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Known for her dexterous dance moves and songs such as 1,2 Step and Level Up, it makes sense that for Ciara’s return to the music scene (a follow-up to her 2015 album with a seventh studio album, “Beauty Marks,” under her own Beauty Marks Entertainment label due to drop on May 10) that Ciara would partner with fitness company SoulCycle for a live concert ride in Los Angeles last week as part of their Sound by SoulCycle program.
SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan calls the program a “one-of-a-kind music experience” in which musicians perform live, create iTunes playlists and more. Sound by SoulCycle kicked off last October with a live concert ride in New York with DJ duo Louis the Child and singer Elley Duhe followed by a Las Vegas ride in December with The Chainsmokers. Ciara is the third musical act to participate, with her mini concert in L.A. for 40 cyclists drawing an audience of hundreds. The series will travel to New York, London, Chicago and at least one other location in 2019; the company additionally has an ongoing series at the Wynn’s Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas, where Galantis performed earlier this month.
Hours before Sound by SoulCycle’s first event in Los Angeles, the singer spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about her personal style from the gym to date night, her favorite exercises that go toe-to-toe with her NFL player husband Russell Wilson, the philosophy that gets her through life, and the inspiration behind her new song Thinkin Bout You (which also makes an appearance on her curated playlist for the brand as well as in-studio rides through April 4 in Southern California). She also gave The Hollywood Reporter some exclusive style details about her looks in her new video, out today.
Can you tell us about your new song, Thinkin Bout You, and your style in the video?
This song is kind of retro [like] the fashion — retro with a modern twist. It was written by my friend Ester Dean. It almost has a bit of a disco vibe to it. And I worked with stylist Phoebe Lettice Thompson for the video; she’s from London. It’s like a vibe of what we would do as girls, to have on comfy briefs and this really cute cropped T-shirt that’s torn and a little bit distressed. I have some fun moments where I also try on clothes with the [housekeeper] at the hotel. It’s fun to play with fashion in that way. And then I also have a moment at nighttime, where I get a little spicy and turn up the sexiness a bit. I’m wearing these really fun bell bottoms with a white T-shirt that falls off the shoulders and it’s tied in the center of my chest. It’s simple and vintage. I actually didn’t have a lot of looks in this video because the story has me in the hotel room getting ready for my date, so I’m comfy. I’m very comfortable dancing around in my room and letting go and getting lost in my thoughts. When it’s time to get ready for my date night, I turn it up a bit and it’s still sexy cool, you know?
And you recently released a curated playlist for SoulCycle?
Yes, my playlist is energy-filled, so you’re going to sweat really good. I include my latest single Thinkin Bout You as well, which I’m excited about. It’s another song that you can ride to and dance to. It keeps the energy going.
Why is SoulCycle your fitness go-to?
I’m a huge fan of SoulCycle and particularly my friend Angela Davis [a former world-ranked member of the U.S. Track and Field team whose brother Jerry Lorenzo helms L.A. fashion label Fear of God]. The first time I ever attended a SoulCycle class was in her class. It was a very special experience and addictive as well. When I had my first class, I couldn’t wait for my second class and the class after that. It’s just an incredible course to add to my workout team and regimen.
Since your husband is an athlete, do you ever do a couples workout?
Of course! Absolutely. I’m an athlete at the core of who I am. I used to run track in high school. I also used to cheerlead and play a little bit of basketball, but I never played on a team. I’d like to say I’m very athletic. We can both do the same workouts at the same circuits at a very high level, which is really cool as far as the physicality and the demand that we can put on ourselves physically. We’re both very similar in that regard. So yeah, we have fun. We push ourselves. It’s always fun when we get to work out together. We motivate each other, which is really cool.
What are some of your favorite exercises?
You know, I love doing squats. I hate them at the same time because they hurt really bad, but they really work. Squats are so good for toning up your legs. I love doing cardio. I love doing SoulCycle in the mix of having weight training with my trainer Decker Davis. I love mixing it up.
Do you have any hair and makeup tips for working out?
Sometimes I will be in the gym with big, curly hair when it’s not the right thing to do, but because I just like it. I think having access to a pony tail holder at all times is key just in case you need to pull your hair up and get it out of your face. Sometimes, I wear a scarf as well if I have a ponytail and don’t want it to get too crazy.
How would you describe your workout style?
If I really want to sweat, I’ll put on long sleeves. When you start getting hot and uncomfortable, you sweat more. I’m a big fan of Nike tracksuits and good athleisure wear, pants that I can move in. I like wearing leggings. I like stuff to be kind of fitted when I’m working out and then, most importantly, my shoes have to be comfortable. I’m a huge Nike fan and they seem to have every shoe that works in the gym and outside of the gym. It’s pretty much my go-to.
When it comes to fashion outside of the gym, do you and your husband consult with each other or coordinate?
You know what I love about my husband? When he comments on my fashion he just keeps it real, like, “That ain’t it.” [laughs]. He’ll tell me and I trust him. I know he’s going to make sure I’m looking good. He might say, “Let’s try this.” Ten out of ten times, he’s always right with that. And then for me, I’ll share my honest thoughts too. I think you kind of have to. If we get ready for a red carpet, we always want to be on the same page. You don’t want to be wearing crazy stripes and then someone is wearing flowers. We definitely coordinate our outfits together when needed.
How did you decide to launch your company Beauty Marks Entertainment?
You have to be courageous in this world or people may not hear you or your vision may not come to life. You have to believe in your vision and what you’re trying to accomplish. I always say, “It only takes one person to believe and that person is you.” If you don’t believe, then most likely no one else will. That’s kind of always been my philosophy. The idea behind Beauty Marks Entertainment is, “all of our scars that you get from the obstacles you face in life are beauty marks” and that’s a great summary of my life. I mean that in every way. Whether they’re the stretch marks that you get or a mole or your freckles, even down to those types of markings. They’re all your beauty marks. They’re all a part of what makes you who you are. And then there are the actual life obstacles that you face. Sometimes when you’re in them it’s really tough or you feel like you won’t find your way or you feel lost or hurt, but when you’re able to take a moment, you know you’ll persevere and push through it all. It’s not so ugly after all.
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Jeriana San Juan