When did you get into music? I started out singing in my church when I was 5. From there, I started going to other churches. Then, (when I was) around 13, I went to the Apollo (Theatre) in Harlem, N.Y. and won five times . . . at the Apollo competition. You either get booed off or come back. Then, I started to sing more and more places.
I heard you flew to Arizona to sing a few days ago? It was (a show) for teens. It was hosted by a radio station. It was at an outside mall, and there was a bunch of youths. (The other performers) were all from Arizona. It was really hot.
Describe your sound and style. (My latest CD) is an R&B CD. It has some hip-hop songs. Most of them are love songs. It's titled "The Revolution." The revolution stands for me changing the game as far as the music industry. Hopefully, I'll make it to the top. That's what I'm working toward. We're getting there.
What makes your music stand out? It's good music. Right now, I write (music), but usually something's already started. People will start writing for me, and then I'll finish it or I'll change it. Right now, I'm so consumed with school (at York Suburban Senior High School). I'll write a lot more in the summer. I have a lot of people that ask to write for me.
Who writes the songs? It's an individual label. There were only three people who wrote for this CD. They write the songs and the words usually. They show me how it goes then I put my own flavor into it. I actually record in Texas, and then they send it here when it's all mixed and everything.
Who are your influences? I like Brian McKnight, Musiq Soulchild and Ne-Yo. I try to do my own thing.
Do you perform a lot lomaking new songs and working on new music. Right now, the main thing is to get signed because it's too much money to keep doing it by yourself.
Do you like any other local artists? Chantz Kacey. He was on (MTV's) "Making the Band 4." I'm busy doing my own thing.
Where will your CD be available? I have a MySpace (page) right now. It has two of the songs on it. It has "Hey Lil Mama" and "Back in the Day." People will be able to buy it at the CD release party . . . at Crispus Attucks. Then it will be available certain places. Almost all the local CD stores will have it. I know my (first) CD was sold at Borders and Target, but I'm not sure where we're going far as (the new one) goes. Our main focus is still getting to the label.
How did your first CD go? It was a good experience. It was successful. The first one was gospel. (It was called "Tru2u.") I recorded that when I was 14 or 15.
Do you have a certain label in mind? I'm not working toward a certain record label. There are already labels that have contacted me, and I've talked to. I'm going to meet people next week. I really can't talk about it. Everybody would know the names of the (labels).
Are you excited for your CD release party? We're trying to get it out to the public. Hopefully, it will be a big party. I'll be performing.
- ERIN McCRACKEN,