It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since Ciara dropped her first studio album, Goodies.
To celebrate, the singer, now 34, stopped by ET Live to reflect on the early days of her career. While chatting with Blanco Brown during our "Artist x Artist" series, she also provided insight into the making of the album, which included hits like the title track, "1, 2 Step" and "Oh," featuring Petey Pablo, Missy Elliott and Ludacris, respectively.
"It's special. It's kind of surreal -- it's like pinching myself, and going, 'This is literally 15 years ago.' Like, 15 years ago sounds so far away," she says. "To see this generation dancing to that song like it's a new song, and it's falling right into the pocket of what's happening now, it's kind of crazy. It also shows you the cycle of music and how different times repeat themselves all over again."
"It's amazing how music works," she continues. "Like the 808. The 808 never gets old, will never go out of style. That's what the album consisted of, a lot of 808s, a lot of melody as well. That was important to me to really kind of tap into the urban-pop combination. I called it 'ghetto pop.' It's amazing to see my fans show me love. It's an amazing thing and I feel so blessed."
Even though it's been 15 years since her first album, Ciara says she feels like she's "just getting started."
"I feel motivated, like when I was younger," she explains. "Everything happened so fast. Literally one song was No. 1, one song was top three, next song was top three. Naturally, you can kind of just keep rolling with it versus soaking in the moment when it's happening."
"I've started working on enjoying the moments when they happen, and not looking for the next moment so fast," she adds.
Flash forward to today, Ciara now has her own record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment, which she calls "an absolute blessing."
"It's an incredible chapter," she says. "It's pretty cool to know you're out here running around and hustlin' and bustlin' and you're not only performing songs you wrote, but you also own the masters to those songs."
"I used to dream about that while being signed to a label," she shares. "I was like, the day that I get a chance, I want to own my own masters. I want to do it differently. Because after a while you kind of get frustrated with having to go through the same process -- when you believe in something, when you have a vision for it, but the person who makes the decisions doesn't share the same vision. When I got the chance, I actually wasn't even planning on doing it in that moment."
That chance came in June 2018 with the release of "Level Up," which marked the first song from this "new chapter" of her life. "This was the moment I was waiting for and it's like God gave it to me," she exclaims. "It was the best feeling in the world. I no longer felt creatively handcuffed."
"All it takes is one person to believe, and that person is you," she adds. "I really learned that with 'Level Up' and doing it on my own."
"Level Up" was featured on Ciara's Beauty Marks album and received widespread attention, as fans around the world participated in the accompanying dance craze created by the singer.
"It's amazing, the feeling that it gives you when you see people literally taking the time and effort to recreate what you created," she says. "It's something that you're really proud of and I think it's the coolest thing that it gathers people together. Like, that's the power of music."
Blanco -- who also has his own record label -- had a similar feeling this year with the release of his country-rap-fused hit, "The Git Up," which also went viral thanks to its fun (and easy to learn!) dance challenge.
"Honestly, to see people doing my dance and seeing the joy it brings to people is just so magical to me," he says. "It's something that you can't calculate. Every time I wake up and I click on a video, it's a new dance, somebody else doin' it. Cops, firefighters, older people, kids. Kids taking their first crawls and steps to it!"
"That's godly," he adds. "It's one of those moments I think I'll never fully grasp ... it's too big for my mind to wrap around."
In more exciting news, Ciara is also getting ready to introduce fans to America's Most Musical Family, a new music competition show airing Friday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon. Ciara is also a judge on the series, along with David Dobrik and Debbie Gibson, with Nick Lachey as host. Hear more in the video below.