Imani Entertainment Group's KEYSHIA COLE
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KEYSHIA COLEKeyshia Cole is the real deal. Like many young people raised in a tough neighborhood, the 21-year-old
songstress endured a tumultuous childhood in Oakland, California, and has fought all her life to keep her
dream of a music career alive. Now she's realizing that dream on her own terms with her first album forthe A&M label, The Way It Is. It's been a long road for Keyshia, but it's her powerful voice-- a bell-like
instrument whose soaring clarity is topped off with a tantalizing touch of soulful grit -- that's carried her
through, not to mention the diminutive singer's personal combination of sugar, spice, sass and sex appeal,
along with a solid-steel spine.
"Being young, you have to be really dedicated to doing it for yourself," says Keyshia, who co-wrote most of
the songs on her new CD and cites artists like Mary J. Blige and Brandy as inspirations. "There's a lot of
trials and tribulations you have to go through to get what you want, especially if you feel like it belongs to
Keyshia's talent, personality, and faith have won her fans and supporters within the notoriously picky
entertainment industry since she was a young girl. While still a pre-teen she convinced then-superstar MC
Hammer that he should put her on, and she even got a chance to do some recording with the rap star
before she was 12 years old. She also scored sessions singing hooks with other Bay Area artists, including
Messy Marv's "Nubian Queen" remix, which was a regional hit for the rapper, and with Tony Toni Tone's
Dwayne Wiggins, who featured her on his soundtrack for the indie film Me & Mrs. Jones.
Within minutes of catching her boyfriend cheating, Keyshia was in her car driving to Los Angeles in the
middle of the night to start a brand-new life. It only took the determined singer a few months of making
connections to snag an introduction to A&M Records President Ron Fair, who immediately signed her to
her first solo recording deal. For her first album, Keyshia has garnered the support of none other than
reigning hip-hop star Kanye West; producer and songwriter DaRon of R&B group 112; rapper Chink
Santana, whose gruff stylings have graced hits by Ashanti and The Inc.; and popular producer E-Poppi.
She also got a chance this past Spring to collaborate with Eve for her debut single, “Never,” on theBarbershop 2 soundtrack.
So what's everybody raving about? Check Keyshia's first single with West, "I Changed My Mind." The tune
is a perfect fit for Keyshia's longing soprano and her distinct stance as a performer: Like many young
women, she's looking for love, but she's not so desirous of romance that she'll sacrifice her own needs.
Having been devoted to her man, she quickly realized that he is devoted to himself. What's a girl to do?
She simply changes her mind about being involved and walks away.
Keyshia easily admits that the song reflects her romantic philosophy. "That song was actually about being
focused and dedicated to what you want and what you're trying to be. It's about the things you're trying to
accomplish in life and dealing with somebody, a significant other, who comes in between that, especially
with their ways. I want to be an example for young girls in following your goals and dreams and making it
happen and checking him out later if you have to."
A twist on that philosophy is on display in "I Should've Cheated," which was crafted by Daron, a producer
whose songs Keyshia admired so much she chased him down in Atlanta to work with him. On the track,
Keyshia sings of being a devoted girlfriend who is constantly accused of cheating by her man. It seems
that two can play that game, and Keyshia has no trouble letting Mr. Suspicious know what's up. "That
song has a lot of emotion, because I feel every girl and every guy can relate to that," she says. "If
somebody is doing you wrong or saying that you're doing something and you're being the best that you canbe in the relationship, then you get home and they're like 'Where you been?' "Well, where I could have
been is ...' Don't start! It could get real ugly."
At the same time, Keyshia's songcraft reveals that the plucky artist isn't afraid to let a man know she's
interested. On the flowing "We Could Be," she fearlessly lays out all a former friendship could blossom
into. On the mid-tempo "Down N Dirty," she has no trouble expressing what she'd like to do. And Chink
Santana lends his gritty rhyming skills to "Situations," another love song with a twist.
On the feel-good, old-school-styled ballad "Love," Keyshia's powerful vocal intensifies a straight-ahead
plea to the object of her affection, who's involved with someone else. It was a real-life situation that
compelled Keyshia, who admits ballads are not her favorite style, to come up with the lyrics to "Love" in
five minutes flat. At a Malibu restaurant, she spied the same guy who years earlier had told her he wasn't
interested in a committed relationship with her dining with his girlfriend. "So I was looking at the girl and I
was like, 'What is it about her? You know, like seriously, what are you thinking?'" Keyshia remembers.
"And I just wrote about it, it came out really quick." She immediately headed into the studio with producer
Greg Curtis: "After I wrote the song, I went to the studio about 4 in the morning, and by 5 or 6 I was done
with the song and that's what you hear."
Ms. Cole even applies her keep-it-real aesthetic to the tune "You've Changed," in which she takes on none
other than Jay-Z for the lyrics to his tune "Song Cry." The tune is from the point of view of a neglected wife
who's had enough.
A self-described "hard worker" who can sometimes be "goofy" and "fun" yet says she would never kiss a
guy she doesn't know for a video, Keyshia is passionate about providing inspiration to young girls, and
young people in general, who come from troubled backgrounds. "I want to be an example for young
people, especially growing up in the 'hood, because it's already hard enough to not be focused, not to be
trying, to be doing something," she says, adding that hope and faith and holding on to a dream can carry
anyone far. The tattoo on her right shoulder -- a cross, a heart, and a star-- truly reflects her belief that
goals can be realized, despite the circumstances. "It's really possible," she says with a grin. And those
are her thoughts -- just the way it is.
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For More Information Please Contact:
Y v e tte D a vis Gayle Greg Miller
In te r s co pe Geffen A&M Interscope Geffen A&M
310.865.6278 direct/310.865.7903 fax 310.865.7632 direct/310.865.7903 fax
Manny Halley – 323.988.4544