To celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album — which officially hit music streaming services on November 20 — girl group Run the World caught up exclusively with J-14 and opened up about what it was like to release their first record.
Members Hayley LeBlanc, Jessalyn Grace, Kheris Rogers, and Corinne Joy revealed their favorite songs, shared their inspiration behind the tracks and got real about hitting the road once it’s safe to do so. But that’s not all! The four-piece even dished on their dream collaborations and so much more.
J-14: Tell us about your debut album. What can fans expect?
Kheris: Fans can expect fun songs that are very uplifting. They’re going to make you want to get up and dance, and just inspire you overall.
Corinne: Our songs are very positive! I feel like [the album] will definitely be great for a younger audience, but I think a whole range of people will like our songs.
Hayley: All of our songs are super positive and they’re actually all of my favorite. I’m really excited our fans to hear it!
J-14: What are each of your favorite songs off the album and why?
Hayley: “Winner,” it’s so amazing. It was so much fun to record and it just has this amazing meaning behind it.
Corinne: “Winner” is definitely my favorite because I feel like all of our voices together sound really good on it, I love the lyrics and I’m very excited for everybody to hear it.
Kheris: Mine would be “One Love” or “Flow.”
Jessalyn: My favorite would have to be “One Love.” “Last Christmas” too because [it] is one of my favorite Christmas songs.
J-14: How have these songs inspired you?
Corinne: I can relate to our songs because before social media when I lived in Georgia, I wasn’t on social media yet. When I got on, it was awesome but there were some tumbles, and there are people that can be mean to you. I didn’t know that at first, so I can definitely relate just some of the songs. They uplift me and pick me up when I need it.
Hayley: A lot of these songs helped me through very hard times and rough days.
Jessalyn: One song that I can relate to a lot is “Rainbow,” it’s still one of my favorite songs. The meaning behind it is just very inspiring and I feel like a lot of people need that song in their life.
Kheris: “Winner” made me feel like that I can win, I can be a winner.
J-14: What has it been like watching the fans react so well to your music?
Corinne: It was really exciting to see that everybody liked “Rainbow.” The first time that we saw it blowing up was after making it a sound on TikTok. The girls and I made a dance to the song, then we started seeing verified creators doing our dance … A few days later we were number two on the charts. We were all really excited.
Hayley: I think it’s really cool because this group wasn’t made for any publicity or clout, it was actually just made for girls to get together and run the world. I think it’s really cool that everyone likes it.
Jessalyn: Once people started sharing their feedback and liking the song, I was like, “Oh wow, this is actually working.” You know? It’s great because our group came out at this unprecedented time. I’m just glad that we can make people’s day and make them feel better.
J-14: Do you have any advice for people who are feeling low during the pandemic?
Kheris: You have to just believe in yourself. You’re always to go through tough times, even we go through tough times. But you always have to feel loved and remind yourself that you have people to talk to. Even if you feel like you don’t, there’s always someone that’s always going to be by your side, watching over you.
Hayley: I think one thing that helps a lot of people throughout all of this is to love yourself before loving others, and always have your self-care moments. Also, have days where you just focus on yourself and have a relaxed day to just chill out.
Corinne: Treat yourself!
J-14: How are you guys staying busy during the pandemic?
Corinne: I’ve been doing lots of makeup, I’ve been gaming, FaceTiming Run the World and my friends, painting and learning how to cook. Most of us have been busy with BRAT TV filming Chicken Girls and, of course, we’ve been busy with the album.
Jessalyn: I’ve been reading a lot … I’ve also been kind of cooking. I’m just making easy recipes, like hot chocolate and chocolate cake in a mug. So far that’s what I’ve learned how to do.
Kheris: I’ve been staying busy by sleeping, you know, getting my sleep. I barely sleep because of Hayley, she’s reason why I don’t sleep. I’m always on the phone with her. I also like to go online shopping and buy cute clothes for Instagram photos. We’ve all been a part of a lot of cool projects behind the scenes. We’re working hard and trying to make the world a better place.
J-14: Any plans to hit the road in person one day when it’s safe?
Kheris: We were planning to go on tour right when quarantine started! Just imagine us going to like 30 different hotels and McDonald’s.
Hayley: We’re totally going to go on tour. That’d be so much fun!
Jessalyn: I can’t wait for us to go on tour!
Corinne: Since the pandemic is happening, to keep everybody safe and all of us safe we are not going to be traveling.
J-14: Can you tell us about the group’s origin?
Jessalyn: It all started on Zoom!
Corinne: Most of us didn’t know each other but we all clicked together.
Kheris: We were told we were going to do this group, go on tour together and all became best friends. We’ve seen each other more than we thought we were going to see each other. We see each other every single week, like I saw Haley like every day for half the quarantine.
Jessalyn: I’m so far away from the other members but I still feel like we spend a lot of time together.
J-14: Do you guys ever argue? If so, about what?
Kheris: Oh yeah! I argue with Corinne. This girl loves arguing over blankets! I’m like girl just get another blanket.
Hayley: Me and Kheris go off on Corinne, well Kheris does.
Jessalyn: I never argue.
Corinne: I argue with the girls because they either took my food or my blankets. They’re not real arguments, they’re like funny arguments.
J-14: Who’s your dream collaboration?
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