Growing up in a musical family, at what point did you realize you wanted to sing?
I was always interested in music, but was a bit shy growing up...I did some musical theater as a kid, but I didn't actually start "singing" professionally until I was 19 when I sang my first rap hook. (Yep, my career started in rap/hip-hop music!)
Who were your musical influences growing up?
My parents, for sure, but my favorite artists that inspired me were Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige, and Dee Lite! Let's not forget my favorite group which was Digable Planets.
What is it like having so many tiny and adoring fans because of Choo Choo Soul?
Oh my goodness! It is incredible! I can't believe that I was given this opportunity and that I get to continue doing this for a living. These little ones are so precious and just looking to us for entertainment, but also to see what's "cool". Its a big responsibility. But I love it!
How did you meet Constantine "DC" Abramson, your sidekick on Choo Choo Soul?
I was in a band in the SF Bay Area called "Legato," and our conga player told us about this fantastic beatboxer that we just HAD to meet. He came through to one of our shows and once we heard him, it was over! He was in the band and touring the west coast with us. When the creator of Choo Choo Soul, Greg Johnson, came to our record release party in SF, he asked if DC would be willing to beat box on the Children's CD we were working on. That CD, was Choo Choo Soul! The rest is history, after Disney got a hold of the music.
Does Choo Choo Soul help open up some doors for your music career outside of it?
It does, in that it opens up my opportunities to do more children's stuff, and also just to have more people interested in what I am doing musically. I have since partnered with Disney English, which is a school in China that teaches English as a second language. I write musical curriculum for the school using the magic of Disney, their vocabulary words, and my own twist. It is really awesome.
My Music career has really changed as I have fallen in love with Children's Entertainment. I still do write adult music however, and just released a really fun single called "Baby", and made a video for it.
What is your favorite place that you have toured doing your shows?
Wooohoo! That is hard, considering we just did a 56 city tour this year! Wow, I would have to say the most amazing tour dates we have ever had were at Disney World.. I'm not just saying that because I have to, either. It was so fun!!! As far as cities I've enjoyed, I love NYC, had fun at an open mic in Pittsburgh, ate well in Kansas City, and met Common in Washington, DC! Sheesh! I can't choose!
Besides writing your own songs, do you write for other artists as well?
I do! Right now I am working with some younger artists that are still finding themselves, which I believe may be my calling. But I have written for R&B singers, and even rappers.
Where do you mainly record music at?
I do my beginning stages of all recording at my home studio in North Hollywood, CA. Then I finish up with my boy "Jeeve" at his studio in Universal City. He is incredible! For Choo Choo Soul stuff, I work with Burke Triechshmann in Berkeley, CA. We handle a lot over the internet and then I fly up for final vocals.
Your track "Baby" is a wonderful and catchy song.
Who thought of the concept for the video? I have had that concept in my mind forever! I love George Clooney, and I thought it would be hysterical to show a girl who is so delusional that she carries this cardboard cutout around with her and acts like it is really her boyfriend. My boyfriend actually produced it and helped me bring it to life!
What type of music do you listen to in your private time?
I listen to it all, the albums that have sort of invaded my head lately are "The Weeknd", Drake's newest of course, Kanye & Jay-Z's "Watch the Throne," and I definitely bumped Kelly Rowlands newest as well as Beyonce's :) Loving this album called "Bossa 'n Marley" too. It's Bossa Nova versions of Marley songs. Its smooth.
How would you describe your music style and genre?
I used to call myself "Genre Jambalaya", in that I mix a whole bunch of good yummy stuff together. My tone is really soulful R&B, with a bit of vibey-ness that can mix with electronic stuff. I began in Hip-Hop, so that will always be my soul.
What can we expect from you in 2012?
My focus this year is on Choo Choo Soul live, of course, touring around the country and promoting the new Disney Junior. But my focus will also be on my new project, The Happy Hearts Club, a workout show for kids! I am currently working with youth in my neighborhood, but plan to expand this awesome show in 2012! I have created a whole show with my awesome team that we hope to shoot a pilot for this year. More to come!!!