JOZZY IS R&B’S NEXT BIG ACT!
It’s Jozzy SZN! The LOVE Recording artist & song-writer talks exclusively with us on her rise to fame, signing with Puff and what’s next for the Memphis-born, Grammy winning Star. Jozzy’s “Song’s for Women, Free Game for Niggas” has garnered over 3 Million streams, this further proves that Jozzy is here to stay. Captivating audiences with her smooth, confessional music, Jozzy doesn’t hold back. We’re proud to celebrate Pride Month with our latest Cover star, read our exclusive interview below.
HOW DID THE SIGNING TO LOVE RECORDS HAPPEN?
I met Puff about two years ago. I heard he was starting a label called LOVE Records, and they wanted me to come and write, and I met Deforrest who was A&R at Love Records. It was so funny because Puff didn’t really like anything that I was making and I was like “I’m about to leave,” and DeForrest was like “No, I want you to meet Puff.” And then when Puff met me, I think that was it. He understood the type of sound I was coming with. When he saw me and he heard some of my music he was like, “I want you a part of LOVE records.”
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE PUFF DADDY AKA LOVE HAS GIVEN YOU?
One piece of advice Puff has given me is not to worry about the algorithm. The algorithm has no rhythm. Make music because it feels good, and because it pulls your heartstrings. Be as vulnerable as you can. And now I don’t even worry about what people are going to think, I’m not worried about the playlist I’m going to be on, I do it solely because it is what I feel.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND Songs “For Women, Free Game For N*ggas?
The inspiration behind ‘Songs for Women’ was the idea that I am a woman that loves singing to women. I feel like we haven’t had too many people just singing to women as much as they did in the 90s and 2000s. Now there are only two or three people really doing it. Frank Ocean is one of my favorite artists, and he had a project called Nostalgia USA with a song on there called Songs For Women. Every time somebody asks me if I sing songs to get at women, I’m like “Yeah,” and every time I heard that line in Frank’s song it resonated with me because I really sing songs to get at women. I knew that if I wrote this song perfectly, she would fill it, and you know, love me.
BEING A SINGER/SONGWRITER WHAT WAS THE FIRST SONG YOU HEARD THAT MADE YOU GO WOW I WANT TO BE IN THE BUSINESS?
Wow. Goodness Gracious, I think it had to have been Aaliyah’s “Are you that Somebody?” and I was a baby but I knew that sound, it was all about that baby sound, the way Aaliyah wrote “Is it my goal, is it your goal?” Like, I knew I wanted to do music when I heard Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?” And then, the Dr. Doolittle soundtrack kinda changed my life in 1998. I remember being a kid like “Oo, this shit is HARD. This is hard.” So yeah, that’s what I think did it for me..Listening to those songs like that.
WHAT LYRIC FROM YOUR SONG HITS CLOSE TO THE HEART?
“Handle me with care, I don’t want to be damaged by you, I don’t want to be alone in this world alone.” I think that resonates with me in my heart, I don’t care if I want to be a dog and have hella girls, at the end of all of that, I don’t want to be alone. Nobody wants to be alone. That’s a line that will always resonate because I’m a lover and love to give love and be loved.
WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE GROWING UP IN MEMPHIS AND HOW DO YOUR ROOTS AND UPBRINGING SHOW UP IN YOUR SONGS?
It was tough. Life in Memphis was tough. If you can make it in Memphis, you can make it anywhere. You know, Especially in school, none of our schools are good. The best school wasn’t even good. You gotta applaud any kid that graduated high school and didn’t go to jail, or get in trouble, cause like, there was always something to get into. I look at how Memphis made me, it taught me how to move. I was able to be totally myself, but still able to make friends with the Drug dealers, rappers, pimps, but also the nerds, tennis players. I was able to be cool with everybody, and they all appreciated and accepted me. Sometimes in Memphis, you get an identity crisis, and I’m just so glad I didn’t get an identity crisis. I was just my true self and I made it out. And now I’m just living and enjoying everything that I learned from being in Memphis.
WHAT MADE U ADD THE EARTHA KITT SAMPLE ON FREE GAME?
That Eartha Kitt sample is so special to me because I just felt like a man needs to hear Eartha Kitt say that. That’s free game, a free game interlude. You know they always say a lot of successful women don’t find their husbands, they’re always single, but when she says “Are you willing to compromise for a man?” She’s like, “for what? Compromise for who?” I wanted men to hear that because you have to learn how to love a woman how she is, and she shouldn’t have to compromise herself to be with you. It takes an alpha male to be with a strong woman, and it takes a woman to know how to be vulnerable, a little submissive, and still do what she wants. You can be all of that. I just feel like that was a great quote that Ertha Kitt dropped.
YOUR TIME WITH THE QUEEN OF HIP HOP MISSY ELLIOT – WHAT DID U LEARN FROM THAT
Missy Elliott taught me how to work. I just saw her recently, and we were laughing about Camp Kinnelon, and how she really broke people down, and I was there like “I am enjoying myself.” I never hid, I enjoyed the constructive criticism. Missy really just taught me that your identity, your DNA is your DNA. What’s your sound is your sound. She was like, “Yo, this sound you’re coming out with is dope, keep doing that.. Don’t listen to who says that this is dated or not cool, you’re gonna make it cool because you’re Jozzy.”
WHO ARE YOUR ICONS?
Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Missy Elliott, Statik Major, goodness gracious. Prince, Michael Jackson gotta put them on there. Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Diddy, Diddy is a big icon.
WHO IS YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?
Oooooh! My celebrity crush is Meagan freaking Good. Meagan Good. Megan Fox. hahaha. All the Megans. Dang, I’ve had so many celebrity crushes “oooooover the years.” Nia Long can get it right now. Nia Long, I love you, and I don’t know where you’re at in this world, but you need me, and I need you. Who else my celebrity crush? I ain’t gonna front, Miley Cyrus – she’s pretty hot. I think that’s about it. Meagan Good and Megan Fox for sure.
WHAT PRONOUNS DO YOU PREFER?
She/Her. My pronouns are she and her. I’m a woman who, you know what I’m saying, if you are not intimidated by a masculine woman, you know what I’m saying. Depends on what I’m doing, if I want to pull out the masculine vibe, or be sweet Jocelyn, but yeah, it’s just like different strokes, but I’m a she and I’m a her. When I put it down, I’m he.
Diddy DESCRIBED YOU AS THE R&B BIGGIE WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?
I definitely understood what Puff was saying about me being the R&B Biggie. I was nervous about it, but when we dropped the project we showed everybody what we were talking about. The feeling he got with Biggie is the same feeling that he got with me. He says I never dropped a trash song, every song that I’ve done he’s loved, even the songs that didn’t make the project. He sees so much of that Biggie energy. Me being his first artist, Biggie was his first artist, it’s almost like nostalgia for him.
YOU HAVE WRITTEN FOR EVERYONE FROM SZA, AND BEYONCE TO BILLY RAY CYRUS IS THERE ANYONE YOU WOULD LOVE TO PEN SOMETHING FOR?
I really wanna work with Miley Cyrus, man. I’ve always wanted to work with Miley Cyrus. I can’t wait to be able to collab with her and Bad Bunny too. I would love to work with him cause his melodies are just so infectious and I feel like I could really give Bad Bunny some crazy heat. J Balvin, I would love to work with him as well. I would love to work with Nicki Minaj just because like, that’s on my bucket list that I’ve always wanted to do I just never thought I could. I feel like I’m ready for Nicki now.
WHO WOULD BE A DREAM COLLABORATION MUSICALLY FOR YOU?
A dream collaboration musically?? Hmmm, I would love to do a song with Nicki Minaj, Three six Mafia and myself. That’ll be nasty, bro. Three six and Nicki, that’ll be nasty on a song. I really wanna work with Memphis artists too. I would love to work with Moneybagg Yo because of his vocals and just the way he flows, he just followed me on Instagram too. I’m like, all right, yeah, I got Moneybagg following me. Another dream collab would be like, if it’s like the old school vibe, I would definitely want one 112 on the song with me. I actually got two legendary artists on my album that I can’t wait to mention soon.
ARE YOU IN LOVE AT THE MOMENT AND IF SO WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A PARTNER?
Haha, I’m in real heavy, strong LIKE with somebody right now. I don’t know when this is going to drop. But I’m vibing with somebody that got my nose open. That’s what my mama used to say, “Got your nose open”. I look for girls that just separate themselves from everybody. I’m talking about a person who really prays for me. And not only prays for me, a girl who thinks about me, gives me affirmation and, and is a disgusting freak. She has to be spiritual but with a freaky side. Those two things have to go hand in hand, you know what I’m saying? Because the human and the spiritual side, both gotta be pleased, you know?
HOW DOES LOVE SHOW UP IN YOUR MUSIC?
Love shows up in my music through truth and vulnerability. Man. When you’re vulnerable, that’s when you know you’re in love. When I tell a girl “I miss you”, or “You are the only person for me, baby, I’ll never hurt you”, that’s me being vulnerable with somebody that I love. And that’s how it shows up in my music, the vulnerability. Do you know what I’m saying? Not saying things to sound cool, but saying it because I’m really going through this right now.
YOU ARE A GRAMMY-WINNING ARTIST WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE AND HOW WAS THE MOMENT WHEN U WON YOUR AWARD?
Man, it was an amazing moment to win a Grammy. I only wish they would treat songwriters better at the Grammys. I feel like we deserve the trophy, not a certificate. The Grammys are doing a great job, but I really would love for them to give us the hardware. It was a beautiful feeling. I never dreamed of getting a Grammy. I always dreamed about going, but I never dreamt about getting a Grammy. God said my dreams were too small for my own mind.
WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE?
Ooh, I can’t tell you that! My signature fragrance though… I’m gonna tell you. I do like sandalwood, I love things that remind me of the earth, natural earth. I don’t like fruity smells. I like when you smell me and I smell fresh. Everybody says I have the best smell in the game. I would just say that, but I’m not gonna give out my scent though because people ask me all the time and I always say, “I don’t know what I got on”.
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE OR BEAUTY ROUTINE ON THE ROAD?
Yo, my skin, I use topicals and eye patches all day. Those things work miracles. I use Tacha. I use it a lot, I’m very good with my skin regimen. I do it every morning, every night, and depending on if I’m sweating, I do it in the middle of the day too. Also, I love to exfoliate, I literally try to get facials as much as I can. My skin routine definitely includes witch hazel, which some people say it dries out your skin, but it doesn’t dry out mine. Always use some sunscreen. I use my vitamin C, my vitamin E, whatever it’s called. I said diet Vitamin E. Yeah, yeah, go crazy.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR OFF TIME?
Oh, my off time. I like to chill with a friend, and some friends and literally just be at the crib playing video games. I like hiking and doing fun activities. My friends get me to do different things. We’ll go to a little amusement park or just sit on the couch and watch tv. I’m very much two extremes. I can just chill and just be by myself or if I’m gonna go out, it’s gotta be for an activity. I’ll go do pottery, paint, and sip, you know what I’m saying? An art gallery, something like that.
IF WE COME TO MEMPHIS WHERE ARE WE EATING?
Woo. If we come to Memphis, I’m taking y’all to my daddy’s house. <laugh> I ain’t gonna take y’all nowhere. I’m gonna call my pop and be like, “Pop, I got some folks in town and they want that good-ish”, and my pops is gonna go crazy. Like I’m telling you he’s gonna make a spread so crazy. I wouldn’t, yeah. So we would first go to my pop house, and eat there. Then after I take you to my dad’s house, then I’ll take ya to Chings Hot Wings to get some of the best honey gold hot wings that money can buy to get you a 20-piece. Cuz you gonna be like, yo, this is some crazy 20-piece hot honey gold. Then at night I probably take y’all… well it just depends. I, I may take y’all to my boy Curtis Gibbons, club/ restaurant. They got really good food. Or I may take you to, oh my God, what’s Yo Gotti spot? He got some really good food. Um, let me see… Prive!! I’ll take you to Prive. And then that’s right near my house. Easy, easy drive. So yeah, that’s where I’ll take you.
LEAVE US WITH SOME GAME
I’ll leave you all with some free game. Free game. Hmm, Free game that I would give to anybody that’s in love or somebody that feels like they don’t know what they want, relationship-wise or this and that, just keep it real. Do not lie. Be as transparent as you can be with anything, your managers, your loved ones, your spouse, your girlfriends, and your boyfriends. You do not have to lie. Free game is just to understand that, if somebody messes with you, they’re gonna be with you through the good and the bad. If they don’t mess with you, then you know they don’t mess with you. Let ’em go. Yeah.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU ON THIS SUPERSTAR JOURNEY?
What’s next for me on this superstar journey is the fashion. I really wanna touch into the fashion world. I’ve always looked at some of my favorite icons and idols have all dabbled in fashion from Diddy with Sean John and Madonna with Jean-Paul Gaultier and Asap Rocky with Ralph Simmons and Rick Owens and what he did. And I just look at all of my favorite idols and I’ve seen, how they’ve been able to move. I definitely wanna step into the fashion world, even with Missy when she did Adidas and Reebok. That’s why I’m so happy that I’m a part of Galore because I really am a huge fan and like what you all do in the fashion sense. So yeah, I’m super excited to step into superstardom as far as fashion and, of course, continue to make amazing music and just build my fan base, um, ear by ear. Do you know what I’m saying?
Photographer: Jared Ryder
Wardrobe Stylist: Legendary Lade
Assistant Stylist: Rashad James
Galore Art Director: Perrin Johnson @Editsbyperry
Editor-in-Chief: Prince Chenoa @princechenoastudio