We saw Tina (Knowles) and Jay-Z along with Bey in the upper level and it was a great nite!
If ur going to the concert tonite has fun. I’ll b going on the 8th June! If u meet beyonce, tell her to call me, lol
Cheers again!
Good stuff. Be sure to keep it locked on That Grape Juice for more competitions. UK’ers are gonna like what’s coming tomorrow (shhh…don’t tell anyone!)
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JoJo – ‘All I Want Is Everything’ (3 Track Sampler)

Last week a video of JoJo venting her frustrations at her record label over their handling of her 3rd album ‘All I Want Is Everything’ hit the net. Interestingly, today an apparent 3 track sampler of the record surfaced on the net, featuring the tracks ‘Fearless’, ‘Touch Down’ and ‘Underneath’. Having really enjoyed JoJo’s last effort ‘The High Road’, with its effortless R&B/Pop fusion, much of this is sounding a little run-of-the-mill Pop (that would have been the business about 3 years ago). With the production credits on the album including Timbaland, Darkchild and Sean Garret, I was hoping for a more Urban-tinged Pop affair. That said, ‘Touch Down’ sounds like a winner.
*Update* JoJo released the following on her MySpace:
“Someone brought it to my attention that there are three songs floating around that people are claiming is a part of an “All I Want is Everything” album sampler. These songs are NOT ON THE ALBUM nor do they represent the sound or direction of this record. We are only considering one of those songs for the final finished product. Its just a bit frustrating when there has been such a long wait for new material, and then things that I wouldnt have put out somehow get out. I’ve also seen fake “tracklistings” floating around. These listings are completely inaccurate and i have absolutely no idea who created them. Once the official tracks for the album are chosen, you will be the first to know!”

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Mariah New Single Title Revealed; Premiere Date

f76cddc4a19f66d5ecdee186b332b85f Mariah New Single Title Revealed; Premiere Date

Mariah Carey announced via her official Twitter that the first single from her hotly anticipated new LP ‘Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel’ is titled ‘Obsessed’, also revealing that the track will debut on radio next week Tuesday (June 16th)!

Of what to expect from the song, Mimi describes it as a ‘fun, uptempo song for the summer’, adding that it’s one of her ‘favourite tracks ever’. According to Carey, her team were going to ‘go with ballad’ first, but chose this instead, assuring fans that her trademark ballads are coming. {Source}

As much as I want to be amped by the prospect of new Mariah material, these days I’ve found it to be too risque (see: ‘E=MC2′). That said, it seems she’s going for the same approach as the last two albums – drop the ‘fun, party’ record first (‘It’s Like That’ / ‘Touch My Body’) followed by the ballad (‘We Belong Together’ / ‘Bye Bye’). I guess time will tell if she delivers. Roll on next Tuesday!
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That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara

e3ec64f022f9fe4fcb9973711767d481 That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara
That Grape Juice was fortunate enough to catch up with R&B superstar Ciara not once, but twice over the last month (in early May and just last week). In these candid interviews, parts 1 and 2 of which you can read / watch below, the 23 year old talks everything from her new album ‘Fantasy Ride’ and its sales, to sexing up her image, to collaborating with Janet Jackson, her thoughts on Keri Hilson, Beyonce and so much more. As ever, we ask the questions you really want answers to! Read, watch and enjoy icon smile That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara *Special thanks to Leon, Jamell and Sean!*

Interview by: Sam – That Grape Juice // Transcription: Bisi Kade



Part 1

Sam: Hey Ciara!

Ciara: Hi Sam!

Sam: How are you?

Ciara: I’m great thank you. I’m in a wonderful space right now.

Sam: That’s awesome. So you visited the UK last week, and did a lot of media appearances. One in particular was a radio interview where you learnt UK’s very own ‘Migrate Skank’, which made a huge buzz on the net. What differentiates your UK fans from your other worldwide fan base?

Ciara: It’s literally it being two different parts of the world, I think the UK has its own unique style and we, as Americans, have our own style as well. It’s just like when you go to Japan, it’s different (compared to) when you go to the States, because of culturally differences. My fans are from various parts of the world, but I can definitely say the energy of my fans in the UK is amazing. It’s just so fun here. It’s just one of those things that when you go over to the UK I’m always like “wow… the support is amazing”.

Sam: Did you visit any attractions when you were over here?

Ciara: (thinking) When I was there I really didn’t get a chance to do a whole lot. I did go to TopShop and stuff like that, but my schedule was so hectic that I couldn’t to as many places as I would like to.

Sam: Ok, so after a few push-back’s your third studio album ‘Fantasy Ride’ has finally hit stores across the globe this week: Tell us about the process you went through to develop your artistry with this album?

Ciara: Making this album I just really wanted to take my time, and I can definitely say this is the most fun I’ve had recording a record since my first album. What happened to me was: I put out one single (‘Go Girl’) and it was kind of like a warm-up exercise and just me really trying something new. I put out that record kind of early because my whole album wasn’t completed…. Something I’ve done before. I did that when I made my first album; I put out ‘Goodies’ out as the single on the radio and I recorded ‘1,2 Step’ and ‘Oh’ whilst ‘Goodies’ during that time. That’s what the process was for this record. But I really do think that I enjoyed myself and as I continued to record after the first time I moved the date back, things continued to get better. It was just important for me to make sure I really had everything in place the way I wanted it to be. Technically there was really one push back. I wanted to make sure I didn’t mention a date until I knew exactly what I wanted it to be.

Sam: The title indicates the record being somewhat of a concept CD; tell about what inspired the title?

Ciara: ‘Fantasy Ride’ is about me taking my fans on a fantasy through music and taking my fans many different places they have never been before, as well as doing some of the unexpected things. And that’s what this album is about; it really is a fantasy ride, if you want to party, I have that record on there. If you feeling more sensual, that record is on there, if you just want to groove out and relax that record is on there. It’s just the perfect combination of R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop fused in one. It really is just a fantasy ride for me too, because I am adding more elements to things I’ve already done. I wanted to make sure I gave my fans things of what they have always known from me. But I also wanted to make sure I added more to it and really some unexpected things for them.

Sam: We can’t shy away from the fact that several tracks from the album which made the finally cut from the record found their way on to the internet several months prior to the album’s release, what is your take on this?

3452afe9a94f9a827ed8bd4a444e7fb9 That Grape Juice Interviews CiaraCiara: Initially it was definitely frustrating. Because not only did I put a lot of hard work in to it, but it’s also not a cheap process making a record [laughs]. But most importantly presentation is everything and it’s definitely unfortunate when you put so much hard work in to something and you know what you want it to be. And before you know it, it actually gets put out for the public before it’s even completed. So people are able to get opinions on something that’s not even the proper version of it. That part of it is really frustrating and it’s kind of like who would do something like that? I feel like that’s so wrong. At the end of the day I have to find the positives in it, when I do my shows earlier my fans knew some of the songs. One thing I do believe is that my diehard fans will still rock with you no matter what. Once you get to hear the entire album in its entirety, it just feels like nothing that you heard – even if you heard the tracks earlier, you’re hearing the correct version and it really does feel good. I believe your diehard fans will rock with you no matter what.

Sam: As we speak now, the first week sales of the album are being collated, how important are sales to you?

Ciara: Sales are a part of what matters, it’s not everything, it doesn’t make or break you to me. I’ve experienced before… my first album was really low and when it was all said and done I was almost at 5 million records sold. How you start is part of it, but how you finish it is what really matters. Like Akon has probably sold 60,000 units his first weekend and now he’s sold a hell of a lot… it’s all about timing, it’s all about promoting, it’s all about a lot of different things. You can’t get lost in all that. Another example is the Jonas Brothers; they are at 1.3 million or 1.2 million records, but they’re one of the hugest bands in the world. So sales aren’t part of it, there’s so much more to it, like being able to connect to your fans is important. One of the most important thing to me is touring; to me it’s more than everything to me, honestly. Everything is changing nowadays; Virgin Megastores just got closed, Uptown Records got shut down, now Virgin is collapsing. It just goes to show you where music is going and it is a different day. Sales aren’t everything and it don’t make or break you, it’s a fraction of what counts overall.

Sam: Many fans are keen to know why ‘Go Girl’ didn’t make it onto the album, as the track is a favourite among fans and the video is arguably one of the best Ms. Harris has served up since hitting the scene.

Ciara: That record was actually on the Japan version (of ‘Fantasy Ride’), and I put it on there because that was a market that actually got that record in such a great way. It was the top 5 record for me there on that actual version. And of course you can always go to iTunes to get the record, but I just wanted to put out the records that was doing when I kept recording. It was kind of hard because you’re only given a certain amounts of slots per record and ‘Go Girl’ was one of those ones I wanted to put in there. But the other records for me were ones I really wanted there, and ‘Go Girl’ kind of came at the end of list. But my fans can still have access to it, you can go to iTunes to get. I didn’t get rid of the record that was one of the records that I loved to rock with, but when you tell me I have 13 slots to fill up I’m like… you know.

Sam: I really love the album. I think it’s your best record to date. ‘Tell Me What Your Name Is’ is my personal favourite track. If you had to pick one track as your favourite from the album what would it be and why?

Ciara: ‘High Price’. I love ‘High Price’ because it’s so strong and powerful and I love taking that risk by singing operatic on it. The track goes so hard to me and it has such great energy, it’s one of those records that make a huge statement. That’s one of the records I really love, it’s kind of hard to pick my most favourite but that’s one of the ones that I definitely really love.

Sam: One of the tracks I know the fans are really gravitating towards is the song called ‘Like A Surgeon’…

3df7308261188119ec517508f6a56fe3 That Grape Juice Interviews CiaraCiara: Yeah I love that record…

Sam: …Would it be possible for ‘That Grape Juice’ readers as well as your fans to have a very short acapella of the track?

Ciara: [Laughs] No… [Laughs] You have to call me in 3 hours when I’m warmed up. I’m in LA so I’m on West Coast time, I just woke up, I’m just cranking everything up and I don’t know what would come out right now so you would really have me out there. That’s cool… on the next interview for sure.

Sam: Oh ok (laughs). A lot of fans are keen to find out what the next singles is likely to be.

Ciara: I can’t tell you just yet, I have an idea but I want to wait before I say it so I don’t want to say the wrong thing. And it is exactly what it’s going to be.

Sam: How involved are you in the process of picking the next single along with the label?

Ciara: I’m always very vocal and at this point it really is a teamwork effort. I shoot up my ideas and we all do a teamwork effort together and we go for it.

Sam: Honestly speaking, what’s your take on the Keri Hilson ‘Turnin’ Me On (Remix)’. It has caused major head-waves as we all know. Are you two still cool?

Ciara: I’ll be honest with you, it’s kind of one of those things where I don’t really like to spend that much energy on stuff like that. And when it comes to beefs and dramas I just leave that to the rappers. I don’t get into it, I haven’t talked to her in a while, but I am wishing her well in5a3fab2f45020b8a4bccca1c16bfca68 That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara everything she has going on.

Sam: After being in this industry for a minute, has there ever been a time when something you’ve heard has gotten you down, and how did you deal with this?

Ciara: There have definitely been some moments when something has probably frustrated me a little bit or kind of kicked a little bit of negative energy this way. But you know what, I’m at a point in my life to where I feel like I’m very blessed. To be on my third album to be living my dream to be waking up to be doing what I choose to do is a blessing. And you always have to think about that I could be in a whole space right now and so I just choose to think about all the great things I feel like I’ve been blessed with or all the great things and people I have in my life and that’s what keeps me positive and keeps me going.

Sam: You’ve gone on record to say that you would love to do a duet with Janet Jackson. Is that something we could look forward to in the future or perhaps her next record, or something we could see from Ciara anytime soon?

Ciara: There’s no telling, I definitely think it would be awesome. But I guess whenever that right moment comes if it’s something that Janet is down for then of course I guess it could happen. But I can’t tell you right now ‘oh I have a record and blah blah blah,’ I don’t have that response for you, but I definitely think that it would be cool.

Sam: You and Justin Timberlake were awfully close in the ‘Love, Sex & Magic’ Video. What is your take on people saying that ‘Ciara has taken it ‘too sexed up’ these days?

Ciara: I can definitely say that this album is about my growth as a woman and I can definitely say on this record, the more sensual side to me is coming out. ‘Love, Sex & Magic’ is definitely a true reflection of that side. I’m just having fun and my sensual side is coming out a little bit right now.

Sam: You’ve got a serious presence on Twitter. What do you think about its rapid rise to prominence?

Ciara: I think Twitter is really important, it’s important because it allows me to connect with my fans and talk with them. I honestly enjoy myself doing it. (It) doesn’t feel like I’m working, I really am having a fun time. It’s such a great platform to update your fans with new information, it’s such a great platform to fill them and connect with them. And that’s why I love Twitter, at first I was like this is crazy, but now I understand the importance of it or I believe it’s important.

Sam: Aside from That Grape Juice, do you visit any other internet blogs?

Ciara: [Thinking] Do I… yeah actually I do, I don’t even know why I asked that question, I blanked out [laughs]. I do to a couple of other websites; I do a little internet searching.

Sam: Do you read comments on yourself, comments of you performances or do you just go for general purposes?

Ciara: I like to be updated on what’s going on music and sometimes I like to read the92b9149a49bea1aca00eb8080586104f That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara comments. I pretty much refrain from trying to, because a lot of times people like to create negative things just to do it. And I feel like blogs are kind of like created to give us negative [vibes]. So I can’t go by that and I can’t depend on that. But I do like to go to go and be updated on entertainment and different things that happen because I don’t watch TV like that, that’s just my way of checking up on everything.

Sam: Just to let you know, it’s not all the blogs that are negative towards artists, there are a lot of positive ones.

Ciara: I know. What I realised in media is that negative energy travels faster than positive energy, and people tend to drive off of that more. So I pick and choose the moments to look at stuff, you can kind of get an idea when somebody is going to try and create something more than what it is, for something that is just not right. You have to pick and choose those moments, but at the end of the day a blogger doesn’t determine anything to me. A person that is negative doesn’t mean anything to me, but my fans do. I do enjoy going to my fan sites; you get a positive support.

Sam: Many are keen to know whether you are dating anyone at the moment?

Ciara: (laughs) I’m ‘dating’ my music!

Sam: (Laughs) If Super C was having a celebrity Death Match, who would she pick as her tag team partner?

Ciara: I love this question! Erm…Eminem

Sam: Ok, rounding up; I’m going to give you two names and you tell me which you prefer. Starting off: Beyonce or Destiny’s Child?

Ciara: Beyonce

Sam: 50 Cent or Kanye West?

Ciara: Hmmm. That’s tuff [giggles]. I think both artists are really dope, but I would say 50 Cent.

Sam: Michael or Janet?

Ciara: Ahh that’s just not right (laughs)… Michael.

Sam: Sell me Fantasy Ride in one word?

Ciara: Timeless.

Sam: We reported today that you will be going on tour with Jay-Z this summer. When will the tour be kicking off?

Ciara: I think sometime in July I don’t know the dates just now [laughs].

Sam: Before we call it an interview, many of your fans want to know whether we’ll we be seeing you perform at the BET Awards 2009?

Ciara: As of now I can’t say, but would I love to? Absolutely.

Sam: Ms. Harris, it really was great speaking with you. Best of luck with the project.

Ciara: Aww…thank you, love. Have a great day. Mwah!

Want more? Check out Part 2 below!


Part 2


ff687cee8fcc4f388271e37dbb68b5c9 That Grape Juice Interviews Ciara
Ciara’s awesome new album ‘Fantasy Ride’ is in stores and on iTunes now. Do be sure to pick up a copy!

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Amerie – ‘Why R U’ Video

The video for Amerie’s new single ‘Why R U’, the first from her Def Jam debut ‘In Love & War’, premiered a few hours ago on BET. While the video is visually appealing (Amerie looks great), it dually manages to be ‘just there’, ‘blah’, ‘dry’…you get the point LOL. As an avid Amerie supporter (well as of the last album ‘Because I Love It’), I really can’t warm to this song; it simply just isn’t good – most especially not single quality. I maintain, whichever label honcho allowed this needs career re-assessment, because this is not the business. Best of luck to Amerie with this project though…she’s going to need it.
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Cassie Talks Nude Pics; Nearer Knowing Who Leaked Them

Your favourite singer and mine Cassie stopped by a US radio station this past week to discuss a number of things, including her now infamous nude snaps. Peep the video above.
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