Tell me about your new record “It’s Our Night.”
It took me a long time to have confidence. I mean, part of me didn’t think that I could take myself seriously since I didn’t have the most amazing voice! With this record, I was able to sit down and write something that I was really feeling about. “It’s Our Night” is my homage to dance music. It doesn’t sound “exactly” like what every dance song in the ‘90s sounded like, but it’s what my best memories of the ‘90s dance music is. Songs back then had a real joy and energy! It seemed like almost every track had a great female vocal in it. I really just tried to go back to when first I fell in love with dance music.
In terms of the “feel” to your new music, is this track a real departure from your previous records?
I’ll put it to you this way: If I didn’t have fans who loved my old music, I would take it off of iTunes entirely. This new record is that much of a departure. I feel like I’ve really grown that much as an artist. I’ve learned so much about music as well as about my instrument. I’ve learned the type of music that I like to perform as well. Before, when I would perform on stage, I felt like there was no emotion to my music, almost like you could feel nothing. I could stand up there and perform any of my first three records and had real difficulty connecting, because there really was nothing to connect to. My new music comes from a truly emotional place, and I think that’s what really separates my new material from my first three records.
What kind of feeling would you give to sum up the new album? Is it very dance oriented like your previous work? Any ballads that we can look forward to?
I do have a couple of ballads on the record. It feels to me almost like a Janet Jackson album. There are some tracks that are strictly sex: very soft spoken, dirty and definitely hot beats. The rest of the album is all uplifting pop music. I wanted to take the music in a very positive place and put those feelings into the music. There’s nothing sad on this album at all. I did not want to record a “breakup album,” and I didn’t want to record music about my past. I wanted to take the feeling that you could accomplish anything and put that into the record. How I feel about my future, new adventures and definitely, new love.
During my divorce I got into somewhat of a dark place. I realized that the brighter the light from the outside, the dimmer I let my own light become. This album is definitely about loving, and new love. It’s definitely a positive and uplifting project.
Any new romance on the horizon since your divorce?
At this point, yes, there is. I met Itay Hod (formerly of CBS News on Logo) several years ago, and after I left my marriage last year, I received a message from him and asked him out, and we went out that April. He truly saved my sanity. He really had no reason to; he was totally there for me, and I told him things I’ve never told anyone. I had no reason to understand why I trusted him, I really just did, and I fell in love. While it does sound really cute, that’s not how we’ve ended up at this point in our lives. When you find someone you love, you can’t be bitchy about how they fit into your life; you simply have to be grateful that they are in your life, period. “It’s Our Night” is about being with him, although I simplified it so it’s not so heavy. When Renee Bailey (the female powerhouse on the track) sings “I’ll Be Your Baby,” that’s the core of the song to me really. I consider myself lucky to have met him, and whoever ends up with him better realize how lucky they are!
Is there anyone that you would love to collaborate with?
I would absolutely love to collaborate with Robyn; she is my goddess, and one of the biggest inspirations for me across the board. For me, female voices on a dance music record are what I absolutely love. They make a dance floor record sometimes. Right now, I’ll probably have minimal collaborations, but when I heard Renee sing her part for “It’s Our Night” I knew we had it!
You’re experiencing a change of scenery with a move to New York City this month! Any plans for performing at some of the New York City venues?
Absolutely! I want to work on my record and would love to perform! I have meetings with agents in New York already set up, and a great new manager. My primary focus is to get back on stage, which I haven’t been on in five years! I’m just craving a film set honestly! When I shot the video for “It’s Our Night”, I was sitting here with a 20-person crew and thinking that I was really ready to be on a set again. I miss acting so much, so I definitely wanted to incorporate it into the video. I just really want to get a script and start flexing my acting chops again! I mean, I would do a reality show in a second. I’m not crazy! I think I’ve grown so much as an actor, and I’m just much more confident in terms of my acting. The difference is, I used to be “cautiously confident.” Now I’m ready to walk into an audition and kill it!