Ciara, do you still feel like an underdog at all?
That's a good question. To be honest, it definitely is a blessing. I look back and know that it's been over 15 years since my first album that I've been doing this. I feel like I'm just getting started. The reality is that there's really so much more to be done and that I know I can do. I don't know if I necessarily look at things from that perspective. I can understand why someone would probably say that, but to be honest with you, I don't really look at things that way. I'm really focused more on the grind and all that I want to accomplish. I think it's really cool, again, like I say, I've been very blessed to have done a lot so far. But there's still so much that I haven't done which, I think, makes the journey even more worthwhile and what motivates me even more, because there's still a lot to do.
How do you feel about this point in your life?
I haven't seen everything that I could possibly see already at this point. So I'm grateful for my takes, that my takes that I've been going on are that my career has taken me on. The best is yet to come, truthfully. So, yeah, I feel motivated from the success and the journey and also knowing that, again, there's just so much more to do and I'm focused on that.
What’s your self-care routine like?
One of my things I want to do is physically dig deeper and try to work on my conditioning, trying to be even better than what I was last year. As far as just trying to stay on top of my body and my health and things that I eat and trying to make better decisions overall. What you eat affects your body and what you do to your body affects your mind and everything else. For me, it's a performance perspective. It's so necessary to make sure I'm on top of my overall health and wellness. Just making my life a priority as far as my health is concerned.
What do you still wish to accomplish?
There's a couple of business things that I wanted to get into, so it's kind of a bit more like my personal goal sheet. I just write down a list of things that I want to accomplish within my business. Whether it's expanding members of my company, for Beauty Marks Entertainment, or if it's creative goals and plans. I just wrote a lot of those things down on my list. Some of them I can't really share, because it's more of an internal thing, but basically, I did have one to achieve, the goals that I wrote down on my goal sheet for this year. Just to continue leveling up for me is important. But just focus on trying to make this year better than last year.
It seems that you made a pivot in your career and in your life, and it seems that you came back around and it seems like the thing that you are doing are very much more decided and very intentional.
That's so awesome that you say that. What you're saying is exactly where I am. Yes, I am being intentional. I feel like for the first time ever in my whole career, I'm able to really fully express myself and do things exactly the way that I envisioned them. Even if I try something and it doesn't come out quite perfect, it just feels good being able to have this freedom to do things exactly how I want to and not have to wait for the traditional process of approval that I would be into by being in a major recording system. For me, it really does feel good to be in that place and space and being able to do things. Being able to do things the way that I've been able to after going on this whole new chapter on the business side of it all. It feels really good.
Was that scary for you?
It was a bit of, "Okay, what's this going to be like?" Because I was used to being in a major recording system for at least 12, 13 of those years. I think it's always a big wonder when you decide to take a risk and step up out of your comfort zone and environments that you're used to being in, because there is a difference. There is a big difference in a major recording system to doing it on your own, but I felt extremely motivated and extremely inspired and empowered.
Is ownership important to you?
This chapter for me in my life and career is really about ownership. I've been working so hard for so many years, grinding, sacrificing, investing, but only being able to have the opportunity to see a small percentage of what I put into it economically. For me, I think that when you do this thing long term, one, you do it because you love it, and I'm really big with my fans. I'm literally living my dream, but I also want to make sure that when it's all said and done, the bottom line reflects my hard work and effort, and that I was able to earn every bit of what I put into my career.
How do you feel about the music industry now?
The reality is that I love an industry that will never love me the way that I love it. I see that as literally as that's what business is. When we're passionate about things, we put so much into them, because you love it. But, the reality is that the day doesn't go the way you planned it; and if days or years don't go the way that you planned it, then there's no mercy. It is what it is. That's just business.
You seem to have an unemotional take on the industry now.
I know I love what I do, but I got to make sure I'm making cents, as in C-E-N-T-S. I've got to make sure that when it's all said and done, when I lay my head on the pillow at 50 years old that every bit of what I invested, all my time, hard work, and effort that I put into building my brand and career was worth it and I can actually still enjoy the fruits of my labor.
So, it’s all worth the risk.
It was a big risk, but again it was a part of that whole new chapter, the whole new mission and journey that I've been going on, to level up and to be your own boss. To level up is not being afraid to take a risk. That's the only way that we really can grow. I really believe the only way we can really grow and truly excel in life is if we take risks. If we take a leap of faith and take the next step or plant the seed, it's all part of leveling up. For me, that's a big part of my mission in life, to keep getting better, just maximizing life. That's what I really want to do, honestly, is maximize the opportunities as they come. That's my ultimate goal.”