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Jessie J marks 10th anniversary of debut album 'Who You Are,' recalls writing "Party in the USA"

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It’s been 10 years since Jessie J hit the airwaves with “Price Tag” and “Domino.”  Now, the 32-year-old singer is looking back at where it all started: her debut album Who You Are.

The Grammy nominee spoke Tuesday with Billboard‘s Pop Shop Podcast about how much her life has changed since she released that album on February 25, 2011.

Prior to releasing her debut album, the British singer moved from the U.K. to make it on her own in Los Angeles. She revealed she survived on Cheetos while doing three studio sessions a day writing songs for other artists, including Miley Cyrus‘s 2009 smash hit “Party in the USA.”

“‘Party in the USA’ put my foot in the door as a credible artist that can write songs, and that I will always be grateful for,” Jessie said, before revealing the song was originally about her own big move across the pond.

Jessie also loved how the song enjoyed a renaissance after Joe Biden‘s victory in the presidential election and said, “To be associated with such a historic moment, even now, literally 13, 12 years on, it’s just so magical.”

Looking back at her younger self, the “Bang Bang” singer admits, “There are so many moments where I just want to give myself a hug, when I doubted myself.”

“Now I’m just living my best life,” she smiled. “I don’t need to be the biggest thing in the room. I want to be the truest thing and the realest.”

Jessie, now working hard on her “honest” fifth studio album, added that she is still trying to outdo the success of her debut studio effort, saying, “The challenge of beating that is the hardest thing.”

By Megan Stone
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