Posted On 17 Aug 2017
As a young girl, Kristinia DeBarge had big dreams of being a singer but kept it from her father until he took her into a recording studio at age twelve. They worked until 4 A.M. recording a duet, which made him realize she was serious about beginning a singing career. At thirteen, she appeared on American Juniors, the younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. It was on American Juniors that she had her first performance singing “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera. She went on to make it to the Top 20. At fourteen, she met Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and spent the next four years developing her voice and writing skills. By nineteen, she signed a record deal with Sodapop/Island Def Jam.
Her newly released single titled “Pink Love” will be an introduction to her new sound, a sound that she describes as “fun, sexy and care free.” Kristinia wants to show her fans and audience that she has come a long from her music as a teenager and that she is now a grown woman who is embracing her sexuality and love. She has been working on her third studio album with, frequent collaborator and partner, Grammy Award Winning Producer/Songwriter Adonis Shropshire. In early 2016, Kristinia starred in Growing up Hip-Hop, a reality TV series on the WE network alongside Boogie Dash, Egypt Criss, TJ Mizell, Angela Simmons and Romeo Miller.
When Kristinia’s first album “Exposed” was released in 2009 and debuted at number 23 on Billboard’s top 200, it was evident that she was a force to reckoned with. Her first single “Goodbye” debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and later reached number 15 on the charts. In Canada, it reached number 15 on the Canadian Hot 100. The single sold over 2 million copies reaching Platinum status and later reaching Gold twice. The music video also received an MTV VMA nomination. After releasing her second single “Sabotage” and third single “Future Love,” Kristinia went on open up for pop superstar Britney Spears during the 2009 “The Circus Starring: Britney Spears” world tour, as well as received an NAACP Image Award nomination for “Outstanding Artist.”
Since her initial success, Kristinia is back and ready to show the world her incredible evolution as an artist with the release of this new single.
Learn more about Kristinia DeBarge in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you?
So far, so good! I just finished filming the 3rd season of my show “Growing Up Hip Hop” on WeTv and it’s currently airing now :-). I am also working on my 3rd EP and hoping to release it later this year or the top of next year. I just released a new single called “Pink Love” that I am VERY excited about!! I am in a great place. Lots to look forward to!
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
Yes, absolutely! This year my music has more pop elements, as last year it was more urban/pop. I feel like last year I had to get some things off my chest musically and this year I am ready to get back to my pop roots.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
I am currently watching a chick flick… 13 Going on 30, I love that film! I usually either have a chick flick on or I am listening to Kaskade, He’s an incredible producer/DJ. I grew up listening to him all through high school so it’s nostalgic for me to listen to his music. Listening to Kaskade and Mariah Carey most definitely both get me out of a bad mood.
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yes, ever since I was 3 I can remember using my mom’s hair brush as a microphone to sing Gospel songs in the morning LOL.
Honestly, when I am asked what is my plan B I always say revert back to plan A LOL. I don’t see myself being passionate about anything else as much as music. I love acting and dancing and both are most certainly a part of me, but music is and will always be my first love.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
I grew up in South Pasadena. A small little town, three miles long three miles wide. A place where everybody knows everybody. It definitely made it easier for me to dream big because I was kind of an outcast. I was always finding new hobbies and I had decided at a very young age that instead of diving my head into the books, I was going to dive it into music. I soon became home-schooled in high school and I spent every day in the studio for at least 10 hours out of the day. Lets just say it was my home away from home!
Let’s talk about your newest single called “Pink Love.” What was the inspiration for this song? How do you think it is different or similar to anything else that you have released? How does this track prepare listeners for the rest of your forthcoming EP?
So.. every time I get asked this question my heart skips a beat. I am a hopeless romantic.. and I love being able to express my love and vice versa. This song is about a significant other showing his love for me. Need I say more.. lol. It’s more mature, sexy, & daring than my old music. I’m not playing it safe anymore, I am woman, and I want that conveyed in my music. I think it’s a great introduction to my new fun and sassy sound. “Pink Love” is a great record & I enjoyed making it, but I think I am more excited for you all to hear my second single.. I wanted to make sure that this EP has a flow and that you love each song more than the last.
In general, how do you think that you have grown as an artist since your first album, “Exposed” was released? Or how do you think you are the same? (PS I still work out to “Goodbye”) 🙂
Aw.. you’re so sweet! Thank you for the support, Hopefully you’ll soon be working out to “Pink Love.” 😉
Well at heart I am still that 19 year old girl from the”Goodbye” video. That’ll never change, but.. I definitely have grown a lot since then. I’m a full on woman now, I’ve been through so many life experiences. I feel I have a lot more writing material, that’s for certain LOL. I am not afraid to take risks in my music and I don’t do anything that isn’t true to myself. How I am still the same..? I would say is that there is still so much I am figuring out about myself as an artist and as a person. I am constantly learning, forever a student. I enjoy that aspect of my artistry because I feel that it allows to me to grow and reinvent myself.
Besides working on new music, what else have you been doing since your last album was released?
I have been shooting my reality TV Show on WeTv. Its called “Growing Up Hip Hop” and we are are actually in our third season right now. It’s been so fun but also an emotional rollercoaster. I also started my very own hat line called “Cupid” that you can purchase on my website www.kristiniadebarge.com. I am also working on putting out a lifestyle brand as well.
What’s it been like staying connected on your social media pages? What do you think of it all? What’s it been like for you keeping them all updated and current?
It’s been fun! It can be a lot of work sometimes to keep up with it all… whether it’s delivering content, remembering when to post, making sure I stand out and staying creative with my posts. All in all I am proud to say its a part of my job. I love it!
How do you think that being a musician has helped you live your best life? Can you talk about the joy that it brings you today?
It’s allowed me to achieve some of my wildest dreams and live out my most wonderful fantasies. It brings me the most JOY, knowing I have had such an impact on people and have inspired them to never give up on their dreams and that I can lift people up in their darkest times. It’s a gift from God and I don’t want to ever take that for granted.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any upcoming tour dates lined up?
I am hoping to release another single and perform my new songs as often as possible. I have booked two venues so far to perform with a live band in a more intimate setting…. lounges with a more acoustic feel. I have never performed with a full live band before so I am ecstatic about that!
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Some of my favorite artist are Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Prince, Trent Reznor and Kaskade.
What do you hope is the message of your music?
My message is simple… love and you’re not alone.
What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Inspiration, love, and the will to keep on keeping on.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
I would say stay FOCUSED. There are going to be people who don’t see or get your vision but don’t let that discourage you from going after what you are passionate about. The music industry can be very cut throat and full of SHARKS that try and come out to bite you but as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do achieve anything you put your mind to.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Check out my new single and music video on Vevo.com and Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Tidal, etc.. I have tons of other music out as well. Check it out when you get a chance and let me know your thoughts on my Instagram comments, I’ll write back! (@kristiniadeb) Thank you for taking the time to support me and my movement. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my music and stories with all of you. God bless xo!