Since her 2004 debut album Goodies, Ciara released a few albums, collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, married an NFL superstar, welcomed motherhood, and became an entrepreneur. Throughout her extensive career, she has been learning to balance the many hats she wears while prioritizing joy more. “It's a thing for me. I'm just really committed to that philosophy, and it's my go-to in any of my toughest and challenging moments,” she tells Apple Music's Nadeska Alexis. “And even when life isn't so crazy, I just want to live a life full of joy.” Recorded during the pandemic, CiCi focuses on happiness and love and showcases a different side of the singer-songwriter. “It's not an alter ego—it's me, but when I get a little more gritty,” she says. “And it's me, but it's like me to the 10th power.” Alongside co-executive producer Theron Thomas, Ciara wanted to be very intentional with the project's sound by ensuring that R&B was at its core. “We talked about R&B being super important to us,” she says. “We wanted to make sure we had those core elements with my fans I think they always want from me. And it does have a strong R&B base, but it's music for everyone.” On the opener, “How We Roll,” featuring Chris Brown, the pair expresses their affection for each other over a laidback and groovy beat. “BRB” is a nod to the Jersey club bounce scene with its infectious, fast-paced rhythm and kick drums while CiCi delivers lines about missing her significant other. “I couldn't stop listening to it, melodically had fun writing the record, and it's that feel-good,” she says. “It's energy, it's joy, it's dance, it's good times.” Throughout the seven-track EP, Ciara keeps the feel-good vibes flowing, weaving traditional R&B tracks (“Forever,” “Type A Party,” “2 in Luv”) with uptempo beats (“Low Key,” “Winning”). CiCi is an evolved version of the artist and a snapshot of where she's currently at in her life. “I want for my fans to know I'm committed to this thing, and I want for my fans to feel the energy of what that means for me,” she says. “And I think they're going to get that on this project.”

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