By Stephanie DuBois
Poised beyond her 20 years, Grammy-winning songstress Ciara says she's neither overwhelmed nor surprised by the phenomenal success she's achieved in the past year and a half.
"I've been asking for everything I've been getting," says the Atlanta-born singer/songwriter who a few short years ago "wrote down on paper that I had a goal to be a professional singer and I wanna be there soon.
"I always say the tongue is so powerful and when you speak it, it just may happen. I feel so blessed because things have been happening and I'm enjoying every bit of it."
Indeed. To say things have been happening for the 20-year-old 'military brat' who has lived in Germany, New York, California, Arizona and Nevada is an understatement.
Her debut album, "Goodies" has been certified triple platinum, she's been nominated for innumerable awards and received over 30 accolades which include being recognized at the Grammy's, Billboard, BET, Vibe and Soul Train Awards. She was named "Entertainer of the Year," winner of the "R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist" at the 2005 Soul Train Awards and won a Grammy win this year for her singing on Missy Elliott's hit single "Lose Control."
"Goodies" is the hit single from producer Lil' Jon, who introduced the world to the newly-formed genre, "Crunk & B" which he describes as "R&B songs that get you crunk. They make you wanna wild out" ala Usher's megahit "Yeah" a couple of years ago.
Crunkalicious "Goodies" may be, but Ciara is not happy that she's been labeled "The princess of Crunk & B" by the media.
"'Goodies' is the only single that's 'Crunk & B,' notes the singer who co-wrote most of the tunes on the CD. "The entire album is not of that genre so theoretically I'm not the 'Princess.'"
If she continues with the same determination she began with, Ciara will end up being the Queen of whatever domain she chooses.
Once she decided to become a singer, she says she left childish ways behind.
"I watched my peers worrying about who's wearing what, going to school, trying to talk to somebody and I was like 'I'm trying to be somebody. What can I do to get there as soon as possible?'" She says she sacrificed a lot to pursue her goals. "I cut out going to the movies, I cut out hanging with my friends?I cut out the boyfriend - actually I had my heart broken so I was really like, 'I'm 'bout to do this. I'm 'bout to be on top.'"
Ciara was involved with Bow Wow for a little over a year, but they recently announced they'd split amicably and she declines to discuss her personal life.
However, it sounds like a personal life might just be in the way for now, as she's expanding her focus toward conquering the film and television arenas.
She stars in MTV's "All You've Got" volleyball movie airing on May 20 and says, "After having that film experience I truly believe the sky is the limit. There are so many things I want to tap into, in the world of film and television and I want to contribute some great work."
Ciara plays the head of a volleyball team at a wealthy high school in the coming of age film.
"Our school gets burned down and we go to our rival school," she says. "You get to see us all going through different emotions and trying to find ourselves and find out what we're going to do with our lives after high school."
The role definitely offered her a chance to show what she could do acting-wise, she says.
"I get into a fight with one of the girls. I drug somebody's drink... I mean I'm just all over the place, caught up in the moment doing the wrong thing. But I learn the lesson from that and realize all the things I did, that they were wrong and why they were wrong then I apologize."
Ciara says "All You've Got" has the ring of truth to it.
"It's just real," she says. "It's the things we do go through in high school. Even my homegirls go through so many things as young women. The movie took me back to when I was younger, like 14-years-old and trying to figure out what I wanted to do after high school...when you're trying to find out what its going to be like. You experiment and do all kinds of different things to find out if that's what you really want to do, then you go with it."
Going with the flow is definitely what she plans to do.
She's currently working on her sophomore album, is part of the Candy's clothing line campaign, will be doing a lot of spot dates here and there this summer. And, oh yes, back to conquering the rest of the entertainment world.
"I'll just say this," she offers without giving too much away. "There are definitely some things in store, definitely some big plans that I'm looking forward to."