Friday, January 28, 2011

New Singers 28-1-2011

Artist Profile: Cheri Dennis

Welcome Cheri Dennis. The new female soloist hailing from the Midwest is ready to prove that Cleveland is not only the home of the Rock & Roll Museum, but also the home to some serious hip-hop soul. Although she is a girl with plenty of rhythm and blues, Cheri is a cool departure from the R&B norm.

As the first solo female release from the Bad Boy camp since Faith Evans, Cheri has been anxiously waiting in the wings for many years?all her to life be exact. "I grew up in a very spiritual and religious household, so I've always known music," she explains. "I can't even think of my first experience where I said, 'Oh I want to sing.' It's just always been there. It's who I am."

As Cheri proclaims in one of her jazzy, sexy interludes, she's "Finally Made It". Singing at the age of eight in her grandmother's church choir, Cheri always possessed the burning desire to become a singer and was fully confident that one day she would achieve her dreams. When people would inquire about her plans after high school, 'College or work?' she'd reply with much conviction, "I?m a singer. I'm going to be a star!" There was never a moment she thought about anything else.

"It was just meant for me to be a singer," Cheri says referring to her signing to Bad Boy Records. She was in New York chasing her dream for no more than 2 weeks before randomly running in Sean "Diddy" Combs at a party. While at the party Cheri ceased her opportunity and began an impromptu performance singing solid vocals over the song the DJ was playing. The hip hop impresario instantly became enamored by Cheri's vocal capabilities and in only a matter of weeks, without even thinking twice, Diddy had her paperwork drawn up for the record deal.

"Cheri's most meaningful musical influences were Prince and Madonna. Says the budding starlet, "I'm a very sensual person, so I connect with that in Prince. And with Madonna, it wasn?t so much the music as it was her power and presence." And yes, in the most subtle ways Cheri reflects what she has learned from the both of them. She also reflects on inspirations that have come from Minnie Ripperton and Aretha Franklin, "when you think of those singers, the first thing that comes to mind is their voice. Their voices were so powerful and moving, I just hope that my singing moves people. I want people to hear me live and realize that it is not just about a studio for me, rather it is about singing well."

Cheri has a rawness that's all her own. She's journeyed a long way to get where she is but this is only the beginning. And she promises, this debut not withstanding, that she has much more to offer. She stays passionate in her delivery and crisp vocals and, the best thing about her (not including her funky, high-end downtown fashion sense) is that she?s a new artist with a real sense of self. She doesn?t gush over folk, not Diddy (even though she calls him a legendary leader)?not anyone. Instead, Cheri remains focused on work, her work. "This is all I do, I?m focused" reveals the songstress. And after this is completed, we ask, "what then?" "I look forward to more, and more," She answers "I expect to have a long career in this industry." Cleveland stand up!


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