- Jennifer Lopez Biography-
"If you're going to make it in this business, you need
the kind of personality that, you have to do or die,
there's no alternative." So said Jennifer Lopez once,
about the rollercoaster ride that is the entertainment
The multi talented superstar, who hails from New York
City's Castle Hill section of the Bronx, has had a bead
on that little secret of survival long before she ever
stepped in front of a movie camera. It is only now,
with the release of her much anticipated debut album
for The WORK Group, On The 6, can she take a breath,
and dare to look back.
"I call the album On The 6 because I think about traveling
on the 6 train." she says. "That's howI used to go into
the city to audition, dance in clubs, dance classes.
It was how I used to come home."
A lot has happened since. It's the perfect metaphor
for a girl whose gutsy blend of fearlessness and raw
beauty conquered worlds far beyond a rickety subway
line. "It's how I started my journey." she says proudly.
One that began around age four, when she first dared
to dream she was going to be "somebody". By the time
she was a teenager, she had years of dancing classes
under her belt, as well as rock solid values instilled
by her hard working Puerto Rican parents. But Jennifer
also recognized there were other mountains to climb.
If you follow her trail back to the days before she
was one of Hollywood's hottest stars, you'll find traces
of her trademark bravado and sensuality in every move.
An eye opening stint with Fox's groundbreaking comedy
Living Color as one of the acclaimed Flygirls; a streetwise
role on the ill fated TV series Sout Central; and eventually
her first film appearence, landing a crucial part in
Director Gregory Nava's Latino epic Mi Familia. She
landed another plum role along side Woody Harrelson
and Wesley Snipes in Money Train. Cut to career-defining
roles in 1996's Selena, and 1998's Out Of Sight, where
Lopez's mesmeriz-ing performance as a street savvy cop
opposite George Clooney created the ultimate screen
chemistry, and you could sense the buzz surrounding
Lopez was beginning to bubble over.
The sum of such electrifying moments, however, still
didn't add up to the total Jennifer. Even though the
national media began painting her in Madonna and Monroe-esque
strokes ("Watching her is like seeing molten rock churn
an epic, yet personal work, like On The 6, to fully
flesh out what lies behind those smoldering brown eyes:
A captivating voice - and more importantly - an untamed
soul - yearning to musically express to the joyful,
somestimes painful, unpredictable ride of life.
"This is a dream come true for me," she says. "Music
has always been an important part of my life. It's funny,
but when I look back, there is always a song that will
take me there. Christmas was always salsa and merengue.
Thanksgiving - the songs from West Side Story, which
for some reason always come to then. Barbara Streisand
- she always reminds me of my mother because she's a
huge fan. I remember being in the school playground
at lunchtime and hearing 'Rappers Delight'. I was so
open when I heard it my face lit up. And I remember
Lisa and the Cult Jam's 'All I Cried Out', when I was
13 or 14, because I was going through my first little
No doubt a new generation of fans will be reacting
to Jennifer's powerful debut effort, pumped and primed
for the Latino tinged anthem "Let's Get Loud," produced
by Emilio Estefan, or swooning to the album's poignant
opener, "If You Had My Love." That track was helmed
by Grammy award winning producer Rodney Jerkins (Michael
Jackson, Brandy), with Jennifer's magnetic voice pulling
the listener all the way into the story. Like many of
the album tracks, it was co-written by the album's executive
producer Corey Rooney.
"I looked to Corey for most of the leadership on this
album," Jennifer says. "We did a lot of listenling to
different kinds of music. For me lyrics are very important.
Every song on the album was something that touched me
very deeply. They ring very true. Words move me, but
more than that it's the image you create. You close
your eyes and you can feel what that person is going
through and you connect with it. To me, that's what
music ia all about."
Coming from the cradle of the hip hop and Latin hip
hop movements, (the Boogie down Bronx), it's no surprise
that great beats also motivate Jennifer. Webo, salsa,
disco, rap, R&B, are all part of her music vocabulary.
She was determined from the start to enlist the best
producers, forging a signature sound that resonates
long after you identified the styles. "I call it Latin
soul" she says. And it is indeed a diverse mix of Latin-tinged,
and hip hop driven rhytms that steers On The 6. Superstar
producers such as the aforementioned Estefan, and Jerkins
as well as Sean "Puffy" Combs (Faith Evans, The Notorious
BIG), Rich Wake (Celine Dion) and Track Masters (Will
Smith, Nas, LL Cool J) among others, all stepper up
for some of their best work.
"I was fortunate to work with all the great people
that I did." Jennifer Lopez says. "It was great to work
with Puffy, for example. He's the consummate professional.
He always knows what he's doing in the studio. You can
hear it in the track we did." The song, "Feelin' So
Good," which includes blistering rap cameos by fellow
Bronx alumni Fat Joe and Big Pun, captures that street
corner feel that Jennifer remembers from her clubbing
days. "I had an idea for the video already for that
one." se laughts. "I wanted to get off the train and
have Pun and Joe meet me in front of my actual apartment
in the Bronx. I have my parka on and we head downtown
to club. We emerge at 6:00 AM and it's daylight. Bach
in the day, if you came out of the Tunnel and it was
daytime, you knew you were in trouble."
It's those authentic movements, foundly recalled by
Jennifer, that anchor On The 6. Having to collaborate
with a myriad of producers - and facing a whole new
set of pressures as she high drives head-first into
the music industry - she is able to keep it real by
never forgetting the importance of her journey. It's
that compass, musically and spiritually, that guides
this ambitious debut.
"There's a reason I call it Latino soul." Lopez says.
"It's a mixture of the things that I was when I was
growing up. I was coming up when hip and R&B was something
we all loved. Latino freestyle was big then. I always
wanted to bring that all together, in a pop format.
My mother always had a big appreciation for music. Musical,
operas, pop. We listened to everything. I remember when
I first sat down with the record company about what
I wanted to do, they weren't quite sure of all the styles
I wanted to incorporate. But they were great, very supportive.
After they had heard the first couple of tracks they
realized what I was trying to accomplish."
Ironically, The WORK Group's Co-President Jeff Ayeroff
came close to originally signing Jennifer when he was
with Virgin records, and Lopez was still a Flygirl.
It was after Selena came out that the executive approached
Now, the same audience who flocked to her critically
acclaimed performance will love the stirring duet with
Latin superstar Marc Anthony, on the heartwrenching
"No Me Ames". "I'm Marc's biggest fan." says enifer.
"He's incredibly talented, and knows how to interpret
a song." Another album highlight is the haunting ballad
"Shouldd Have Never," produced by Poke and Tone of the
Trackmasters. Jennifer shares the willing credits with
Corey Rooney on the latter, and recalls that it was
this particular track that taught the most about songwriting.
"The Trackmasters brought us this guitar loop for
that, and it sounded like the Gypsy Kings, and I was
like yeah, that's just what I#m looking for. Corey said
go home and listen to it and get some ideas for a song.
And I came back and described this whole scenario for
it, like a movie. So we went into the next room and
I just started describing this story about a girl who
says "I should have never touched you, looked at you,
etc." And he was like: "Great, that will be the chorus.
And we just put it into words."
The result is a song, and an album, as seductive as
any one of her movie roles, but rooted in those raw,
vital truths she learned a long time ago. Encouraged
by family and friends, she nurtured those rootss, extending
her grasp to achieve goals that most girls her age only
dreamed about. Dreams that too often end with the closing
of subway doors.
It's more than fitting that an album filled with such
aspirations should be crafted by a dancer who wanted
to be a singer, who evolved into actress, who finally
got the opportunity to sing. On The 6, in many ways,
is about coming full circle.
"This album completes the journey. Doing television,
the movies, and now this, I'm actually accomplishing
what I set out to do." she says. "There's something
to be said about patience. Because you could be running
toward something, when what you want is right behind
you trying to catch up with you."
Just like a downtown train...
Biography taken from the official