Willa Ford planting flowers? “I’m trying to do the homeowner thing with flowers but everything is flying around” said Will as her plant falls to the ground. “Hey little guy, are you alright?”
What kind of flowers are they?
I have no idea about flowers.
The are the flowers they put on the Lei in Hawaii. The smell is kick ass, it’s a mix between suntan lotion and fruit. I had to have it but I don’t know how to take care of it. I’m a disaster. I really want to do the green thumb thing because my dad is a farmer but it’s a disaster.
Do you usually like to do things like that?
I want a garden but I don’t have time to have one so this is my potted plant version, but it’s a disaster.
It’s the Willa no one would expect.
Yeah, the potted plant Willa. (We both laugh) It’s more peaceful with plants around, don’t you think?
Yep. And it makes me wonder if Willa the farmer is the same as Willa the singer.
There are sides of me you won’t see in videos. How much fun is watching me messing around with potted plants in a video. I do have daily chores like everyone else. But everyone says I’m totally different than they expected.
Totally. You have to entertain. Entertaining is the thing normal people would do on alcohol. (We both laugh) That is what we do most of the time, which is our job.
Is it fun to be that person?
Oh yeah. That is why people do it. Some people want to be a musician only and do it for the music, I do it for the love of music too, but you have to entertain. Very few people get away without entertaining. I read a quote from Elton John where he said he’d do anything to be able to continue to be able to make music
On that note, is there a limit?
There is a limit. I had an interview with Playboy and they asked if I would pose for them and I said no.
Is it about the tease? Because Playboy isn’t about the tease.
Totally, that is about just flat out showing yourself. I’m all about the chase and the tease, but I’m not that hooker. I don’t put out like that. I’m comfortable with my body and could run around naked with friends, but I would care if my grandmother saw me and I’m Baptist and I have morals. I do keep things for myself from my fans and being naked is one of them. I think the chicks appreciate the fact that I don’t want to get naked.
What does your family think?
At first I didn’t know how to explain things to my grandmother, and she is pretty hip. She got cable just to get MTV. She and her friends get together to watch me and it makes you think twice about what you do. I explained my job to them and showed them the first video. She was very proud but she said she’d disown me if I got naked and I told her not to worry about it because I would never do that.
Who decides on your limits? Yourself, management?
How do you feel when the record label calls you the “supreme bad girl”?
The thing is they know me, and I am, but how bad is bad? It’s all relative, but is it so bad I’ll go to jail? I’m not going to do things illegal. I will push the envelope and act like a mischievous diva, hell yeah. But I’m not a diva, that’s not my style at all.
Have you always been mischievous?
Yeah, I’ve done things, but I always got out of it and always got out of trouble. Guess what I was doing when I missed school, was I getting into trouble? No, I was either still sleeping or I was doing stuff for drama. I might have been skipping class but I was in the drama class rehearsing. I was just focused. I was always against the grain. If someone said wear jeans I wore a skirt.
A lot of people are like that.
I can’t be conformed. I’ll go and wear coochie cutter shorts and mid-drift. If I’m feeling it then I’ll wear it. But I’m the kind of girl that will flirt with you all night, but you aren’t taking me home. That is the bad girl. Guys are like ‘god damn, she’s fucking with me again’.
Is it because you don’t take things too seriously?
Exactly. When you take things too seriously you’re screwed.
I talk to a lot of pop artists who are too serious and you get bored quick.
Music is fun and celebration, pop isn’t taken seriously in the first place. It’s not classical opera. I did that too. I had to stop because I couldn’t stand there in a little black dress and be conformed. If I had made it as an opera singer it would have been fun to see how that would have turned out.
You might have shaken the opera world up.
(Laughs) Coochie cutter shorts and all. (We both laugh)
Does it bother you that this bad girl image overshadows you as a singer?
No because I’ll do whatever it takes to let me sing. That is how I feel about it. If someone told me I had to be naked on stage to sing then I’d do it. If that is what it took, but it does get overshadowed. It’s not my fault, or the artists fault it’s the fans who want it. You have to give the GP what they want. [ed note: GP meaning general public] I have no problem that I might have to wear my shorts up my butt to get my music across. There are girls who like me because I help them deal with issues and get my music for what it is. I have an outlet to create what I do, but when I have time off I drive everyone crazy.
Back in the day you had Cindi Lauper against Madonna, today you have Britney and Christina and you and it can’t all be the same thing. The fans want something different.
Right and I’m not into Britney. She is cool, but I’m not into her flavor. We art totally different artists. She doesn’t create music or a self-proclaimed vocalist. Christina is a singer and writer, but I can pick up an instrument and play it. That is no mystery to people and I have studied classical opera for four years. I just happen to have a certain look and my body looks a certain way and that is what the general public wants to see.
So back to the marketing overshadowing talent…
…right, no matter what I do. I have gone into a studio where they are like ‘wholy shit, you have mad skills’. Why doesn’t anyone think I do? They say it’s because no one else in this genre does. They will write a little bit…
…and get their names in the credits.
Exactly. Is it fair that they get credit for writing two lines? I don’t write by myself. I write with someone else. I don’t write the entire track and take total credit.
Is there a point where you want to get out of pop music?
Yeah. I have talked to my management and I thought it would be cool to make a classical album and just white label it so no one knows who it was. They do photo shoots and the face is distorted. What about doing Broadway? What if the business gets so ugly where I can’t deal with it? So what do I want to do? I want to sing in a little jazz bar. I want to retire to a jazz bar. If we could all have careers like Madonna that would be awesome, but we can’t all have that. I’m young now and in the pop genre but when I get older I won’t look this great. If me and Britney turn forty and we won’t look this great then so who will still have a career still in music? The one who studied classical opera and makes her own music? I don’t freak out about it really. The time I took for the classical training was time well spent. I will always have that.
Is being beautiful a burden?
Who would complain? I would smack the person who complains about being cute. The same people that look at me for the all the wrong reasons are the same people who signed me to a record deal. (we both laugh) They were looking at me and said I have a great voice, but it was because I was hot and was marketable. The girls who aren’t cute rarely work out.
I remember when I was a teen and I had the hot pop artist on my wall, Madonna was one. So what is it like to have teenage guys buying your poster and putting it on the wall?
It’s cool. When I grew up I had posters on my wall like that. I had Slater from Saved by the Bell. He was hot. That is how I learned about sex appeal. If I can help them through puberty then that is great. Some fifteen year old boy across the street probably thinks it’s sweet that I live across the street. The kids in the neighborhood came to introduce themselves and he forgot his name. (We both laugh) At the same time there has always been that hot girl in the magazine.
If I’m fourteen or fifteen I bet I have your poster on my wall.
Okay, let’s say you can get your own way and run something, MTV, a record label, and so on. What would you want to run?
Wow that’s a good question. I would probably want to run a record company or MTV. Okay, there is a double standard for things and I would like to run those places and fuck it all up. Instead of hot female interns there’d be all these hot male interns. (We both laugh) Suddenly the guests on the show aren’t who is selling the most records, but the music would be fierce. I’d give everyone the music in the studio that no one hears. I have writing some great stuff that is off the chain but you don’t get to hear. Forty years ago if I wrote that they’d release it, it’s too risky now.
If you were running a record label who would be the first artists you’d sign?
Gwen Stefani. Purely off the fact that she can sell it. She could sell country music.
Who would you sign just because you would love to hang with them?
Michael Jackson would be curious.
I have met people who said he is hard to work with.
Well you could hire him and then fire him, just to get him in there to see what is going on there.
Just for a day dude. (We both laugh) Shit dude, this is going to sound really insane, but Faith Hill. I want to know how she makes it work. There is such a fine balance, but she is more than luck. I want to have what she has. I really want to see how she balances and makes it work.
Do you ever watch the Jessica Simpson show?
Oh my god, the comedy. (We both laugh) I know her. I don’t hang out with her and she is really sweet and is nice and the Christian girl that she makes herself out to be and she isn’t a hypocrite. But what is crazy to me is that she never came across as that dumb. I may do ditzy things and am scattered, but they really focus on it. She thought buffalo wings were from buffalos. That just isn’t normal. The fact that she said it I wondered if she was serious, but she wasn’t kidding. And the chicken of the sea thing. I might have actually wondered if it was chicken salad or tuna salad, but when you taste it, but it’s the fact that when he told her that she was so confused. You know what is funny my guy friends used to think she was so hot but now they are like there is no way they could deal with her. She is one of those chicks you date once and never marry. He seems so smart.
It’s funny and works because people want to watch, but is her music career over now?
It is definitely career suicide. I love her and she had a beautiful voice.
Bad move for sure, but why didn’t her husband step in and say ‘this might not be a good idea’ or maybe he didn’t know she was that dumb.
That is the problem with not moving in with each other until you are married, I say bullshit. At least get engaged and move in together because you’re going to live with each other for the rest of your lives.
Do you have a fantasy about getting married and having kids?
Yep, but mine is different. I don’t want to be a normal family. My kids won’t be normal. I have a niece and she has like five hundred outfits and it’s all me. My niece loves people and socializing. She loves to sing and dance. My mom raised us to believe we could do whatever we want to. She would let us do whatever we wanted to do. If we drank we had to do it at home, and not somewhere else. She was so cool. Same with drugs. But I never did them because of that. I want a family, but not the typical family.
I’m glad I talked to you because I think people have a misconception and I will admit I did too.
Thanks. You know most people who talk to me don’t think I have a brain. I was in gifted class so I wasn’t an idiot.
And not just some chick that Maxim drools over to through in a bikini and g-string and make jokes about for being dumb enough to do it.
I laugh about those magazines because they always try to make me look dumb during my interviews because I throw it back at them. They’ll ask ‘do you ever think about being naked?’ and I’ll say ‘do you ever think about interviewing somebody?’ or asking a really good question. It’s ridiculous.
Hell I wouldn’t have pegged you for a gardener and wanting kids. So I’m glad I had the chance to find out.
To get the real deal. (We both laugh)
+ Charlie Craine