A Short Convo With… Fefe Dobson
The 24-year-old punk star talks to VIBE about her new album Joy, how Katy Perry beat her to girl-kissing fame and laughing at the Rihanna comparisons.
VIBE: Your second album, Joy, will be released soon. Describe its sound.
Fefe Dobson: It’s mature, but it’s fun. It’s more raw than the first record. I wanted it to have imperfections. Like at the end of “I Want You,” there’s laughter, because I was actually honestly laughing.
As a young, black punk rocker, why do you think young black women don’t really follow the genre like a white teen supports a group like Paramore?
It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people with that ethnicity or look, but that’s what I love. I love rock ‘n’ roll, and I’d be untrue to myself if I did anything other than that or didn’t have that element. I love Soul music, but I feel like that all can come together on my terms in rock ‘n’ roll.
What does a Fefe Dobson show look like?
A lot of different faces, which is beautiful. You see a bunch of races there. I’m bi-racial, so it’s cool to see other black girls out there or white girls or gay boys, lesbians, everything.
Let’s get into the album. Do you write all of your songs?
What bad relationship inspired “Set Me Free”?
It was basically a turning point for me. I was making what turned out to be Joy. “Set Me Free” was the first song I wrote for it. I set the tone for a joyful feeling. Even though it’s an emotional ballad, it really set the path for the album being liberated and fun in an odd way. It was a release, very therapeutic.
Have you ever plotted on getting a guy like you do on “I Want You”?
[Laughs] Yeah. Ever since I was young, I’d be the one buying the boy flowers.
How many have you hit on and actually gotten?
A lot of them. [Laughs] I’m pretty proud of my plotted-and-gotten ratio.
Are you single now?
No. I have a boyfriend.
Who got who?
I think I got him and then he got me. And now we’re just at a good point. There’s always someone that chases someone and then it turns around and soon it becomes equal.
Some of these titles are self-explanatory. There’s one called “I Made Out With Your Boyfriend.” Is that true?
No, not the boyfriend. I’ve made out with someone’s girlfriend.
Oh. And you didn’t want to do “I Kissed a Girl” part two?
Katy Perry did it. [Laughs] She kissed a girl first.
Did you apologize to the boyfriend?
[Laughs] He thought it was awesome.
On “I’m a Lady,” you’re looking for a man. What qualities does your ideal guy have?
That was a different boy that I wrote the song about. I know it’s cheesy, but someone’s who’s really understanding and cooks. I don’t really cook a lot, just pancakes. I like a man that can cook me a great dinner and never complains about it. I don’t want to hear you complain. [Laughs]
Are you as aggressive as your records make you seem?
You only live once. You should be able to say anything to the person that’s meant for you. So if I go up at a guy and say, “Hey you, blah, blah, blah” and he’s afraid of that, I just move on. You can’t be scared.
What do you think of the constant comparisons to Rihanna?
There are always going to be comparisons with people. That’s normal. When i first came out, there were comparisons with Avril [Lavigne], and that died out. And now there’s one with me and Rihanna. It’s normal. I just giggle at them. –Brad Wete
While you may have spent your teenage years rebelling against parents, Fefe Dobson was raging against the machine. The Canadian import was dumped from Island Records just before her shelved second album, Sunday Love, was slated to drop. But don’t fret–after nearly six years since her self-titled debut, Dobson’s bringing Joy to the rocker world fourth quarter ’09.