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Standout Track: No. 2, “Whatever,” a busy ’80s-inspired urban pop track, produced by D.C. beatmakers Young Boy and Mo Digga. Jones, a multiracial singer-dancer, plays to her strengths by singing about the ins and outs of being a multiracial singer-dancer. “Is she black?/Is she white?/Whatever/Can she sing?/Can she dance?/Whatever,” Jones sings.
Musical Motivation: D.C. resident Jones, 21, says a ton of people helped craft her new album, Celebrity Music—everyone from producer Swizz Beatz to rapper Kwame (yes, the one with the polka dots). But “Whatever” is all Jones. “A friend said to me, ‘Let’s do the music you want to do,’ and this was the song we came up with,” she says. Jones wanted the lyrics to address her multiethnic background and some of the questions she’s constantly asked. Sonically, she strove to incorporate the different sounds she heard growing up. “I lived in upstate New York for half of my life, listening to Cyndi Lauper, Madonna,” Jones says. “Then, I went to high school in North Carolina and was listening to rap, R&B. soul. I definitely say [my sound is] all that put together.”
Double Fantasy: Jones performed “Whatever” on BET’s 106th and Park in September, as part of the show’s “Wild Out Wednesday” talent contest, which she went on to win. “I was superpsyched,” she recalls. “I mean, Beyoncé has been on this stage, Mariah Carey has been on this stage.” Like Bey, Jones says she gets over pre-performance jitters by taking on a new identity. “It’s funny because, it’s so true—having an alter-ego helps,” Jones says. “When I’m all made up, glammed up, everyone calls me Kitten, or Kit. It’s because of my makeup—I always want cat eyes—not because it sounds stripper-ish.”
Jamie Jones performs Sunday, June 28, at the 9:30 Club