JoJo has stepped out of the spotlight for quite some time, having released her sophomore album The High Road four years ago. Now, the 19-year-old Boston singer is gearing up for the release of her third effort, All I Want Is Everything, to be released at the top of 2011, by putting out a new mixtape titled Can’t Take That Away From Me.
The songstress with a soulful voice compiled the new tape using songs she’s crafted over the course of a year. Listeners can expect to hear a broad range of topics and sounds on the project. From mainstream pop records to tunes tinged with hip-hop flavor, JoJo dabbled in many genres, including her favorite, which are the soulful records that compliment her voice best.
“This mixtape is more experimental,” JoJo tells Rap-Up.com. “I was able to explore the full spectrum of things that interest me and inspire me musically. Whereas the album, I wanted to make pop records and radio hits and things that satisfy me, but particularly for [All I Want Is Everything], it’s more of a continuous body of work. The mixtape, I was able to do some things that were more soulful, incorporate live instruments, and say things that I wouldn’t normally say on an album. I was just able to take more of a risk. It is all over the place, just like me.”
While her albums tend to have a cohesive sound and a common thread, the mixtape jumps around in a manner she’s content with. As for the title, JoJo explains that its meaning comes from a very personal place. “It was kind of symbolic of some things I have been going through professionally as well as personally,” she reveals. “Starting with the fact that I want to release music and you can’t really take what comes naturally to me, away from me.”
Producer Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, and experimental artist Kenna, joined forces to create several tracks for Can’t Take That Away From Me. They’re the creators behind “Pretty Please,” “Kiss and Tell,” and “Shades.” Grammy Award-winning beatmaker Neff-U produced the mixtape’s title track as well as a song titled “Runnin’ on Empty.” Then there’s J. Gatsby, the musical director behind JoJo’s band and the producer of “In the Dark,” a record that finds the songstress moving away from that happy-go-lucky sound.
“I think ‘In the Dark’ is different than anything people have heard from me before,” says JoJo. “It’s a very sensual record and there’s an undertone of sadness to it.”
All in all, Can’t Take That Away From Me is JoJo’s re-entry to the music industry. Fans have sat idle waiting for her to drop new material and the time has finally arrived.
“I’m interested to see what people think because I am experimenting with sounds,” she admits. “My fans’ opinions really matter to me so I’m going to be looking to see what they gravitate towards. And of course, I’m a little nervous because I haven’t released material in a while. [But] I’m confident that people will dig what I release.”
Can’t Take That Away From Me will premiere exclusively on Rap-Up.com on September 7. “In the Dark,” the first single from the mixtape, will also debut here later this month.