“I’ve always enjoyed music and singing,” says singer/songwriter Jodi V, “but I grew up in a religious household, so singing anywhere else but at church was not an option.” Her first public performance was at age seven with her rendition of “These Words I Sing for You,” a bilingual song composed by her father for her mom. She sang for a dozen friends and family members on her neighbor’s porch.
“At the age of 18,” she says, “I was given a bit more freedom, so I took advantage by collaborating with local hip-hop artists and producers that I met through mutual friends.”
While singing hooks for rappers and producers in exchange for studio time, Jodi posted her own four-song demo on MySpace. One of the rap groups she performed with also has a MySpace page, which they used to send a “friend request” to Rotation Music, a record label based for over 20 years in Laguna Beach. Label heads weren’t impressed by the hip-hoppers, but they did like the photo of Jodi V they saw on the rappers’ MySpace.
“I was approached through MySpace by [label owner] Allan Gomez,” says Jodi. “He offered to help me release my first album.” Distributed by label heavyweight Universal, Jodi V’s provocatively titled debut Seed of Love is set for release September 9.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
“I’m bumping Colbie Caillat’s Coco CD for the moment. Her voice is extremely soothing, and I can relate to a lot of her songs.”
“The Sweetest Thing is the funniest chick flick ever, but no one will watch it with me because I always rewind it to my favorite parts at least five times in a row. There’s also The Notebook.
C’mon, you know you love it, too. And probably The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, though I admit they’re a little creepy. They’re for those days when I’m in a silly mood.”
TWO FAVORITE WEBSITES?
1. MySpace.com: “You can find old friends, new friends, old lovers, new lovers, family, and music. You can even get signed by a major record label!”
2. YouTube.com: “Staying up on Saturday night until two in the morning watching videos is way better than a potential DUI.”
THREE GUILTY PLEASURES?
1. “I constantly laugh and crack jokes about people with bad fashion sense. It’s mean, but I really can’t help it.”
2. “Being late. I like my five extra minutes.”
3. “Eating a lot of Mexican candy. I had an ulcer two years ago from it, but I just can’t stop.”
BRUSH WITH FAME?
“I got to see Xzibit, MC and host of Pimp My Ride, backstage at one of his concerts. I thought it would be cute to ask him to ‘officially pimp me,’ but he refused. He must get that all the time because he seemed pretty annoyed.”
LAST BOOK READ?
“Well, I’ll admit that, ever since MySpace, I haven’t been reading too much. How to Write a Hit Song is probably the last book I read. It demonstrates and breaks down hit songs so you can learn what works.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“I love the Turf Club on the corner of C and 25th Street. It’s a bar-and-grill where you cook your own food on one huge grill while talking to complete strangers. There’s also ‘Intervention,’ Sundays at the Hard Rock Hotel, which is a cool spot to party it up during the day. There’s always a beautiful crowd.”
YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA?
“‘Time heals everything, so don’t give in or give up.’ I came up with this one day, and I repeat it to myself whenever I’m having a weak moment.”
BEST “I WAS SO BUZZED” STORY?
“I have way too many stories…I’ll keep it short and PG rated. After clubbing one night I let my friend push me around in a shopping cart. It was hilarious — until he hit a crack and I flew out. I was wearing a skirt, so it was a hot mess!”
1. “I worked at a kiosk in the mall selling portable karaoke machines. It sucked because I had to sing all these horrible songs, and I always seemed to run into someone I knew.”
2. “The worst was this clerical job I had at a funeral home. I was paid $7 an hour to type up death certificates. Surprisingly, I was also responsible for ushering and singing at the funeral services, making casket sprays, driving the company limo or coach whenever the reverend showed up hungover, pulling out dead people from the fridge for ID viewings, and even — yikes — putting makeup on them.”
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
“I constantly get told that I come off as intimidating or snobby, but the truth is that I’m sweet and very interested in what you have to say.”