Last week we sat down with 21-year-old Jordan Fisher to chat about Teen Beach 2, his upcoming debut record and what #BUILTBYGIRLS means to him. The rising star, who admitted he hasn't gotten a blink of sleep in about 3 weeks, gave us some insight on how he followed his dreams from Birmingham, Alabama all the way to Hollywood.
C: How is Teen Beach 2 different than the first installment?
JF: "It's skewed a little bit older this time around. You take something like Teen Beach and you try to figure out how to make it a little bit bigger and a little bit better, which is obviously always doable with choreography and music and everything as production value grows, but you have to look at the story as well and see how you can keep it moving without it feeling stagnant. There's a really powerful message in this film, it's about self-empowerment and really taking control of your destiny. And that's what Leila does in this [film]."
C: I'm sure you can relate to that...
JF: "I wouldn't be sitting in this room right now if I didn't decide one day to leave Birmingham, Alabama, and move to LA and hope that, you know, things worked out. Secret Life of the American Teenager was the show that brought me to LA to stay, which has led to all of these other things. But making that initial decision to jump and take the bull by the horns and really do what I love is something that a lot of people find scary... But that's when people are the happiest, when they're doing something that they love rather than something that they're good at."
C: You guest starred on Secret Life. What was it like working with Shailene Woodley before she became a household name?
JF: "Shailene is such a hippie. I haven't been in touch with her in a while, she's kinda busy being a superstar. I feel like it's rare when a project ends and people really see each other on a regular basis. Teen Beach is probably the first project that I've worked on where that is actually the case. I genuinely see everybody on a pretty consistent basis. Ross (Lynch) and I until recently worked on the same lot, Liv and Maddie films on stage 10 and he films on stage 11. We shared a building that all of our dressing rooms were in so I saw him every day for a long time which was really nice. But he's leaving to do a world tour and to become a huge rockstar, so hopefully he'll still have time for me..."
C: Speaking of music, we heard you just signed with Hollywood Records! What can you tell us about the kind of music you'll be making?
JF: "Pop soul. I grew up listening to all the greats in the '80s: Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Prince, Michael Jackson and all those guys. There's such a heavy element of pop and such a heavy element of soul for men in the '80s, but that wasn't really a genre that existed until a few years ago with Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars - those are the guys that revolutionized that lane and made it what it is now, but no one's really played with the '80s, which is really when soul found a way to kind of leave the R&B world and cross over into pop. So that's the record that I'm making now. Kind of what pop soul of the '80s would sound like in 2015."C: If you could collaborate with any Disney star right now, who would it be?
JF: "Sabrina Carpenter is a dear friend of mine. We actually worked together for the "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" video, which was on my bucket list. I grew up watching Lizzie McGuire, That's So Raven and Even Stevens, and when they all came together and sang "The Circle of Life" and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes," I was like THAT! So getting a call to do that was a cool day for me. We worked together on that and we actually did a little Christmas video on YouTube, but I would collaborate with Sabrina any day. She has so much soul, she is so beyond her years as an actor, as an artist and as a person. That's something I really connect with."
C: Lastly, how would you say the #BUILTBYGIRLS initiative resonates with you?
JF: "I'm a firm believer in humans are humans. I think that if you have a pulse, you are capable of building anything that you want to. I think that girls are years beyond guys, to be perfectly honest with you. I obviously adore my girlfriend and am super close with my mom and sisters, but I genuinely think that. I thought for a long time that I was going to be a doctor until things started working out for me in the film, music and television world, but I think everyone has their own journey and coming together as equals is what keeps the world turning."
Make sure to watch the video (above) for our word association game with Jordan and check out Teen Beach 2 on Disney Channel!