If one could ever imagine the creative demeanor of a hypothetical love child between Madonna and Prince, R&B singer/songwriter Salomes “Salo” Jackson would arguably fit the mold. With an eclectic and energetic style in both music and fashion, it’s a no-brainer as to why the Texas-born, tri-state bred singer landed a feature on “Bang” from R&B sensation Lloyd’s King Of Hearts LP. The 22-year-old’s sexy, animated and bouncy delivery over the 808’s, snares, and sample make for a perfect get-the-party-rockin’ moment. Her provocative approach and lyrical contribution to the track is a seamless blend of creativity and girl power.
“Salo is an original… and if she applies herself she will be the next female to blow. She’s an MC, a singer and an entertainer. I’m betting on her,” says super producer Polow Da Don.
Gearing up to release her EP Try Me, African-American and Columbian songstress chatted with VIBE Vixen to get some of her latest fashion tips, as well as the scoop on what it was like working with industry elites Lloyd and Polow Da Don. –Dan Reagans
So tell us about your start in the music business.
Well I actually started off really young. I started [singing] when I was nine, but as far as putting music out there to the world, I started last year with one of my records called “Elevator,” and it’s getting spins in Germany and Tokyo. I worked on that with a few of Beyonce’s producers, the Soul Diggaz and Rob Fusari. I was just writing and getting some songs out there. But as far as placements go, I’m still writing for a few artists right now. I prefer not to say any names, but they’re pretty big pop stars, and other big artists, so hopefully albums will be dropping soon. Right now I’m just getting it in working with Polow Da Don, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.
How did you meet Polow Da Don, and how did the track “Bang” come about?
I met Polow a few years ago when I use to live here in Atlanta, but then I had moved to New York, so recently in January we met again through a friend of mine, and I just played him some of my music. He put me on another Lloyd record and another Keri [Hilson] record, and just fell in love with my voice and style. He hit me up towards the end of June when I was in New York working on my mixtape and was like, ‘Yooo it’s crunch time. I need you to go in, cut this verse for me [that] I have to submit it in tomorrow [laughs], so you’ve got like three hours to make this verse happen.’ So I just did it [in] less than thirty minutes, cut the verse and I submitted it to him. He kept it [and] he loved it so I made the album. I was excited too [laughs]; I made the album [laughs]! But I wasn’t in the studio with Lloyd when he recorded the record, and I still haven’t even got the chance to meet him I’m a big fan of his…
Oh, wow that’s crazy that the you two of you haven’t met! You guys definitely have great chemistry on that song…
Yeah that’s great composing by Polow Da Don he puts everyone into play and makes magic.
What do think about Lloyd’s hairstyles and new head tattoo?
His hair… I like it. I like his style, but I’m a fan of his long hair. I love long hair don’t care [laughs]! He has beautiful hair, so he could just grow it back in a second. I guess he just wanted to switch up; I don’t blame him. I switch up my hair like every two seconds too.
What inspires your sense of style?
It’s like, ‘Woo, what do I want to wear today?’ Sometimes I feel I want to be dark, and sometimes I feel like I want to be bright yellow. I love mix-matching colors too. I hate wearing one raw color; it gets boring to me. Although you might catch me in all black everything [laughs]!
And as for fashion and accessories…?
I’m a big 80s fan, so I’m love with vintage Versace and vintage Gucci. I’m just a Gianni Versace head. I just love that! I’ll sit down and actually watch runway shows from back in the day. I’ll Google it and just sit there and watch it and study it. I love loud colors and patterns.
Switching back to music, do you prefer performing and recording your own material over songwriting?
I like both. Of course I love performing my record, but it’s a beauty watching someone else perform a record that you wrote for them. It’s just a certain feeling that every writer gets. It’s pretty much a fusion; I don’t think it’s just the writer that can bring the record alive, it’s definitely the artist as well. When I write a record and somebody else performs it, not every artist can perform it the way I envisioned it, so it definitely takes two to make a record come alive. But I love both of them–writing and of course performing.
Who are some of your musical inspirations, and what artists would you like to collaborate with?
Definitely my inspirations are Prince, Madonna, Hector Lavoe, No Doubt, Sade, Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper. Some of the artists I’d like to work with now are [Lady] Gaga, of course, Beyoncé, even Nicki [Minaj]. I think that would be a dope collab. Jay- Z, Kanye, Big Sean, the list goes on. I’d love to do something with Prince. He inspired me to pick up the guitar; I’m trying to learn and play now.
So what’s next for you?
I have my EP Try Me coming out next month. I’ve got some heavy producers on there, [so] it’s gonna be freakin’ crazy. Me and my partner James McMillan started Nicotine Muzik, and right now I have a few major labels that are interested. The clock is ticking so well see soon.