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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crystal Waters: Exclusive Q&A

Crystal Waters is a phenomenally successful house-music artist who virtually needs no introduction. She burst onto the scene with the mega-successful "Gypsy Woman" in 1991 and has had a slew of club and radio hits ever since, including "100% Pure Love," "My Time," "Never Enough," "Destination Calabria"  (#1 in over 25 countries),"Le Bump," and, most recently, "Oh Mama Hey." A child prodigy, Crystal Waters is the youngest person inducted into the American Poetry Society. She was 14.  It was such a privilege to have the chance to interview Ms Waters, personally, as a long-time fan. The Q&A was arranged by promoter Barbara Sobel, to whom I express deep gratitude for the opportunity.

Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Welcome, Crystal Waters, I am so pleased to finally have the privilege to talk with you. You have a great new single, "Be Kind," produced by Stonebridge, ready for release. How did this come together?
Crystal Waters:Thank you! Well it started when someone from Armada records contacted me and asked who would I like to work with on the label. I gave them several names including Stone's. They put us in touch but I wanted to meet him. We were both going to the ADE conference and decided to meet there. We were like, Forrest Gump's words, "2 peas in a pod." [Laughs] We've been good friends ever since.

DBB: I am thrilled I'll be meeting you at the press conference at Icon July 12th as I've been a fan (and Facebook friend) forever. Any questions that are off the menu for you?

CW: Hmm not really, I just don't talk about my family life. They are off the menu.

DBB: "Be Kind" looks like a potential club hit. How many Billboard dance chart hits have you had? How many charted internationally?
CW: Well the folks at Billboard say I have nine, I count about 16 [laughs]. Internationally I have no idea, there are so many countries, so many charts, I wouldn't know where to begin.

DBB: La da dee la da da. Can you ever escape that refrain? Would you like to? 
CW:[Laughs.] No, I'm very grateful for that. I always say I'll be like Tina Turner singing "Rollin on the River," sing it to the day I die.

DBB: Many of my readers may be unaware that you wrote "Gypsy Woman" for Ultra Nate. How was it that you came to record it yourself?
CW: Well, at the time I wanted to be the next Sade, and was doing more of that type of music. The Basement Boys asked me If I would write some songs for [Ultra Nate] while they were shopping my stuff..They sent me some tracks and the first two songs I wrote and recorded were "Gyspy" and "Makin' Happy." Without me knowing, they put it on my demo, and it it was snapped up right away.

DBB: It's probably well known that your dad was jazz great Junior Waters but probably less known your great-aunt is Ethel Waters, one of the first African-American actresses and vocalists to appear in movies. Did you meet and know her as a child? What do you think her career might be like if she were born to another generation?
CW: I'm told I met her as I child but I don't remember... from what I hear of her personality, I think she would be great in any generation.

DBB: "Come on Down," Crystal Waters. What ever inspired you to use the theme song for The Price Is Right for that song?

CW: I had just signed to Strictly Rhythm and my A&R, Gladys Pizzaro, had this track with a small sample of the theme song in it,no where near what it sounds like now. They had the hook and she wanted me to finish the lyrics. When we went to get clearance for the sample, the Price Is Right people asked if they could use it for their 50th Anniversary Campaign. They had big plans to use it in all their commercials with radio campaigns to send winners to the show and I would perform. Big stuff! So we beefed up the track to go along with the festivities. Unfortunately, 911 happened just before the campaign was to begin, everything was cancelled. At some point without my knowledge Strictly Rhythm released it. I don't think that version was the best for the clubs, I would have liked to use the original.

DBB: What inspired you to write dance music? Were there house or disco music songs, in particular, that grabbed your attention; that may have influenced you? Your dad was a jazz musician but what were you exposed to, musically, growing up?
CW: I think the Basement Boys influenced me, before them I never thought about writing to dance, I was doing my jazz/Sade thing.One thing we agreed on is that if I was gonna write to dance I had to keep my jazzy style. I think you can still hear it in this new track...

DBB: Have you met Sten (Stonebridge) before this collaboration for "Be Kind"?
DBB: Oh yeah!  [Laughs] After our meeting at the ADE, we decided I would come to Sweden to write. We both felt it was important to have that back and forth between writer and producer. I've been back and forth to Sweden several times. I believe we recorded 14 songs all together... hmmm maybe there's more to come?

DBB: Thank you, Ms Waters. Any last shout-outs to your international fans?
CW:Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy! can you hear me? [Laughs]  Love you... see you on the road! Please check out my sites:

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