Time is money.
When Christina Milian's reps told me she's had a very busy morning and only had five minutes to spare for an interview before her pool performance in Las Vegas, it was imperative to get right down to it. No longer did I have the luxury to ask about her vocals on Jennifer Lopez's 2001 hit "Play" or her romance with rapper Lil Wayne - I was allotted a handful of questions to ask (our question about the recent ghost writing shake ups was respectfully requested to be cut from this story, though she did answer it like a pro). Milian's carefully constructed image is protected because she remains a veteran in music and a multi-million dollar brand. When the triple threat isn't performing, she's promoting her clothing line, We Are Pop Culture, shooting FOX's Grandfathered series alongside John Stamos and performing her new music across the country - it's no wonder we only got a small window of time with the "Rebel" singer.
In the chat, Milian says she makes her own rules, talks about her upcoming release with Snoop Dogg and the inspiration behind her "Rebel" and "We Ain't Worried" singles.
I know we only have a few minutes. What is it about being an artist that requires you to juggle so much?
For me it's all about having passion for the things that you love to do. I can creatively be hands on and come up with an idea. That kind of stuff excites me being an artist. It's about being with the people. I get my energy from the people when I'm on stage, or challenging myself to become a different person in character - on TV shows. I think it's more of a challenge.
Is it hard to be creative when there's so much hustle?
Not at all. When you got things going on, when you're discovering new things, seeing new things... things are in a new light.
Tell me about your song "Rebel."
Writing the record, that single and the rest of the other songs that I have for that EP. It was cool because I worked with the Silent Killers... and just talked about elements that was happening in my life at the moment, at that time. I'm really happy in the way that it was made, and the music... I wanted people to see a more mature, grown up Christina. In time, I'm going to be releasing other singles - a song called "Like Me" with Snoop Dogg. We shot the video and everything, and we're going to be going to radio with that one really soon.
What was the inspiration behind two visuals for "We Ain't Worried?"
Well the first visual that I shot by the beach was just something on a whim like that same day. I was like 'let's just finally stop talking about it and go to the beach and shoot it.' So we went to the beach and just decided to shoot something fun, and young, that felt good. I was wearing my clothing line, and it was just something we did in two hours. I was just happy to show a different side of me. Same thing with the other video. The other one was for my clothing line. Everyone was wearing the clothing, so it kind of ended up being a showcase for the clothing and the music.
You've been in the music industry a long time and have seen the shift from buying albums to streaming...
We're coming to a time where there are no rules for everything. We can make our own rules. We can release our own music our way any kind of way that we want to their convenience. [A way] people are going with already. So you might as well get ahead of the game and not be left behind. I respect any way that anybody feels the way they want to release the music for their fans. At the end of the day, whether they're buying it, streaming it, however it's coming out, I think as long as for us, as artists, as long the people are interested and want to hear it... we want our fans to hear it.
What do you consider success in music?
Complete happiness. It could be small group of fans, or a large group. I think success in music is making music you love and being able to put it out however you want and tour. I don't think there's a number or a gold plaque, platinum, all that stuff you know what I mean? I've seen people have more attraction with a smaller fanbase and a longer career that way. It's whatever makes the artist happy.
What's a life mantra you can relay to your fans?
Do what you want. Be your best. Set short term goals and reach them. Be it, think it, do it.