GRAMMY-winning R&B singer/songwriter Ciara recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Ciara discussed the experience of receiving a GRAMMY nomination, her songwriting process and recent collaborations, including working with GRAMMY-nominated rapper Nicki Minaj on her latest album, Ciara, among other topics.
"I actually have two songs I did with Nicki Minaj," said Ciara. "We didn't even plan on doing it that way but it was an organic connection, and just a really solid connection she and I had musically."
Since breaking onto the music scene in 2003, Atlanta-based Ciara has collaborated with artists such as GRAMMY winners Missy Elliott, Lil Jon, Ludacris, and Justin Timberlake, among others. In 2003 producer Jazze Pha introduced her to GRAMMY-winning producer and LaFace Records co-founder L.A. Reid, who signed her to the label. Released in 2004, Ciara's debut studio album, Goodies, landed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and spawned hits such as "Goodies," "Oh" and "1, 2 Step," the latter of which featured Elliott and earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 48th GRAMMY Awards. Ciara was also nominated for Best New Artist and picked up her first GRAMMY win to date for Best Short Form Music Video for her collaboration with Elliott and Fatman Scoop on "Lose Control."
Ciara's sophomore effort, 2006's Ciara: The Evolution, reached No. 1 and was followed by Fantasy Ride (2009) and Basic Instinct (2010). In 2011 Ciara signed with Epic Records, reuniting her with Reid, the label's chairman/CEO. Released in July, Ciara reached No. 2 on the chart with the hits "Body Party" and "I'm Out" featuring Minaj.