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The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Hana Pestle
By Ann Frohoff-- Assistant Regional Head, West/Southwest

When I first heard of Electrik Red I was intrigued to say the least, reading a little bit of this and a little bit of that, asking myself “Are they really a new version of The Pussycat Dolls?” Wanting to know more I started my research and found that unlike the ‘Dolls’ – Electrik Red is self made and “industry” savvy; with their performing arts background and many years of touring the world with other famous artists as dancers, they knew where they wanted to go, what they wanted to do and went and achieved it.

Electrik Red’s
Lesley, Binkie, Naomi and Sarah make up the sizzlin’ sexy quartet and their debut album “How to be a Lady” (Island Def Jam) is set to release on April 21st, 2009. With the release of “Drank in My Cup” and “So Good” along with the music videos is indication of their range. “Drank in My Cup” had mixed reviews (I don’t know about you, but I like the raw, in your face nature of the video – but that may be because I think these females are hot) while “So Good”, was just that, so incredibly good – I am happy to see a new R&B and/or “urban world” girl group back on scene, and I believe they will only get better.

Their talent along with their bold, sexy confidence is sure to get your attention. In their own words, they describe what their journey was like and what it’s like to be in their shoes right now.

ADESINA (Def Jam Publicity): Hi – you’re on with the girls – girls this is Ann Frohoff with Musiqtone.com


Ann: Hi – How’s it goin’ today?

ER: Good, ya’know movin’ and shakin’

A: This is very exciting! Thanks for taking the time today to speak with me! It’s also exciting to have a “girl group” back on scene! Sexy at that too, I was listening to your music and it’s very sexy, I like that brave sexiness.

ER: We like that though, you know we think, we feel that there is a void of women’s voices like that.

A: Absolutely, it breathes new life. It’s confidence. So , I know you’re busy, so I have just have a handful of questions – as far as “the group” goes – Electrik Red - the one thing that I’ve found is that there is a misnomer out there about you girls being “put together” – manufactured. I’d like to clear that up for people.
ER: Oh, we’d love to clear that up. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re actually friends. We didn’t audition to be together, no manager threw us together, we’re just actually good ol’ gals. (laugh) This is Sarah. Naomi and I knew each other since we were children in Toronto. We went to a performing arts school together. Lesley and Binkie know each other from going to Laguradia, which is a famous high school in New York. After high school all of us pursued professional careers as dancers and met in the field working together in music videos and touring. Binkie and Lesley approached me to join the group and I couldn’t refuse, then I invited Naomi along to join the group, every one met and that was about 6 years ago. It’s been 6 years since we’ve been working on the music, getting it right. It’s been a whole year since we’ve been signed. It’s nothing manufactures, we all choice to be here and we are very excited to here.

A: What inspired you to go in this direction? Was it a natural progression?

ER: I think that’s naturally what we’ve known, we’ve all been performing working on our craft vocally, dance wise, acting, visual arts since the age of 7. This has always been the path we wanted to take in arts. So it happened naturally that dancing and the music industry was our first step to actually get our foot in the door. The ultimate plan was ultimately, organically imbedded in us to take our talents to the forefront. I think too, as artists, and being professional dancers we’ve reached a certain level of success and there is only so far you can go, so after seeing with world; traveling with some of the top artists in the world, being in music videos. As artists you naturally feel what else can I do that inspires me to be more creative. Choosing the musical path gives you more power, more creativity to do what you want, it’s your own thing, there’s way more control. We’re the bosses.

A: How does this compare to what you were doing in the past? Is this what you thought it would be?

ER: This is way more than what we thought it would be, it’s unbelievable. I think that in the past you your training, and getting really good at your craft, your performing for everybody, your dancing and working really hard at your rehearsals; but really you’re not making any major decisions. You decide if you’re going to the auditions, and decide if you’re going to take the job and from that decision you’re working, and kinda under the rules of someone else or how the project’s going. But right now, the way things are, we make all the decisions, we have an extreme amount of creative control. From what we wear to who we get to choreograph, we know gang of choreographers who are good, to who does our makeup, to who is our stylist, to who what our image should be, to how our music should feel, to how our stage show should be done. We have all the control, so now it makes a huge difference. We are not in the background for anyone anymore; we’re actually the (driver’s seat).

A: Share with us what it was like when you got word that Def Jam wanted to sign you, what were you doing, where were you at?

ER: Actually, we were at Def Jam. Um, we were freaking out. There’s a huge long story to it, and I don’t tell it the best, I’m gonna let Naomi tell the story. NAOMI – There is so much information girl. We were hungry, okay, we know some people in this industry, a hundred million people cause we’ve done everything we can do in our won profession; and one of the people we knew was Shakir Stewart, and we were lookin’ for a bite to eat to be honest, I’m gonna be honest…..we called him, he said “I’m actually at the office, why don’t you come by”; and this was on February 22nd, and we came by. He asked what we were doing. We said we were working on the music, but that wasn’t the focus, the focus was dinner….he didn’t believe us, so we pushed the tables aside just to give him the razzle dazzle (we said to him) “You will believe us, we have been working, don’t say we haven’t been working”. So….he was impressed, and then the next day….within 12 hours, they literally locked the doors to Def Jam and said you’re signing today. We want you to do the performance you did last night, whatever that was, we want you to do that for the entire building. So there you go, literally on the spot we’re dancing up a storm, signing; and Mr. Chairman, Elliot Reed walked by the office and peaked in, and was like ‘What’s all the commotion about?’. It hit us like, this is now or never, that was the moment that changed our lives.

A: Now, onto something just as exciting; you’ve hooked up with some heavy hitters – The Dream and Tricky Stewart – share what it was like going into the studio with them.

ER: This is Binkie, working with them was like a dream come true. We’ve got to work with a lot of different producers in our past and every body’s got their own little way of doing things which is amazing to see different people creating in different ways; but to be with Dream and Tricky while they were creating our first album, I still cannot fathom, you know, how we got here, how we could be so lucky to work with (these) masterminds, they, this was really a treat. We busted down the album in, we recorded in what? Two and a half weeks. They wrote it in just like, a night, which is unheard of and I think that everybody was really focused. Once Dream and Tricky got it, I mean they nailed it exactly to a T, like who we are. So I don’t think anybody else could have done it, and I don’t think it coulda went (with) any other girl group. Those are our songs, they belong to us.

A: How involved were you in the development, creation, the selection of how it was gonna go down?

ER: Well, just quickly, we were very clear on what our sound was, so even when Sharkir played them the music that we had, they got it. They nailed it and I’ll let someone else take (this) – but the quality of their sound was exciting for us, and taking 6 years to work with producers (they) understood the sound that we were trying to go for. So as soon as they heard a couple of our raggedy (giggle) little songs, they completely got it, and continuing on with that. Once we did the performance…they heard the music and saw what it was about, in their face; cause it’s very different when we meet up and we’re online, or even over a phone conversation. But when you’re with us and we’re doin’ our thing that we do so well; I think people become….enraged with glee and happiness….I think they got it, and they created this wonderful, wonderful project. I think it’d be harder to create music for a group of girls who just sat down, and smiled and were really polite. We have so much personality, all of us, there is no way that they could have not understood it. I don’t know if you know, but we’ve been a group for almost 6 years now, so we’ve been cultivating and building this brand that we call Electrik Red for some time now. So it’s been our personal baby for (over) 5 years. So we’re very clear when it comes to somebody (asking) “Ok, what’s the sound?” or “What do guys need from us?” So we’re like, OK, this is it, it needs to sound a little bit like this, but not too much of this. Or, you know, kind of like this – so, I think it all makes sense for them. They were like ‘We got it’. The Dream is such a clever, shocking writer that to work with him was the perfect match.|

A: OK, no one likes negativity but I have to ask, is there anything about this new career path that you haven’t been happy with?

ER: You know what, absolutely not, even with the sleep deprivation and not being able to be in New York City and not being able to go our favorite little shops….WE’RE SO HAPPY TO BE HERE. We want you to write that in big bold black and red letters! Yeah, everyday….every hour there’s like a new shock…it’s like “Hey, we got so and so on your remix” – What?...every moment it just keeps getting better and better….

A: Now, getting out on the road….you’re new album “How to be a Lady”, I saw that your tour dates were just announced with Lil’ Wayne.

ER: (Hoots and hollering- banging on the table) Whooo, baby!

A: I’m looking forward to seeing you guys in Los Angles with that too, so how does it feel, I know you’re excited, but please put it in words for me.

ER: (Laughter) Over the moon!

–so I pondered which one to ask. Because of all the different “reviews” I’ve been reading, from fans and skeptics, I wanted Electrik Red to respond to their critic.

A: What would you like to say to your critics out there? – cause everybody has ‘em.

ER: Yep, Yep. Thank you for motivating us to be better and to do better and get ourselves tighter. We are gonna win you over, you’re gonna love us. Say what you want, you will be entertained.

A: Well ladies, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to share your new adventure with me! I look forward to following you girls and hooking up at the show in Los Angeles on March 29th.

Comments: Leave feedback, discuss! Keep it clean also!

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