Is Model Jessica White the New Beyoncé? Not if She Has Any Say

We caught up with model Jessica White, who's launching a singing career. Just don't tell her she sounds like Beyoncé.
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We caught up with model Jessica White, who's launching a singing career. Just don't tell her she sounds like Beyoncé.
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Model-cum-actress Jessica White has officially added singer to her CV with the release of a her first single, "White Magic Power of a Woman." White was a front row fixture at New York fashion week this season, and chose to debut her song (which doesn't yet have a label attached) at the Leila Shams show.

Could White, who has become known as much for her Page Six-style exploits as her Sports Illustrated spreads, really make the leap from model to tabloid fixture to pop star?

We caught up with the aspiring singer to ask her about her new career, how she plans to be different from other models turned singers and how she feels about being compared to the one and only Beyonce.

Fashionista: Where did you learn how to sing? Jessica White: Singing in the church choir. A lot of people don't know this but I was part of a girl group in Buffalo when I was younger too. I started modeling at 14 and made enough money to go to New York and got caught up with the fast pace of the industry for a while. Last year, my good friend Andre Harell asked me, 'What are you doing about that voice? You have to record an album now or you never will.' That pushed me to finally do it. I wrote and produced "White Magic Power of a Woman" myself.

How long did that take? My music is recorded with a live band. We have a cello, and everything is done live. I sampled the claps from an old seventies gospel song, and then I demoed it with my guitar player and pianist. It was inspired by a poem that I wrote last year called "White Magic" based off of the moment when a woman finds herself and her voice. It's kind of like a seance and at the end you're levitating.

When people think of models singing they think of Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. Does that make you feel that people will put you in that category as well? Of course, and that's what we're trying to work against. But that's what we're using to drive it. I remember Beyoncé once saying something like, "People want to put women inside a box and they want to tell you how much success a woman can achieve." And she's not having that. That really hit me, and that's when I realized it doesn't matter. There isn't failure in my mind because at least I'm being courageous enough to achieve what I want my legacy to be.

When does the single drop and which record label? Next year. You want to have the best product, so I'm not interested in putting it out there yet. I have had certain fans come in and listen to it and record executives to come into the studio and see me in action. Just putting feelers out there so people can know that I am serious about my artistry.

And what is the reaction you're getting? Everyone is 110% on board. It's going to be marketing that's key.

Do you want to be a Beyoncé or what kind of artist? I want to be Jessica White.

How about when people say you sound like Beyoncé? I get it all the time but I think my voice sounds like me. And hopefully someone will say that to another girl. Hey, you sound like Jessica White!