THE PRIME OF KERI-LYNN
HER BREAKAWAY TIME IS HERE
By Rick Grant----First Coast Entertainer 6/25/94
Ten years ago, I remember a nervous young lady named Keri-Lynn who had come into my music production company seeking advice, and a chance to record. At the time. she was planning to get married, and hopefully to pursue her musical career at the same time.
As it turned out she impressed me as a diamond in the rough, with raw vocal talent. and a strong will to make singing her career. However, I thought, at the time, that she lacked the maturity to launch a musical career. So I, advised her to seek a good vocal coach and learn as much as she could about singing and music in general.
Last week, Keri-Lynn called me out of the blue, and I ran her name through my memory banks. Frankly, I came up with a blank. Ah, but the name was familiar to me, and I had a vague remembrance of her.
She said she had been doing some wondrous things and had made some inroads into the hierarchy of some major record companies. She had names of important contacts and A&R representatives plus, some famous property managers, including Barbara Streisand's production company. It was enough to pique my interest.
So I met with her last week at my cyberspace-download headquarters to gather material for a feature piece regarding her continuing efforts to carve out a career as a major artists. Anyone who has that kind of moxie is worth considering. As soon as I saw her, I remembered her from ten years ago. She is now divorced with a seven year old child.
Now, Keri-Lynn exudes confidence and poise at thirty-three years old. Obviously, all those years of gaining life experience have matured her, and made her more determined than ever to succeed. More significantly, Keri-Lynn has been making the right moves, fostering important contacts in the big time music biz, that have subsequently stimulated interest in her as a major label artist.
At our past meeting, Keri-Lynn wanted a sing musical comedy. Today, she is actively pursuing pop music and jazz, and is planing to attend the University of North Floridaís new vocal music program.
In 1988 Keri-Lynn started to lest her original material with audiences, singing to tapes. She got an encouraging reception at various gigs, which buoyed her spirits. This justified her demo recording session at Full Recording Studio in Orlando where she hooked up with Gary Platt. Also she did some work with keyboard whiz, Sean Wilson in Orlando. Kenneth Andears produced her demo with a pop radio slant.
When I listened to her demo in my car on my way to yet another gig, it came across as slickly produced. At last three of the songs have hit potential. Although I thought it was over-produced, with forty-eight tracks of tedious overdubbing, its indicative of todayís pop sound. Actually, I think most pop music is terribly overproduced, but thatís what sells, so it will continue ad nauseam.
Nonetheless, Keriís voice sounds strong and mature, imbued with controlled natural vibrato. Her songs deal with unrequited love and other personal situations, which gives her material an honest emotional overview. She plans to hook up with an ensemble to play some Live gigs is the near future. while pursuing her studies at UNF.
Her contacts with major record companies were due to her persistence and talent shining through on her demo. This happened because of some selective radio play on various stations including, the Voice of America which broadcasts on short and long bands, reaching many locations and listeners.
Consequently, the exposure helped her get a foot through the closed door of unsolicited dead demo rooms of the record companies. She said that she once sent a record company a tape and got it back unopened with a form letter.
Eventually, her demo got the attention of Ronnie Negri, Assistant Director of A&R. and Michael Corbett Director of A&R of Columbia and Epic Records.
More significantly, her tape was passed on to Peter Fletcher, Property Manager for Columbia on the west coast. He is also associated with Barwood Productions which is owned by Barbara Streisand.
Of course, these contacts could lead to a major career or she could receive a polite rejection letter. However, what is particularly admirable about her self promotion is her indefatigable belief in her own talent and ability to make it in the big time. Moreover she's done it her way.
Interestingly, her new sense of spirited confidence is due to a remarkable catharsis that gave her spiritual strength and faith in her vocal talent as her raison dí etre. Her pregnancy triggered a repressed memory of an accident when she was a child. She fell down a ravine and recalled an out of body experience, (a brief after life episode) the details of which she still wishes to keep private. However, this memory changed her lire and she gained new insight and confidence to pursue her singing career.
As we talked. I was struck by how this young lady had matured in ten years. Her goals are now well defined. she has determination, and above all she has no fear of rejection.
Keri-Lynn's single "I'm Working on It" received a lot of attention on college radio stations, local commercial radio, Music Satellite Network ,the Voice of America, and is listed in Media Base pop charts.
In 1990 Keri-Lynn was elected to full writer publisher membership into ASCAP. Keri-Lynn has appeared Live at the Greater Jacksonville Fair, Jacksonville Jubilation, the Jacksonville Landing , NAS's Operation Desert Storm, Spring Break 1991 at Daytona Beach, and many other major events around the area for years.
Her striking art work for her promotional presentation was done by Bo Does Art--Tony Trotti Jr. Bo is presently touring the country as a performance artist, painting to music at big arena shows.
Indeed Keri-Lynnís story underscores the importance of adopting a positive attitude and developing oneís talents and abilities. It is a God given birthright to use oneís natural gifts. What Impressed me most about talking with Keri-Lynn was her aura of sincerity and charisma.
Her spiritual reawakening serves as an inspiration to all aspiring artists. Without a emotional and spiritual connection to oneís art, it's a shallow experience, and quickly becomes mundane.
I fully expect Keri-Lynn to realize her goals. That is her reason for staying on earth that day, so many years ago, when she could have moved on to a higher plane.
"Iím Workin' On It "/One More Chance"
2-song cassette recorded at Platinum Post, Winter Park, 1990
Keri-Lynn new cassingle, released earlier this year has reportedly been getting considerable airplay in dance clubs and on radio stations around the state (and particularly in Jax). This comes as no surprise to this reviewer, as 'Workin' On It features all the right elements to please everyone from the casual top-40 enthusiasm the die-hard dance club patron.
Full production--layered orchestration, backup singers in perfect harmony, a solid rhythm and passionate seductive yet-joyous vocals-lends this tune the sound and option to stand it against any of the current offerings on contemporary dance radio. One More Chance falls into the ballad category and is ideal for that mandatory slow dance respite amidst a night of calisthenics dance moves. Layered keyboards and vocals highlight the tune, and Keri-Lynn's voice is passionate in a rhythm and blues vein, yet the song still retains that distant dance club sensibility.
There was no information that I could find about who played on the tape save Keri-Lynn, who is the singer and songwriter, and additional info noting Gay Platt as the engineer (who I might add did a superb job). The tape is available through Tailsong Ltd, whose address is P.O. Box 51, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004.
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