At the tender age of 14, JoJo was already a star. Her first single, “Leave (Get Out),” remains a banger to this day. After the success of her first album, JoJo went on to star in films such as Aquamarine and RV, establishing herself as a multi-talented star. However, after her second album, featuring one of the greatest breakup anthems of all time, “Too Little Too Late,” she was caught in a feud with her label. Despite these issues, JoJo kept grinding, growing into the R&B powerhouse she is today. In 2016, she released her latest album, Mad Love, putting her back on the Billboard charts yet again. She is currently on her Mad Love Tour, traveling all over the U.S. and Europe.
Paste caught up with JoJo to talk the language of fashion, her favorite style Instagrams and streetwear.
Were you always interested in fashion or is that a more recent development?
JoJo: I’ve always loved how people put different pieces together to express their personal style. As I’ve gotten older and had more time to experiment, fashion has become a really enjoyable part of my on stage and off stage life.
How do you dress in your day-to-day life as opposed to when you’re performing on stage?
JoJo: My everyday uniform when I’m on the road is skinny jeans, Doc Martens, black on black MAD LOVE beanie from my new merch, long coat (I have a few I love and alternate) and probably a scarf since it’s cold and I want to protect my throat. Onstage, I love to shine. When the lights hit my outfit, I want there to be a little drama. Since I move onstage a lot, I sweat a great deal, too… so it’s important that the material breathes, stretches and hugs my body in all the right places. I’m more modest when it comes to my streetwear compared to my on stage persona.
What’s one of the biggest fashion “mistakes” you’ve made in the past (a bad trend, for example)?
JoJo: Matching EVERYTHING.
What movie, music video or TV show had the most iconic fashion for you?
Scandal. Soul Train. Sex & the City.
Why do you think fashion is important in a larger cultural sense?
JoJo: Through times of peace and times of protest, fashion can be looked at as a snapshot of how people feel. We often literally wear our hearts on our sleeves. Fashion is a thread that connects people around the world; a language of its own.
How does fashion relate to music?
JoJo: Both fashion and music stimulate our senses. When you combine dope music with dope style, it invites the listener/viewer into the specific world you’ve created.
What do you read (magazines, Instagram feeds, whatever) to keep up on fashion?
JoJo: I follow so many cool pages on Instagram, some of my favorites being fashionbombdaily, michagianelli, balmain and versus_versace. I also love reading magazines online or in the airport.
How do you approach styling for something like a music video?
JoJo: I listen to how the music makes me feel and then start putting together an inspiration folder to share with my team so we can put looks together. I’ve been styling myself in collaboration with @reyalfashion (Reinaldo Irizarry) lately and it’s really fun to try a bunch of different things until we achieved the feel we wanted.
Paste: Any New Year’s resolutions?
JoJo: Zero-tolerance in 2017 for any FABS (fake ass bitches).