INTERVIEW: Jessica Sutta (2008)
The Pussycat Dolls are an international sensation with a string of pop/R&B/dance hits including “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons,” and “Stickwitu.” While lead doll Nicole Scherzinger has released released a few solo singles, the dance world is focused on Jessica Sutta who has scored number one singles working with dance producers Paul Van Dyk (“White Lies”) and Dave Aude (“Make It Last”). Also known as the pin-up doll, Jessica is a big fan of dance music and hopes to become the next Kylie Minogue. With the release of Doll Domination and the dancefloor friendly “When I Grow Up,” we anxiously await “If I Was a Man” and the rest of their club ready jams!
DJ Ron Slomowicz: So tell us about the album, how excited are you about it?
Jessica Sutta: I’m so excited about it, it’s so great. The album shows everybody the mature side of the Pussycat Dolls. There’s different realms of music that we delved into and I think people are going to be really surprised to see how much we’ve grown as a band and musically. I can’t wait for the world to hear it.
RS: How would you describe the sound of the album?
Jessica Sutta: It’s definitely different from the first album. The album PCD was more pop, this has more of an R&B flavor to it and gut-wrenching ballads that you wouldn’t expect. These are songs that I believe will have longevity which I think is really rare today.
RS: Which songs do you sing on on the album?
Jessica Sutta: All the girls actually have their own solos. I have a song called “If I Was A Man,” and it comes with the extended edition of the album. I’m really excited because it’s the genre of dance and that’s my favorite type of music ever. So I’m really excited that I got to do that and express myself on this album.
RS: Very cool. Did you write any songs on the album?
Jessica Sutta: I didn’t get a chance to write on the album.
RS: “If I Was A Man” is a dance song, so who did you work with production-wise on that?
Jessica Sutta: I worked with Ron Fair, he executive-produced it and his wife, Stephanie Ridel, wrote it. It’s really funny because it’s a song about if you were to switch places with your man and you were the man in the picture and you were treating him the way he treats you. It’s really a fun song to sing, I can’t wait to do it live.
RS: Awesome, awesome. The video for the first single “When I Grew Up” is a lot of fun, how long did it take to shoot that video?
Jessica Sutta: It took about a week to prepare for it and about two days to shoot it. It’s funny because the scene when we were on the scaffolding, we didn’t have any permits on Hollywood Boulevard, you just can’t do that. So we’d do a take and then they’d have to let the traffic go by and it took a while to do that. But it was so awesome, kind of renegade. It was just like get up there and you can’t miss us and each take counts, so it was really fun.
RS: You mentioned you loved dance music, who’s your favorite DJ?
Jessica Sutta: Gosh, I really like Axwell and Swedish Mafia. I found them in Miami and they’re so much fun. I love Kaskade and Dave Aude, who’s a really good friend of mine.
RS: Yes, I spoke to him and he said he loved working with you in the studio.
Jessica Sutta: Dave, yes, he was the best. When I first started with the Dolls singing, I wasn’t really confident singing and he put me in the studio and he really worked with me and he made me the singer I am today. I owe a lot to Dave, he’s a good guy.
RS: He also owes a lot to you, you gave him his first number one single!
Jessica Sutta: The universe works in magical ways, we pay back when we can. He’s the greatest and if I ever get to do my own solo album, which will be a dance album like Kylie Minogue, I’d love to work with Dave again because he’s the best.
RS: Awesome. You also worked with Paul Van Dyk, what was that project like?
Jessica Sutta: It was fun because it was the first project that I’d ever done outside of the Dolls and he’s a really cool dude. When I was growing up in Miami, it’s funny because I was told that he was such a big DJ there and I was young and I couldn’t get in to the club, so to actually do a song with him, I thought it was cool because I was so young to even like see him play when I was in Miami. It was an honor.
RS: The video for that song was very Madonna-like, was that sort of on purpose?
Jessica Sutta: It was directly by Steven Anton and he had this whole idea, because Paul Van Dyk is from Germany so he wanted to make it have like a German feel. I think it was a little bit similar to Madonna but it’s hard to emulate Madonna because she’s a goddess. He had a really cool vision and he loved my skin really white, so that’s what Steven wanted to do.
RS: You just finished a big show for Beat Stock, how was the event?
Jessica Sutta: That KTU show was so much fun. The crowd was going mad and it was just cool. People really like “When I Grow Up!” You never know when you have new material how the fans are going to really respond. We did “Buttons” and “Don’t Cha” and they responded, but when we did “When I Grow Up” it was like a big response and it really shows that the Pussycat Dolls are back with a vengeance.
RS: You’re referred to as the Pin-Up Doll, where did you get that name from?
Jessica Sutta: I am in love with pin-ups, I think they are the most beautiful and alive. Back in the day when they had the little magazines that were sexy and people would buy them and they always had them hung up. It emulates the perfect woman and she is not that skinny and she has curves, she’s voluminous and I think that’s hot.
RS: Aside from Bettie, who is your favorite pin-up doll?
Jessica Sutta: Oh well you can’t, Bettie Page is the best pin-up doll in the whole wide world. No one is better than her.
RS: What’s it like working with Nicole and the rest of the girls?
Jessica Sutta: It’s awesome. It’s really rare to be in a group where you actually get along with everybody, and it’s a family and you go to work and if you have a problem or you feel like crap you know you have your girl – their shoulder to cry on or advice. I know every day how lucky I am to be in this group.
RS: Well this is of course a dance music website and I asked for your favorite DJ – what’s your favorite dance out song right now?
Jessica Sutta: I love the Ida Corr “Let Me Think About It.” Everytime that plays in the club I think that’s the hottest song ever. I also like “Destination Unknown” by Alex Gaudino and Crystal Waters, it uses the same “Calabria” loop as Enur. There’s also a classic song called “Plastic Dreams” by Jaydee that is one of my all time favorites.
RS: Wow, I’m really impressed that you actually know about dance music, this is really cool.
Jessica Sutta: Oh I love dance music.
RS: Well what about dance music do you love so much?
Jessica Sutta: I think it’s sexy, there’s just something about it that I appreciate and I don’t know how to explain it. I’d rather listen to dance music than anything else on the radio anymore. I love that dance music is coming in to the top forty now and honestly, if I get to do my own album I would like to cross over to dance music again for radio because it’s just sexy and it’s fun.
RS: Of all the Pussy Cat songs what’s been your favorite remix?
Jessica Sutta: I’m going to have to say the remix that Dave Aude did for “When I Grow Up.” It’s really fresh and I love the sound that he went with. I just actually heard it at the gym right now so I’m really excited that they were playing it.
RS: Awesome. Speaking about gym, are you exclusively at Bally’s now?
Jessica Sutta: Yes, I’m at Bally’s now.
RS: What would you like to say to all your fans out there?
Jessica Sutta: I love you and make sure to get our album, it comes out September 23rd. I love dance music and you never know, I might have to release a dance song when nobody’s watching, so search for me.
Interview conducted September 2008.