Meet the Divas on The Girls 4 Boys Club Tour
Presented as a collaboration between mega-circuit party kings Jeffrey Sanker Presents and Gus Presents (in conjunction with Fly-life, Inc.), the Girls 4 Boys Club Tour brings to the stage three ascending dance divas -- Katrina, Kwanza Jones, and Liz Primo.
This trio of L.A.-based music angels takes no prisoners in their quest to reach the top of the music industry, unless you want to call the multitude of fans they are gaining along the way their captives. Talent, beauty, tenacity and smarts describe each of them, but their distinct styles separate these divas-in-training and provide for a complete showcase that will attract the attention of a wide audience range on tour stops in San Francisco, West Hollywood, San Diego and Las Vegas.
The three ladies definitely represent the depth in dance music. It may be the beat in dance music that gets you to the dance floor, but it’s the carriage of the melody, the lyrics, and the vocals that make you wish the song would never end. Katrina, Kwanza, and Liz perpetuate that wish to its fullest!
Katrina: From lawyer to dance diva
Fresh from performances on Good Morning Sacramento and with old school rock group Pablo Cruise, Katrina has arrived and has taken the music by storm with her hit single "OPM (Other People’s Money)". The single is climbing up the charts and gained the attention of some heavyweights for its video including legendary remixer Dave Aude and actor Frank Stallone. The Red Red Records recording artist is not just a starry-eyed talent. There are some brains to that talent and beauty.
BeBe: What a backdrop story you have Miss Thang! Katrina, the lawyer, does music. She can sing, perform, negotiate her own record deal, and sue you directly for copyright infringement. Okay! Barbie couldn’t even be a more complete career woman. How can you be it all?
Katrina: I’m glad that you’re diggin’ my thing. Music was always a natural thing for me. I was on "Star Search" (with Ed McMahon) and stuff. That was really fun. Then I got a little burnt out because I was very young at the time. I had just turned 13 years old when I had a couple record contract offers from that. Then all of a sudden it wasn’t fun. So, I stepped away from it, but I never stopped loving it. I went to law school and got a masters in entertainment and media law but still loved the music. In my dreams I was still a singer even though I was practicing law. I never really pictured myself in court wearing a suit with a bun, but that is what did.
BeBe: You probably wanted to pull that bobby pin out of the bun and let your hair go, and do a little "Fame" routine while you’re there in front of the judge.
Katrina: I think you just gave me an idea for one of my next music videos.
BeBe: How fun!
Katrina: I just love music. An I’m just really thankful for the music is having right now.
BeBe: Your single, "OPM (Other People’s Money)" debuted at #48 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart (now at #26) about month and a half ago. As well as, you were the top pick on many independent charts when it first hit.
Katrina: I know! Isn’t that hot?
BeBe: This follow-up to the success of your debut single "Shame On Me" has to give you a little reassurance that you made the right choice in leaving the law practice behind.
BeBe: This follow-up to the success of your debut single "Shame On Me" has to give you a little reassurance that you made the right choice in leaving the law practice behind.
Katrina: You know, I don’t want to exhale too much. I never want to take things for granted. Things can change so quickly in this business, and there is always so much further to go. But I feel really thankful for the success that the music is having. But there were a couple of moments where I went, okay, giving up a sure thing for a question mark is crazy.
BeBe: You also never want to have that thing where you look back at your life and think what could have been? What if I had taken that leap?
Katrina: Miss BeBe, that was my reason for having the courage to quit law. When you are in the routine and you have rent, car payment, student loans that need to be taken care of, as well as, taking care of myself. It’s really hard to give up that security. I had to quit law to do music because it wasn’t like I could straddle both worlds until I felt secure enough. It doesn’t work that way. You have to give it (music) all of your time. And now is the time. My bosses thought I was crazy. They are waiting for me to turn back up at the law firm. But they better not be holding their breath because it’s not gonna happen.
BeBe: And it was a smart move to have Dave Aude involved on the "OPM" single. He is legendary in the dance music realm. Were you heavily involved with selecting the remixers you have on "OPM"?
Katrina: You know I have an amazing team, and they had been mentioning some names and as soon as Dave Aude’s name came up, I just started doing cartwheels. I said ’you’ve got to be kidding me’ because as a consumer I’ve been hugely into Dave Aude. As an artist, I would just be seriously over the moon if he does this. He’s the man. He’s hot. He’s talented.
BeBe: Not only is he a talent and hot, he’s a sweetheart! For someone who is good at what they do and has a great reputation, he has a very humble side to him because he does what he does for the pure love for it, not for the fame and fortune that is coming his way, which is deserved. He really does love what he does, and it comes across in his personality.
Katrina: Stop! You’re giving me the chills. So, you know then how excited I was when he agreed to be in my music video? Having him on the song was one thing. Having him say yes to being in the video was another thing entirely.
BeBe: I’m really happy for you to get a chance to experience someone like Dave Aude on your first time out.
Katrina: Thank you. I appreciate that immensely.
BeBe: Now, is it true that the inspiration for "OPM" came from some of your social party days when you were practicing law in the Hollywood Hills?
Katrina: I may have been a lawyer, but I’m not a liar! So, I’m going to have to say, yes (both crack up with laughter).
BeBe: I love it! So, the experience of practicing law was not all for nothing, honey. It definitely gave you some material to write about.
Katrina: I don’t think I ever stopped writing. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. I’m always writing. There is pretty much a song in everything. You know I did have a good time. When I say had a good time, I didn’t party as hard as others but I’m not going to be embarrassed to the fact that I enjoy a glass of champagne every once in a while. That was a fun time when I was living in West Hollywood. We wanted to write a party song but didn’t want to be just about going to a party. We wanted to tell a story. Because it is a whole scene. And it lent itself to becoming sons "OPM" and "Lost In Hollywood Hills"..
BeBe: The full-length album "In The Blink of an Eye" is available now?
Katrina: It is digitally available on iTunes. There will be a record release later in 2011 with some different versions of the songs on the album on there. I believe there will be a cover of "A Place in the Sun" by Pablo Cruise. They are singing backup on it.
For more information on Katrina visit her website.
Story continues on following page:
Watch Katrina’s video of "OPM (Other People’s Money)":
Kwanza Jones:: Making you think again
You can take the girl out of education, but you can’t take the education out of the girl. That’s what you get with Kwanza Jones. Even though Kwanza had been singing most of her life, even all through college, it took a chance meeting with the great producer/composer Quincy Jones (no relation) for this Princeton University graduate to realize music could be her career.
With songs released from two previously recorded albums on her own co-founded independent record label Innovation Entertainment, it wasn’t until the release of her empowerment song "Think Again" from her highly anticipated third album release "Supercharged" that she charted on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts with the help from remixes by Grammy nominated Mike Rizzo, Alex Cohen, Eddie Elias, Jamie J. Sanchez, and DJ Lynnwood. Combining pop, rock and strong lyrics have people standing up and "thinking again" of this artist.
BeBe: (After some phone connection difficulty) Oh no, I thought here she goes throwing me diva already. She is so "Supercharged" (title of Kwanza’s latest album) she couldn’t even stay on the line (laughter filling up the receiver).
Kwanza: You got three seconds and that was it!
BeBe: How you doing this lovely day? Are you in Los Angeles now?
Kwanza: I’m doing fine. And yes, I’m in L.A. not too far from beach. But I have a little work to do, so can’t quite be on the beach right now.
BeBe: Well, you can’t be on the beach 24/7. But as an artist, the beach can offer up some inspiration.
Kwanza: Oh definitely. Sitting out there and let life just go through you. You can feel the whole creative thing coming to you. But I’m usually running on the beach trying to stay in shape so I can fit in some of those outfits (laughs).
BeBe: It’s not unfamiliar for you to find inspiration doing something with nature since your second album "Nature 2" came from your trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Kwanza: Exactly. Well, it was more exploratory especially since it was dealing with nature and the climb and everything there.
BeBe: Well, I’ve been totally enjoying my copy of the sneak peak into "Supercharged". I can’t stop listening to it, girl.
Kwanza: Well, BeBe, keep listening (laughs).
BeBe: I’m loving it. What I love about your music is a couple of things. I’m going to be narrative right now. Number one, I love the simplicity of the music, if you know what I mean. It takes me back to a time when the music was really the accompaniment to the story within the song. So that leads to my number two love. I love the lyrics. They really speak to you, not at you. And they speak to you in a very plain way. There are no double-entendres there. It is directly out there what you are trying to say in each one of those songs. Can you tell me a little bit of the messages you are trying to get through to your audience on this next collection, "Supercharged"?
Kwanza: It’s there! Sometimes I say the shit just needs to get said. So many people tell me that my music has a message for people. And I’m not trying to preach to people and tell them how to live their lives, but reality is, when you are listening to music whether chilling out and relaxing to it or dancing to it, it gets into you. And you live by letting something get into you that is going to lift and build and maybe help you through some situations. So for me, it’s all about helping people be more confident and be supercharged. It’s like if you think you know me, you have under estimated me. You better think again. And all of us can do it. Stop taking crap from people. Some people are so down on themselves they don’t even realize what they can actually do and become. That’s my whole empowering motivational kick, but I like to do it in a fun way, and I like to do it through music. Music speaks. Music connects people.
BeBe: Some of your songs are all things we have thought about, like even with the single "Think Again." I love how it speaks to somebody stepping to you wrong with the wrong idea. You just better think again (a roar heard over the phone). You just simply say it. And you know we have all thought it. We can all relate to it. And it is set to such nice melody. And I love the video. First off all, I want that body suit.
Kwanza: That’s what all that running on the beach is for. I don’t have time to relax on the beach. So, thank you. I take it a compliment, and I work hard for it.
BeBe: As I have read up on you, I have to ask what is a collegiate from Princeton doing making music?
Kwanza: I’m making all those Princeton folks think again! You know, I did Princeton. I did law school. After all that, I said I was going to combine all these areas of communication, public policy and law, and mediation and put it into music because that’s where I think I am best able to spread the messages of everything I am trying to say. That’s what a Princeton girl is doing. Honestly, especially in entertainment, I find that people will look at you, especially if you look a certain way, and they’ll say "yeah, we know she has nothing going on inside her head". You better think again because there is more than meets the eye. I just like to keep ’em on their toes.
BeBe: With that said, do you think your higher learning skills have made it better for you as a lyricist?
Kwanza: Oh BeBe, I love that you have actually connected with the lyrics. I am a songwriter and words are important to me. I labor over the lyrics. And if a word is in there, it is in there for a reason. I know a lot of people don’t even get to the lyrics unless they like the music or the way the music makes them feel. The education... I think it does (make for a better lyricist) because it expands me beyond my own experiences. And I’m a firm believer in getting as much education as you can. It doesn’t have to be that you have degrees from Princeton, or PhDs, or JDs, and all that. You can go to YouTube and get some education. Google search and get it. Just live in a way that you know there is always more that you can learn.
BeBe: You also do some community work as well with Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) "Girls Are Not For Sale" campaign. I know you have joined forces with Halle Berry, Beyonce, and Mary J.Blige ( The 3 Bs) in this campaign. What do you bring to the table to this very important issue?
Kwanza: What I think I bring to the table is something different from the others is that I working from direct experience. Many people don’t know that I was almost taken when I was young. I was walking home down the street and a car pulled up. I walked up to the car, leaned over into the car because I couldn’t hear what they were trying to say, and the guy grabbed me into the car and was driving away. So that experience, and fighting to get out, I’m able to speak out to the girls of "Girls Are Not For Sale." I was able to fight and get out of that car. But at times I think what if I hadn’t. It’s not just girls. Girls, guys, and not even just a U.S. problem. It’s all over the world. When your victim in the sex trafficking trade, GEMS helps people get of it. And GEMS help people see that there are other ways they can go about living their lives, and recovering from that. It gives them a fighting chance.
BeBe: Your music is all about empowerment and can be helpful to people in so many different areas of their lives. So thank you for sharing that part of you with me. So, with that, when is this new album "Supercharged" due to be released?
Kwanza: Well, we’re not giving a specific date, just saying some time in 2011. A lot of it is getting this single "Think Again" out and the next single "Time To Go", which I’m working on the video now.
BeBe: Getting to your touring, you were at the Matinee Las Vegas Festival (July 4th weekend) this summer, right?
Kwanza: It was hot. Vegas in the summer.
BeBe: How did the crowd receive you there?
Kwanza: It was incredible! It was a lot of fun. That whole supercharged theme, that’s what I bring to my live performance. So, a lot of people are shocked because they don’t expect that much energy. And I am non-stop. It was a great response. I’m looking forward to more.
For more information on Kwanza Jones, visit her website.
Story continues on following page:
Watch Kwanza Jones’ video of "Think Again":
Liz Primo:: In an amazing state (with dance music)
We have all heard the story "The Little Engine That Could." Well, Liz Primo is the dance diva that can.
Her road to music stardom has been as rough as you can get it, without killing someone along the way. Her motto to stand strong and stand for who you are, along with the support of her professional golfer husband, Bob Estes, her family and true friends are what she lived by to carry her through the "can’t do’s" to her current state of amazing. The lead track "State of Amazing" from her EP "Exposed" is a dance anthem and a testament that going where your heart feels right is never wrong even though going there may prove difficult. Primo is primo in my book!
BeBe: I’ve been falling in love with you. I’m in love with your new video for "State of Amazing". It’s wonderful. I’m not a huge electronics movie fan, but I really enjoyed the Tron homage in the video with the lighted body suits. And that orange outfit, girl......
Liz Primo: Thank you so much. And you are going to so, so, so die when I tell you what the orange outfit is.
BeBe: Is it just cloth wrapping?
Liz Primo: Yes! (laughing) It’s so funny because I had this vision in my head of it, and I said I don’t have time for anybody to make it. I found the fabric at a downtown L.A. shop and just wrapped it around me with those grip things holding it together in the back and a broach pin on the shoulder.
BeBe: Well, it works. And when you have a body like yours, honey, you could have wrapped yourself in toilet paper and it still would have looked good. That’s your advantage.
Liz Primo: Thank you so much.
BeBe: Now, how do you like being labeled as the new dance-pop diva on the scene?
Liz Primo: Well, I think your the first person to ever call me a diva, so I’m really excited about that word.
BeBe: I may have been the first one to ever have said it to you, but I’m not the first one to have said it.
Liz Primo: I’m like really. I love that word.
BeBe: I know the word "diva" gets thrown around a lot. People have kind of forgotten what it means. What it personifies to me is the strength and persistence one must have and make to be the best at their craft. Being privy to your story, I know that you have owned up to that. Starting with your childhood, the music that you are now doing was not permitted in your home, correct?
Liz Primo: Right. My mom is very strong Roman Catholic and we were actually not allowed to have cable. We were allowed to watch like two shows a day. And we would listen to John Denver ("Rocky Mountain High") and Crystal Gayle ("Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"). We made our own music. It’s kind of a freak show at my house, if you go back there today. Still my brothers live at home and we just break into song, like all day long. Because we didn’t have any sound growing up, we learned how to make our own music.
BeBe: Wow! See what I mean?
Liz Primo: I’ve been through quite a journey and it’s been a lot of hard work. I’ve been through three different genres. Country, which was always around me, seemed like the most normal thing for me to do, but I never felt like it was in my heart.
BeBe: Well, you went Nashville right out of high school, correct?
Liz Primo: I moved out of my house when I was 17 and went to Austin (Texas) and then moved to Nashville when I was, I think, 21.
BeBe: And more of the country music followed suit?
Liz Primo: Yes. I did all country music in Nashville for the most part, then I met thus boy who was a rap artist. He had me singing hooks on his songs. I told him this is more of what I’m about. And I really wanted to do dance music. But no one really understood what I wanted. We tried different things and experienced with the dance music, but it still wasn’t the right thing. If that makes sense.
BeBe: Yes, it does. First you have such strong vocals, I can see where it may have been hard for you to feel comfortable with some dance music that is heavy on the rhythms and your not showcasing your vocals. There is a combination that works. And I know "State of Amazing" has that combination. It is a song. It is not entirely about the beat.
Liz Primo: Right. And I’m also ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), so with the house music when I’d sing just one or two sentences, I couldn’t handle it. It’s only two sentences. I need more.
BeBe: So what brought you to Los Angeles? I know you live there now, but it also has not been an easy journey living in L.A.
Liz Primo: The first time I moved to L.A. out of Nashville, I didn’t really want to sing. I was kind of burnt out. I needed to do something else for a bit, so I started acting and got my SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card. I was working four jobs. It was really hard because you couldn’t go on auditions because you were working. Then I started running out of money, so I moved back to Austin. Back there I actually started a new band. It was all my writing, and I just had the guys play the music. It was more alternative music, but it as really good for me because it allowed me to write everything myself. But it still wasn’t it. Then I was a Lady GaGa on Perez. You know, I thought she was a lot older than she is.
BeBe: Oh, she’s gonna love to hear that (laughing).
Liz Primo: Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but it gave me hope. At the time I was 30. People were saying there is no way you can do pop music. They were saying you have to go back to country because you’re old. It’s not my heart. I can’t go back to that. So, I Googled Lady GaGa and looked for her producers, and for some reason Rob Fusari’s (Lady GaGa, Destiny’s Child, Will Smith) name popped out to me. And I sent him a message on Facebook. I asked if he would work with me, and I could send him some of my songs. He wrote me back. I sent him a song, and he said let’s do a song. And now we have six songs together. So, I moved to back to L.A. to try and pitch the songs to labels.
BeBe: I had just interviewed Lady GaGa when "Just Dance" hit, so I know the sort of amazement one gets from seeing her perform. So what an inspiration to hear. You were just born that way, girl! I think you are sending a great message to people who have worked really hard for many years, and seem to always hit roadblocks, that it can and does happen. Everything happens in its due or right time. It’s just right for Liz right now.
Liz Primo: I love you!
BeBe: Now your EP "Exposed" is released now on 444 Records. Tell me a bit about that.
Liz Primo: It has six songs on it, four Justin Trugman (Eminem, Jessie and the Toy Boys, JoJo, Ol’ Dirty Bastard) and two Rob Fusari songs. It’s my labor of love.
To find out more about Liz Primo go to www.lizprimo.com.
The Girls 4 Boys Club Tour featuring Katrina, Kwanza Jones, and Liz Primo stop in these cities and venues: San Francisco, CA, September 22, The Crib; West Hollywood, CA; September 23, Eleven; San Diego, CA, September 24, Eden; Las Vegas, NV, September 25, Krave.
Go to flylifeinc.com for more info on the tour.
Watch Liz Primo’s video of "State of Amazing":
As an actress, BeBe was introduced to film with a lead role in the independent film "Under One Sun" with her character dealing with religious, racial and gender issues. Additionally, she appeared in the campy musical "Devious, Inc" (Australian Film Festival, San Francisco Short Film Fest) also adding additional vocals to the musical soundtrack. Both of these performances led to her selection for a lead role in Aisha Media’s next short film series, "Con-tin.u.um" to be released in 2012.