Kristinia DeBarge's first single off her debut album is already looking
like a smash at pop radio and can be heard in Nivea's latest TV
campaign. It may be called "Goodbye" but she's not going anywhere!
At just 19-years-old, Kristinia's emotions run deep. She's learning and
growing while she experiences life, love and relationships along with
her young fans. Kristinia knows that she doesn't have all the answers
but on her captivating first album, her fans will absolutely relate to
her as they join her ride of self-discovery.
Kristinia is no stranger to the music business. She's the daughter of
80s pop star James DeBarge but her road to a record deal was not handed
over to her without patience, perseverance and hard work. Kristinia
knew she wanted to be a singer at the age of three but didn't reveal
this passion to her dad until she was twelve. "He wanted me to be a
doctor or lawyer. I tried to be open to other careers because I didn't
want to disappoint him but my heart was set on singing," Kristinia
remembers. The same day that Kristinia told him she wanted to sing,
they recorded a duet together called "How I Feel Inside." "Our studio
session ended at 4 am and my dad asked me after all those hours and
after all that work if I still wanted to do this," she recalls. "When I
answered yes, that's how he knew I was serious about being a singer."
Less than a year later, Kristinia appeared on American Juniors – a
younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. Kristinia made
it all the way to the Top 20 and suddenly her phone was ringing off the
hook with producers and managers who wanted to make her a star.
Kristinia also went out on the road with her dad soon after her TV
debut. He brought her up on stage to sing with him each night. It
didn't take long for people to start asking Kristinia for her autograph
after each performance. Kristinia's biggest break, however, came when
she was 14-years-old and she started working with legendary producer
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. He knew that she had what it would take to
make it and worked with her on all the songs heard on her album. About
Kristinia, Babyface notes, "First off, she's a DeBarge, and when you
are a DeBarge, one has to stop and listen. When I saw her at a very
young age, I know she wasn't ready yet but she had "it". I've been
watching her evolve and one day, I knew: she was ready. And she keeps
getting better and better."
Babyface got Kristinia a meeting with LA Reid at Island/Def Jam records
and two days before her 19th birthday, she signed her record deal.
"Things started moving very fast after that," Kristinia recalls. "When
Babyface and I played LA the completed album, he liked every single
song . . . that's unheard of!"
Kristinia grew up listening to strong female vocalists like Mariah
Carey, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and the Supremes but she credits
rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and even Queen
of the Stone Age as some of her influences. "They inspire me to take
risks," she says. But at least for the first album Kristinia will be
sticking to more of a pop style. "I want my fans to grow up with me as
a person, an artist and a woman."
Kristinia has a personal connection to each of the songs on her album.
They either tell a story about her life or delve into an emotion she's
experienced. Kristinia, whose currently enjoying the single life, wants
"Goodbye" to be an anthem for girls to put on when they're sad or
discouraged about an unfulfilling relationship. She hopes the song will
give them the courage to move on. "I want girls to listen to it and
feel that they're beautiful, smart and a catch, and know they will be
okay," she says.
"Doesn't Everybody Want to Fall in Love" is about Kristinia's real
experience gaining her parents approval while falling in love for the
first time. "A parent telling their child not to fall in love is them
saying 'I'm not going to put up with your heartache,'" Kristinia
explains. "Parents need to let their kids grow. Love is a beautiful
Kristinia goes from the excitement of falling in love to the pain of
breaking-up on "Cry Me A River." Kristinia co-wrote the track with
Babyface and credits it as her favorite song on the album. "I went
through a hard break-up but this song reminds me that my life wasn't
over and I was okay," she says. "Crying it out makes you stronger so
you can look forward to a new chapter in your life."
"Disconnect" is for the ladies out there who just really miss their man
whenever they're apart. "No matter how much you talk on the phone or
text or e-mail, it's just never the same as it is when you're together
in person," Kristinia says. "And telling your man 'I miss you' and 'I
can't get you off my mind' and 'I think about you morning, noon and
night' is very romantic. I'm definitely a hopeless romantic myself."
Kristinia hopes that her fans will relate to her lyrics. "I want to
show people they're not alone. I'm still trying to figure it out and I
want my fans to know I'm just like them," she explains. "I hurt, I get
scared, I get nervous and I'm not always at my best – but I try my
best. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes and that's okay."