This is the VICE Interview. Each week we ask a different famous and/or interesting person the same set of questions in a bid to peek deep into their psyche.
You will absolutely, most definitely know 26-year-old singer JoJo from her early-2000s bangers Leave (Get Out) and Baby It's You . What you might not know is that JoJo didn't entirely disappear for the last ten years – she's released mixtapes, one-offs, covers. She's even made new material but wasn't able to release it due to disputes with her record labels. However, after persevering through a long and bitter battle with her labels for placing her in musical limbo and seriously damaging her career, JoJo is signed to Atlantic Records.
Mad Love is her first album in 10 years, and its first single Fuck Apologies (ft. Wiz Khalifa), signals a big comeback. JoJo is currently touring Europe to promote the album and will be playing at Heaven in London on the 1st of February, so we called her up to talk about being an earthling and why boys who throw rocks at ducks are dicks.
How long do you think you would last in space?
As an astronaut in some kind of ship? I don't think I would survive very long. I don't think I'm meant to be in space, I'm definitely an Earthling, an Earth girl. I would get very lonely, I like being by myself but that's next level solitude. I'm not really down with that.
How often do you lie when answering interview questions?
One out of ten times.
What have you done in your life that you most regret?
I regret lying to a boyfriend who didn't deserve it. I regret that I cheated on him and that just isn't something I'm proud of.
Why did you break up with your very first boyfriend?
When I moved to New Jersey from Massachusetts I was the new girl at the middle school. I met this super cute boy, he was really popular and I couldn't believe that he wanted to date me. I was 12. We took a walk together along the Hudson River and he threw rocks at ducks. He threw rocks at them, trying to hurt them. I broke up with him and never wanted to talk to him again after that because I thought it was terrible. Why would you want to throw rocks at ducks? I was so upset. What kind of a person are you?
What is the nicest thing you own?
My condo in Boston. I have this old, beautiful printing press that I've been renting out to people for the last 5 or 6 years. I'm really proud of it, I love it, it's a beautiful home. I have some great jewellery that I've inherited too, and that I've collected over the years from Native American art dealers.
What film or TV show makes you cry?
That movie Zootopia. It's really about society, it's quite deep. I thought it was so beautiful the way it was done, because it's an animated film but they always seem to sneak in some really meaningful messages into these movies. It's about race and society and differences and prejudice.
When was the last time you said no in something relating to your career?
It's less no and more, "This is not acceptable for me so how are we going to change it". I try to look for solutions rather than just saying, "no".
What was your first email address?
I think it was the name of my first hamster, which was Arnick. A-R-N-I-C-K 90 at probably aol.com.
What conspiracy theory do you believe?
Well, I definitely believe in aliens. I'm just going to leave it right there with the aliens – I do like a good conspiracy theory but I don't want to get myself wrapped up. But I think aliens have been to earth and helped us. I like the idea of Ancient Aliens – I'm sure you've seen that show – where we've had Intergalactic help from other beings. I wouldn't purport to say that it's 100 percent true but it's a theory that I enjoy.
What have you done in your career that you're most proud of?
I'm most proud of my relationship with my fans and being able to travel around the world after not having put out an official album in 10 years but still have the support and the loyal fanbase. It makes me very happy.
What memory from school stands out to you stronger than any other?
I remember the first time I heard the word inquisitive and my teacher used it against me as an insult. In second grade my teacher Mr Beckenstein said, "you're very inquisitive", and I went home and looked up that word and I didn't know what it meant. Also I remember my fourth grade teacher said, "don't insult my intelligence", and I didn't know what that meant either because I was not trying to insult her intelligence. Those two moments stand out to me.
Would you rather change one day from your past or see one day from your future?
I would rather see my future. The future interests me more than the past.
Do you think University is worth it?
I think it depends. You see so many examples of particularly people in our generation, millennials who are changing the world and changing technology and moving things forward without a college degree. I don't think it's necessary, but it's also not to be overlooked. I'm sure there's a lot to gain from it, but me personally I've gotten an incredible education from travelling the world and reading the books I choose to read and having the conversations I choose to have, but that's not to say that a University education isn't important. I'm sure you need a college degree if you want to be in finance, but if you want to be a rock star you don't need it.
If you were a wrestler, what song would you come into the ring to?
"I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys. Would you have sex with a robot?
Yes. I would try it for sure. Why not? It doesn't seem like it would hurt anybody, except maybe me a little bit.
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