I don't know a single teenage soul in the early millennium who didn't drive around (or sit in their room) blasting JoJo's "Leave (Get Out)." It was the anthem of slighted girls and boys everywhere, a ditty juxtaposed with the vocal maturity of its performer. It was a therapeutic song in that you could scream "LEAVE!" with the conviction of Marcia Clark, yet still giggle as you recited the lyrics "to go behind my back and call my friend, boy you must have gone and bumped your head."
Point being that JoJo was an integral part of our lives at one point, and then, without a trace, she kind of disappeared. Now we know why — label issues that kept her from releasing new albums and even kept her from putting our old favorites like "Too Little Too Late" and "How to Touch a Girl" on Spotify and Apple Music.
Now, at 25, JoJo has a new album on the way under a new label. Her sound is more mature — like her voice — but still catchy as hell. (Try not to dance around like a banshee to "When Love Hurts.") And while she's stopped catering to others and put on her Independent Woman badge, she admits that she actually does care about others' opinions.
"Here's something that I agreed to do that ended up messing with me psychologically," JoJo said. "I was under a lot of pressure with a company I was at previously and they wanted me to lose weight fast. So they got me with a nutritionist and had me, like, on all these supplements, and I was injecting myself — this is a common thing 'the girls' do all the way — it makes your body only need certain calories, so I ate 500 calories a day. It was the most unhealthy thing I've ever done."
She gained all the weight back, she said, and she felt horrible that she subscribed to a lifestyle that other people wanted her to live. "I felt like, 'If I don't do this, my album won't come out.' Which it didn't! So it's not like it even worked!" JoJo said.
Thankfully, JoJo's gotten ahold of what she wants out of her life and her career, and she doesn't feel the pressure to follow others. "I listen to other people's opinions. Listening and following are different things. I think listening and showing respect to people you respect . . . it works for me," JoJo said. "What you think about yourself and the decisions you make is what's most important."
JoJo's been pushing out the new jams since late last year. We can expect a new album soon, and you can catch her on tour this year with Fifth Harmony on the 7/27 Tour. Praise BE! Check out the interview, and let us know your favorite part in the comments section below.
On Kirbie: Shoshanna