Naya Rivera Talks "Sorry"
Tue, 08 Oct 2013 12:40:10
Naya Rivera's new single, "Sorry" featuring Big Sean, is unapologetically unique and undeniable. The Glee star delivers an immediately unforgettable hook over sizzling production, stepping into her own as a veritable pop force. It's one of the year's most memorable and magical jams, loaded with sass and sexiness.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Naya Rivera opens up about the story behind "Sorry" [iTunes link], talks her favorites, discusses what's next for her musically, and so much more.
What's the story behind "Sorry"? What does it mean to you?
I wanted to write a song basically about winning and not apologizing for it. I really like that hashtag #sorrynotsorry that everyone would tweet. We were having a conversation about Twitter and that. There were also some experiences I took my friends and it all just boiled into one song.
What was recording it like?
Well, I was in a writing session. We had the concept, and I just wrote #sorrynotsorry down. We went away to go pick up food. When we got back, the producer had the skeleton of the beat up. I was like, "That sounds amazing!" It took us a minute to get the melody. It just clicked. It was very organic.
Are you and Big Sean on the same page creatively? Did you instantly click in the studio?
I think we're on the same page musically. We like a lot of the same things. Obviously, I was very gung-ho about this song. I played it for him, and he loved it. I asked him to be on it. He went away and came back with his verse already done. It was exactly what I was wanting!
Does this open the doorway to more music?
Absolutely! This is the first of many. I've got a lot of songs I'm really excited about and I believe in. You will definitely be hearing more from me.
What's the vibe of the other songs?
It's the same. It's that urban pop crossover rhythm lane. I think it's cool because I don't feel like I sound like anybody else vocally. It's nice to be really unique in that aspect.
There's a certain amount of attitude that comes across in the lyrics. You've got a lot of personality.
Definitely, I wanted to bring a little bit of the sass. I thought it was a nice transition since everybody knows me from playing Santana [Laughs]. As more and more music comes out, I'll touch on different subjects. I've got some ballads that are really heartfelt. I'm excited.
What artists do you come back to?
It's people like John Mayer and Robin Thicke. Those are my favorites. I first heard them both when I was in high school. From then on, I was always buying their albums.
Are there other rappers you'd like to seek out for collaborations?
Absolutely, I'm a big fan of rap. There a couple of people I want to work with.
You need to do a song with John Mayer and Lil Wayne.
[Laughs] Lil Wayne could just do the remix of "Who Says".
Do you feel like acting and music are two different creative sides of yourself? Or, do they intertwine?
Yeah, I think they go hand-in-hand. I've been doing both of them at the same time since I was very little. The key thing about both aspects is they're performance. You have to be able to deliver a line and put feeling behind it just like you have to be able to sing a line.
What are some of your techniques for delivery?
I'm big on lyrics. I listen to the lyrics of songs more than I listen to the beat. That also stems from being an actress and having to memorize lines. I'll take a song, memorize it, and put myself in that situation, those shoes, and listen to what I'm saying. I'll definitely connect with it.
Is storytelling an important aspect of songwriting for you?
Yeah, I think that's what's beautiful about music. It's storytelling. That's the best part of writing your own music. You get to tell a story and how you're feeling on a certain day and share that with people.
What's next for you?
I'm recording more music as well as a Spanish version of "Sorry", which I'm very excited about. There's more Glee and more acting too!
Have you heard "Sorry"?