This is my list of random (and not so random) artists I wonder about from time to time…..
Back in 2005, BET introduced the world to a six-member group, Fatty Koo. The show was called “Blowin Up: Fatty Koo” and I watched faithfully. It was three guys and three girls who were all musically inclined. They sang, rapped, produced, and wrote many of the songs they performed. The cameras followed while they attempted to break in the industry by starting from the bottom. We watched as they had drama-filled firsts rehearsals and sang in malls all while finding their identity as a group. Their first single (and theme song for the show) “Bounce” was cute and up-tempo while their second single “Chills” was a ballad, showcasing many vocal acrobatics and skilled instrumentation from each of the members. Neither one of the singles had any significant charting. The album came out and then they disappeared. I don’t think they ever found what worked for them as a group. There was too much going on and the group quickly disbanded.
R.I.P: Fatty Koo 2004-2005
Another reality show casualty, Making The Band with Day 26. And another former Bad Boy creation that couldn’t escape the “Bad Boy curse”. I really thought these guys were going to be THE R&B guys group of the late 2000s…but….yeah. Didn’t happen. Their debut album posted fairly strong numbers landing number one on the Billboard 200. Of course, one album doesn’t make your career. Artists definitely want to be consistent and avoid the sophomore slump. Well….they didn’t exactly slump all the way. The numbers for their second album were slightly down from their debut yet still clenched the number two spot on the Billboard 200. Fans were able to see the struggles and drama of recording the second album during season 3 of Making the Band. The in-house fighting spilled over into business, leading to the exit of member Qwanell “Que” Mosely. They pretty much fell off the map after their second album quickly fell from the charts. There has been news about a future project dropping later this year.
Many of you are probably wondering who this is. Remember when Fantasia won American Idol back in 2004? Ryan Seacrest announced Fantasia’s name and she hung on that little girl next to her for like five minutes? That was Diana DeGarmo, the runner up. Back in 2004, she was a 16-year-old high school student from Georgia who had high hopes of becoming the youngest American Idol winner. Well. Didn’t happen. She lost to Ms. Barrino and not by much either. She had an album released in December 2004 called Blue Skies. The numbers were eh. The album was eh. It was just ‘eh’ for her overall. Five years later, an EP was released entitled Unplugged in Nashville which I knew nothing about until I looked it up. According to her website, she’s been working with touring musicals. That’s nice.
Amy! Oh Amy! How I miss thee! I love me some Amy Winehouse. She is phenomenal. She is amazing. She is a musical gem. She is….battling some serious demons. I first heard of Amy back in 2005. I instantly fell in love with her sound and tried to get my hands on anything she sang on. Her private troubles played out publicly, causing a downward spiral for her. Obvious problems with drinking and drugs led her to cancelling many concerts and unable to participate in numerous projects. Just last month, Amy had to cancel a scheduled 12-city European tour. The kick-off concert was such a catastrophe. It was really sad. During her performance, she was incoherent and under the influence of something. To see a talent hurting so much and self-destruct is really heartbreaking. I hope that Amy will be back soon.
*singing in the tune of “Full Moon”* I ain’t even gonna front, I ain’t even gonna lie/Since you got that show/I’ve been giving you the eye/You can play if you want/All up in that Cali sun /You better call Rodney/And get that damn album done!
Anyone who knows me is aware of my slight obsession with Brandy. I absolutely love her. I’ve loved her since I was about nine years old. She is one of several artists I have consistently liked over the years and has bought whatever released. I watched Moesha until the end, taped and still owns the 1997 Ray J in Concert With Brandy special from Disney, watched ANYthing with Brandy, had a special wall in my room for Brandy posters, and the list goes on and on. I am Brandy’s ultimate fan. I just want some music from her. Some really good music. She hasn’t totally dropped off the radar. However, music wise? Yes. Her last album didn’t put up the great numbers she was used to declaring it a flop. Personally, I thought the album was solid. The public didn’t think so. I do remember the marketing and promotion being terrible for it. Lately she’s been on the TV a lot. Ms. Norwood participated in season 11 of Dancing With the Stars and quickly became a fan favorite. Unfortunately she was surprisingly eliminated and kicked off before making it to the final 3. (Personally, I don’t even like the show and only watched Brandy a couple times on it. I was even shocked when she was eliminated.) Just a month ago she wrapped up shooting for a 3-episode stint on Lifetime’s hit show Drop Dead Diva. Her family’s reality show Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business premiered last year, debuting as one of the top reality shows on Vh1. The second season just ended earlier this year and no word on a third yet. This past season did show Brandy in a studio…so…that gives me hope.
Remember Brandy…..almost doesn’t freaking count!
*sigh* Can we all just have a moment of silence? Go grab some liquor, juice, or even water and pour it out for my man Carl Thomas. This one I’m really sad about. This man’s career peaked for one album. And we ALL know “Emotional” was **that** album back in 2000. Those recognizable six beginning chords of his popular single “I Wish” were all over the radio. His other two singles, “Summer Rain” and Emotional” were also great singles to accompany a great album. Then those other two….. He released two other albums that came out after his debut, one in 2004 and another in 2009. That’s all I have to say about them. They were released. They weren’t terrible albums, just under marketed and overshadowed. *louder sigh* Another artist cursed by Bad Boy! Signed to Verve Records, he does have another album supposedly coming out later this year titled Conquer.
Which artists do you wish you could shake (softly), lock in a studio, and pray for a masterpiece?
UPDATE: I never thought I would be writing this so soon. Most likely you’ve already read or heard about Amy Winehouse’s untimely death on Saturday at only 27. I just wrote and published this post last week and had no idea my blurb on Ms. Winehouse would have such a tragic ending. She was extremely talented. An amazing artist. I was very saddened to learn of her death and instantly thought of this post, which was filled with so much hope of a better ending for her. I’m glad she was able to share her gift with the world.
RIP Amy Winehouse September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011