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‘Gossip Girl’ Leighton Meester Talks Music Career

The New Now

Hearing Leighton Meester rapthe first verse of her song "Somebody To Love" might seem odd for the debuttrack from an emerging pop princess who happens to be one of the stars from thesalacious television drama "Gossip Girl."

But it makes sense whenconsidering Leighton's background in music.

Upon a closer listen,Leighton's spoken words are actually more poetic, than hip-hop. The 23-year-oldactress/singer who portrays Blair Waldorf on the hit CW Network show, beganwriting as a child. Her first journal entries date back to when she was 8.

By the time she was 16,those writings began to take poetic form. "I've written all my life, but when Iwas 16 years old, I started writing songs and poetry and it became a hugepassion of mine," Leighton said via phone.

Neil Young is among herbiggest influences as a songwriter. "Ilove Neil Young, I love his lyrics," Leighton said. "I think, obviously, he isthe whole package. And I love the way he writes. It's just poetry. And the waythat I write, I like being simple. I like simplicity. And that's reflected alot in my lyrics.

Leighton, who is signed to Universal Republic, has been working on her album,slated for a 2010 release, for two years. She got a taste of the pop charts recentlyafter appearing on Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad."

Cobra Starship's bassist AlexSuarez said the group was happily surprised when one of recording sessions wasinterrupted when the producer received a call to work with a "Gossip Girl"embarking on a recording career.

Cobra Starship lead singerGabe Saporta was so excited that he urged the producer to take the call.

"Gabe was like 'No way! Is it Blair Waldorf?' He's a huge 'Gossip Girl' fan," Alex told TheMonitor. "He said 'Hey, it's totally cool, but she has to sing on one ofour songs and we'll say it's ok.' Sure enough, our people talked to her peopleand we figured it all out. The song 'Good Girls Go Bad' was going to get cannedand this turned it around."

On the heels of Cobra Starship's success in the top 10 on Billboard's Hot100 chart, Leighton released "Somebody To Love," her own collab featuring RobinThicke.

The song's sassy vocals backed by moody, electronic pop have drawn comparisonsto Madonna and Bette Davis. Blonde is another icon whose musical influence canbe heard on the song.

"Its not a super hardhitting dance floor beat, it's a really hot track and its kind of laid back andrelaxed and sexy and a little bit moody, which is totally the vibe of the restof the album," Leighton explained. "I think that people get a good idea of whatI'm doing on it."

Leighton said she was luckyto team up with Robin Thicke. "The song was done when I had it," Leighton said."I had written two verses and done the song and finished it." Robin latercontributed additional vocals to the song.

Hearing Robin on the recordgave Leighton chills. "I can not believe he is singing on my track," Leightonthought. "So, I wanted him to do a whole verse. And he did, and it actuallyturned out amazing, obviously."

Because Leighton has createdthe music organically, she is not fixated on making a hit. "The thing is Idon't want to think about it going to Number One, I just want people to hear itand like it, to love it because I love it...I don't have, like, any expectationsother than I'm doing it because I want to do it."

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