Even after all these years in the international arena, Jessica Sutta still loves the club. If she’s lucky, no one recognizes her. Then the former Pussycat Doll becomes just another dancer on the floor, lost in the beat. Now, Jessica steps out from the shadow of the band that made her famous. She releases “Show Me,” her Hollywood Records premiere single, in August 2011. If you love to dance, you’ll want to pay attention.
Produced by busbee (Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum), “Show Me” explodes with shuffle-fueled energy, reaffirming Jessica as the soulful vocalist she’s always been. “I’ve had a love of dance music for as long as I can remember,” she says. “I mean, I am from Miami.” The leap from Pussycat Doll to solo artist meant Jessica had to stretch. She’s been writing songs and working with producers like Ralphi Rosario, Dave Audé and Alex Gaudino/Jason Rooney. “It’s been great to express myself,” she says of the process. “I like to write about love a lot. I’m a hopeless romantic.”
Since bursting on the global pop scene with the Pussycat Dolls in 2003, Jessica built a reputation as a fan favorite, the sexy glamour icon with a heart of gold. She’s all that and more. An astute observer of the music world, she prepared herself for her eventual solo breakout. “As an artist I grow every day,” she says. “I’m trying to bring out new sounds and fun lyrics, to be a part of the dance world where people can feel sexy. My music shows who I am inside.”
She’s been in pursuit of that goal all her life. The Florida native started dance lessons at age 3, excelling to the point she became a Miami Heat cheerleader even before graduating high school (she later made captain of the squad). As much as she loved the job and the south Florida club scene, Jessica’s artistic dreams were too big for Miami. After moving to L.A. in 2003, it wasn’t long before her talent caught the eye of choreographer Robin Antin, who had envisioned a female group that blended dance and pop with a burlesque sensibility.
With two multi-platinum albums, Top 10 singles like the Grammy-nominated “Stickwitchu,” and countless concerts around the world, the Pussycat Dolls re-imagined feminine style. Though part of an ensemble, Jessica had many memorable moments in the spotlight, such as her #1 Dance Singles track, “White Lies,” produced by Paul Van Dyk, and the #1 Club track “Make It Last” with hit remixer Dave Audé.
Her years with the Dolls made Jessica a star, but also taught her valuable lessons. “Working with women I learned how to manage different personalities,” she recalls. “Getting along and loving each other helped. We traveled in one bus, and when we’d get off the stage, we’d take our make-up off, get in PJs and watch a movie.”She also says the jolt of worldwide fame, and the demands on her time led her to a crossroads moment. “There was a point I could have been an asshole or chose to be humble. I chose the latter. It’s harder, because if you’re not centered or focused, you could lose yourself. But I became more humbled through the years.”
Though the coming months will surely keep Jessica wrapped up in career, she has always taken seriously the concept of giving back. While in the Pussycat Dolls, she traveled to India to work with New Possibilities, a charity that helps lift young Indians out of poverty. She has also worked to support marriage equality, and counts her gay fans among her favorites. “That’s something I want to stand up for,” she says. “If its all about you, it’s just an ego thing.”
Still, there’s work to be done and fans to please. With the new single out, life will get a lot more interesting for Jessica. “I definitely want to travel the world with my music and reach fans everywhere,” she says, adding of her passion, “When you’re on the floor, you feel dance music in your feet, in your heart. It does put you in a trance in some ways, and I hope my music will do that.”