RIYL (recommended if you like):
feel good dance jams, negotiating your curfew, writing in your diary and preserving a healthy self-image.
Some artists will spend the length of their careers in search of their true artistic voice, continually experimenting with different styles and different ways to present themselves. While others seldom change at all and open that same closet pulling out the same sets of clothes. Curiously, Adam 8*1*2, despite their ages (17), have an unusually strong command of their music and their craft - and have a more realized musical identity than most of their peers at similar points in their career. They are in fact a diverse indie pop/dance BAND in every sense; not just an assembly of girls who can sing and dance and have been hand-picked by a producer. These girls write all of their own music and can identify with the starving artist just as easily as they embrace being independent. Their debut self-titled album is engaging, exciting, musically diverse and written to their own age, but most of all, it is an introduction to a considerable new talent - one whose music is both smart and powerful, and has the depth to stand on its own terms while giving us a welcomed taste of something comfortably familiar.
Fun Fact #1:
Castille and Ginny attended acting school together and Castille's very first acting role was playing a "hot girl" in an episode of HBO’s "Tell Me You Love Me."
Growing up in Tampa, FL, music was always something Castille loved, but even as she found herself collaborating with Ginny (and later, Brooklyn), she wasn’t sure where it would lead. Ginny had previously recorded a single with LA producer Christian Davis (R. Kelly, NKOTB, Aaron Carter, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Mel B of The Spice Girls) and threw out the idea of working with Castille on some tracks (produced by Christian) that would later turn into recoding a whole album and shooting music videos. While writing songs for the record, Castille called on her friend, Brooklyn, to help with some of the writing. They demoed a few songs for Christian, but it wasn’t until they flew out to LA to sing on the tracks that it become obvious that Brooklyn’s style and energy was an integral part of what now was becoming very much a collaborative effort and the evolution of Adam 8*1*2’s musical style and diversity.
Castille: "I've written poetry and lyrics in my diary for a long time, but I never shared any of it with anyone until we started this project...Brooke, being a little more influenced by hip hop and urban culture, writes lyrics in the form of raps with catchy rhymes, Ginny, with her background in the instrumental side of music, writes lyrics that flow with the music, rather than creating music that flows with the lyrics, and with my background in literature and drama, I write in a more conceptual way where I create a story line and then fill in the lyrics. These differences in how we each approach writing definitely helps us to create an overall piece that is fresh and original.”
Fun Fact #2::
Brooklyn is related to country music legend, Ricky Skaggs
Their writing style has evolved in tandem with their growing self-awareness and insightfulness, both as artists and as young women. There is a maturity in the way they express themselves and how they elect to express themselves through their music. Their musical influences stretch across a pretty wide spectrum, but what they utilize and identify as inspiration from those influences is further evidence of their collective wisdom beyond their years.
Castille: “The topics I prefer to write about are directly influenced by simple, every day occurrences…My musical influences are my friends and my surroundings…I don't think about other musicians or their work as much as I think about the human condition and the events happening in my life and what I see going on around me.”
Ginny: “I am really influenced by artists that take the standards and boundaries of their art and push them (and sometimes completely open new doors) because that's what I hope to do with pop music…I began writing small solos for violin and little pop songs that consisted of a verse and a chorus at the age of 7. My parents always encouraged me to transcribe other artists' solos and even my own improv lines (violin, piano, voice, and later alto sax) and I had always been making up music and improv-ing with ensembles since an early age, but it wasn't until I was 14 that I actually wrote down and recorded what I had written… My conceptions of songs always have multi-textural lines, sometimes even counterpoint and I always want more harmonies!”
Brooklyn: “My first musical influences were my parents. My dad played the piano and organ at home and my mom always had music playing - from church hymns - to Prince - to the symphony. When I was in elementary school we had to write a lot of papers. My dad thought they were good and told me I should write songs, so I began to put my thoughts down as lyrics. Since then, I have boxes of notebooks with my songs in them. I write when I need to work something out in my head and heart.”
Fun Fact #3:
Ginny played violin at Carnegie Hall at age 16
Working with producer Christian Davis has elevated their appreciation and interest in the production process and increased their maturation both as vocalists and performers. They’ve studiously followed Christian’s lead and meticulously labored over very intricate vocal and harmony arrangements in the studio. His arrangements and contributions to the songs the girls wrote have helped form a very special relationship and collaboration, which has developed and resulted in the ambitiously-tailored sound of their self-titled debut record, due out May 31, 2009.
The opening notes and rhythm of the album’s first track, “Mystery Girl” serve as a curious invitation (yes, that’s a sitar) into the diverse musical journey that is about to ensue. The push and pull of Castille’s lower registered lead vocal and the call-and-response compressed and effected accompanying harmonies that fly in and out of the left and right speakers - along with a rap section by Brooklyn - become trademarks on the record and illuminate their distinct vocal sounds and styles while introducing you to who’s going to be talking to you for the next 45 minutes. What keeps the record interesting and moving right along are the glimpses into those different stylings on key tracks:
“Higher” is a retro-dance track that sounds like it was written before the girls were even born and starts with the lyric “We’ve established a connection…” Sensual and sweet – and with an infectious analog-sounding 80’s bass-line. Perfect for the club, great for headphones! The piano-driven pop gem, “Poison” is loosely based on a situation Brooklyn’s sister was going through – and includes the lyric – “He corrupts her, he self-destructs her, tells her he loves her but puts others above her.” An impressive recognition (and use of rhyme and word-play) by a person of any age – let alone someone who is 17! “Become As One” features one of Brooklyn’s most effective rapid-fire raps. Nestled neatly in-between a high-energy dance section and a musical breakdown reduced to simple piano chords, she provides the perfect urban flavor and transition into a beautiful refrain sung by Ginny.
There is a sense of excitement, wonder, optimism and self-reflection that can be traced through the entire album, which is reflective of not only how the girls feel about themselves and this record, but how they perceive and embrace their own development both as independent artists and independent young women.
Fun Fact #4
Castille is a Reserve World Champion equestrian
On May 31st, Adam 8*1*2 will open for K.C. and The Sunshine Band and perform at The Taste of Pinellas in Tampa, FL, which is an annual benefit for All Children's Hospital, with all proceeds going to the annual All Children's Hospital Telethon (they were hand-picked by Pinellas production team members Johnny Green and Tom Gribbin after they heard their EP). Castille has treated at All Children's Hospital four times, and all of the girls are very humanitarian, so they were eager to participate in an event that serves such a great cause. They are also in the planning stages of solidifying performances in select cities throughout Europe this fall and releasing a brand new video to national and regional cable music television programs throughout the U.S this summer. In the meantime, the band continues to develop their live show and appreciation for where they’ve been and where they’re going, while embracing all the infinite possibilities that come with being an independent artist in 2009.
Ginny: “Adam 8*1*2 was born by three friends coming together, all with different musical influences and styles, bringing the best of what we have to offer musically and as performers. We got together hoping to make great music that people can relate to, to have fun and explore and discover ourselves through the process."
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