Interview with Jessica Lowndes
May 28, 2012
By: Levanah Reyes-Wainwright
Last month HerUni met 90210 star Jessica Lowndes who plays Adriana Tate-Duncan, while she was in London promoting her new songs ‘Nothing Like This’ and ‘The Other Girl’. Unassuming, chatty and really down to earth, we were surprised how grounded the 23 year old singer was. HerUni got the lowdown on her life, loves and found out how she picks herself up when feeling blue.
Welcome back to the UK. It’s a big year for London what with the Jubilee and the Olympics, have you visited any landmarks like Buckingham Palace or done any tourist type things on your stay this time?
I saw all the landmarks, I took a double decker bus tour my first day here. I’ve been here so many times and I’ve probably ridden on that bus about 15 times, but my friend from LA has never been so I wanted to show her all the sites, so I’ve seen all of them, we went to the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, it’s been great. I’ve been wearing an I Heart London shirt and union jack sunglasses, I went all out. I do that all the time, I bought the I Heart London shirt from L.A, I’ve had it for a while. I love this city.
Your new single is called ‘Nothing Like This’, what is the one thing about London that you think ‘There’s nothing like this at home?’
I’m from Vancouver Canada originally, so London kind of reminds me of home. But in L.A, there’s not really a city and there aren’t parks in the middle of the city, I love your parks here and the architecture and I like being able to walk everywhere. There’s nothing like it.
How is promoting and singing your own songs different to singing on the show 90210? When you sing your own songs is it more or less nerve wracking than on the show?
Sometimes I write my own stuff for the show, this year the song ‘Fool’ that’s in episode 6 was one of my own but I guess the main difference is that I’m not in character. I’m myself, I’m me and I’m telling my story I’m not telling Adriana’s story. It’s been really really fun, it’s very therapeutic for me because I absolutely love writing music. It is nerve-wracking, because I don’t have a character or other people’s words to hide behind. It’s just me, it’s raw but I absolutely love it.
Was it easy to transition from singing on the show to getting your own recording contract?
I’ve been singing longer than acting, I’ve been singing since I could speak. Since I was three. There are home videos of me just singing into the camera. I knew it was always something I wanted to do eventually and I was hired as a singer on the show. That was all I had to do in the audition was sing, so they carried that on from season 1. I was the singer at the school musical and I’ve just carried on with her trying to ‘make it’ last year as a pop star. Now this year I feel it’s coming from a real, more genuine place for her music career. I’ve been working on my album for quite some time, its taken me like a year and a half to get a good sense of my sound. I haven’t signed a deal yet, I’ve done it all by myself.
Where do your ideas come from for songs? Do you use your own life experience or is it sometimes experiences you haven’t had that inspire you?
A mix of both. If I’m going through something, like if I’m going through a break up the best remedy is writing a song because then you feel so amazing afterwards. So yes sometimes it is things that I’ve gone through and I happened to be going through a break up the week before I started writing for my album. It’s great inspiration and fuel. But then other times I write about what my friends are going through or things that I think are interesting that people haven’t sung about yet.
Your new single ‘The Other Girl’ is out now, can you tell us a bit about the process of coming up with a songs?
It’s always different. I write a lot of poetry, I write almost every single day whether it’s just writing down a line in my memo pad on my phone. Especially with these long flights to London, I have so much time just to sit there and write. Sometimes it will start as a poem and then I put it to music. I play the piano so sometimes its just chords on a piano that I write a melody to and whatever words sound good go in.
Any advice you would give to current singer/songwriters?
When it comes to writing I feel like the more honest you are the better. Sometimes its really hard to put it all out there, that’s why people like Adele her music just hits people and affects people, because she’s honest about what she’s going through and the pain she’s feeling. I think people really respect that. I would also say don’t give up to keep going after it, and if it makes you happy that what its all about at the end of the day.
Other than Adele what other singers that you listen too?
I love Gotye, I love him he’s great. The video is really awesome. I love dance music too like Cascade. I’m obsessed with Calvin Harris I seriously need to see him in concert, that’s on my list of things to do soon. I love everything on the pop charts too, something that makes you want to dance.
You always look immaculate on the red carpet for example recently at the FHM awards, how long does it usually take you to get ready?
I do my own hair and make up as it’s less stressful, I got ready for the FHM awards in about an hour. It was really difficult because I didn’t bring an adaptor so I couldn’t find a place to plug in my curling iron so I was literally in the corner with one plug not near a mirror so I had to freestyle.
Do you use a stylist for advice or do you like to pick thing you feel comfortable in?
For the FHM party I already knew I was wearing because I have a stylist in L.A for all the red carpets that I usually do, her name is Cali Lawson. She’s amazing and puts all my outfits together, so I don’t really have to think about it.
What are your favourite places to shop in London?
I love Topshop, River Island, New Look and Next for high street stores. Then obviously the higher end like Burberry, I just got my first Mac as you call them.
Can you tell us your top beauty secret?
I drink so much water; I know it sounds like what everyone says. Usually in L.A I drink about 3 litres a day. It just makes your skin glow, your hair’s healthier and you just feel so much better. Also washing you make up off before bed, so your skin can breathe.
Are there times you go out bare faced without make up?
Yeah all the time, I make a bun with my hair on the top of my head and I’m like lets go. [laughs]
Are there any British stars/actresses/singers you admire for their style or way they deal with things?
I love Sienna Miller’s style I think it’s awesome. Helen Mirren is the coolest, I saw her last year at the Arthur premiere, and I thought ‘I want to be that cool and classy when I’m that age’.
We’ve seen your character Adriana grow and progress, what’s the one thing you still think she has to learn?
She’s a hopeless romantic and she’s also addicted to drama and that’s her personality she loves those highs, that’s what thrills her. So I think that’s something that she still needs to work through.
When you are feeling low/blue what is your favourite thing to do to make your self feel better?
Write music and workout. I feel so good after working out, it’s an emotional release.
HerUni readers are at university, what are your top tips for organising your time?
I’m a list person; I make a lot of lists. I feel there is always a way of making things work if you want to see a friend, there is always a way.
If you weren’t a singer or actress, what would you have liked to have done?
I’m very creative, so I would have had to do something creative or I’d go crazy. I’d love to paint or be a make up artist, which is kind of the same sort of thing. I do all my friends make up, I did my friends make up before dinner last night, and I love doing that it’s really fun.