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How this LA Hip Hop and R&B trio’s MySpace page landed them a record deal?
Los Angeles - Gorgeous, genius and downright gregarious, the all-girl Hip Hop and R&B trio Candy Hill has every right to be excited. These stunning young ladies, one straight out of Compton and the other two right out of South Central, have already made history. They are the first female group to score a record deal by showcasing their music and skills on the internet, or more specifically their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/candyhillmusic) and now these super talented girls have been selected to open for R&B sensation Chris Brown for his upcoming tour.
“We were shocked,” says rapper LV, 20, about the popularity of their page on the internet. “We setup our Myspace page, “says Casha, 21, the lead vocalist “and that’s how the labels found us.” “We got more than 30-thousand hits our first two weeks,” recalls rapper OC. And then it grew to 2-million music hits.
Those kinds of numbers attracted the attention of platinum-selling rapper Chamillionarie’s manager Charles Chavez. One meeting, one look and one live performance and Candy Hill was signed to Universal Republic Records.
“I was surprised, “says OC, the Latin rapping sensation of Candy Hill. “Who gets a deal through MySpace?” “We just sang and rapped for them and next thing we knew they sent a deal to our lawyer,” explains OC. “It just shows you how Myspace is such a prominent tool for unsigned artists because it’s a way to show labels that you’re able to carry a consistent fan base,” remarks LV.
Clicking on their MySpace page was one thing, (the photos of the girls alone will keep your attention), but it was the music that kept drawing visitors to the site. The music is HOT! What makes Candy Hill interesting is that the girls sing, rap, write their own material and do some of their own production work. First listen, they’ll remind you of the 90’s hit girl group, TLC, but quite frankly, these young ladies have got it going on. They’re talented AND intelligent and all about female empowerment.
Casha, the lead vocalist who attended LA’s Washington Prep – but grew up in Compton, sings dances and also does vocal production work. OC, another ex-Washington Prep student who can “spit it in Spanish” and English plus she writes her own rhymes, plays guitar, drums, keyboard and piano. LV, not only raps and writes, but she’s also a sound engineer. She’s proficient in Pro Tools, the computer-based multi-track digital audio editing system, used now in every Hollywood studio.
Using LV’s Pro Tools skills (she’s the associate engineer on Tupac’s upcoming CD), the group earned free studio time and that’s how they recorded their music. “We’d run our own sessions from 2-7 in the morning,” says LV. “We recorded about 40 songs over the last 4 years. “We ended up recording all the songs we wrote,” Casha adds. “It was song, after song, after song.”
One of those tracks is a joint called, “Juicy” – it’s now their hit single. Radio stations around the country have added “Juicy” to their play lists. With a big smile OC explains, “Juicy is whatever it is that a girl has that keeps the guy coming back to her – whether it’s her smell, her touch, her talk, her swack.” We leave it to their imagination,” Casha laughs. It’s very mature stuff for these barely out of their teens set. “Every girl has something about her,” LV adds. “You just gotta know what you have and you gotta use it – it could be the way she walks, she talks, how smart she is. Juicy is that power every woman has.”
Their music resonates because it’s upbeat, uplifting, fun and funky and many of the songs are great female anthems, but they also have some edgy stuff, after all, they remind me, ‘we’re from South Central’. Their music also reflects the essence of becoming a young woman, the ups and downs of relationships, street boasting and the ever present pursuit the party. “Most of the stuff is real and that makes it easy for us to write about it,” chimes in OC.
After listening to a few other songs in their repertoire, including “Angel” and the very infectious “Spare” - a song suggesting young ladies keep an extra man on the side - the Candy Hills girls are well on their way. I predict “Spare”, if promoted properly; will be their first number one selling hit.As for all the drama over rap lyrics including the negatives and demeaning words about women: “When I listen to songs that have those words, I don’t get offended cuz I know that’s not me,” says LV. “I have pride within myself.”
So, why the name Candy Hill? “Everybody looks at us and think we’re all sweet and innocent,” says LV. “That’s how we came up with the candy, but because we do everything ourselves - we’re on top of our game” so we came up with Candy Hill. “We’re on top of our game and we’re sweet,’ OC shouts.
Introduced by mutual friends, the ladies, who seem more like sisters, have known each other for four years; they have lived together for two. Casha describes herself as the diva – a “good” one, LV is the business minded one and the cook, OC is the “clean freak”. “We just clicked from the moment we met,” said Casha who’s been dancing she was five years old. OC and LV started rapping in their teens. “We’re different, but we all function as one,” says LV. “Our families are happy for us,” said OC.
Based on their rhymes, the ladies have a lot on their minds. Influenced by phenomenal talents like Tupac, TLC, Brandy, Mary Mary, Aaliyah and Bone Thugs, the group seems destined to make their mark in the music business. Although they’re aware of the comparisons to TLC, they’re determined to take care of business. “We want to be strong black women in the industry,” says LV. “I try to handle a lot of business and make sure we get treated the way we’re supposed to get treated,” adds LV.
They understand business and they also understand the power of the internet. Next up, Candy Hill will produce three videos and go straight to You Tube – the very popular internet video site. “We’re gonna do all this, this month so more people can see us and recognize our skills,” says Casha. They’ll also open for Chris Brown this fall during his promotional tour. “We’re very excited,’ said Casha. “Nobody’s every done this before - we’re two rappers and a singer. We want to do everything, sing, dance, act, have our own clothing line.”