In a business of here todays and gone tomorrows, few artists have maintained the consistency of Cheryl Pepsii Riley. Cheryl, who is affectionately called Pepsii by her friends, exploded onto the music scene in 1988 with her debut album, "Me, Myself, and I". This album, produced by the group Full Force, unlike most being released at that time, featured songs filled with positive and encouraging messages. From that album, Cheryl recorded her #1 smash hit, "Thanks For My Child". This song, considered by many women an anthem of hope and courage, catapulted this Brooklyn, New York native to national and international acclaim. And, it is still being requested and getting radio airplay today. Cheryl followed up that project with the heartfelt release of "Chapters", which produced the single, "How Can You Hurt The One You Love", which continued in her vein of social consciousness by addressing domestic violence.
In 1992 Cheryl changed record companies and released the album, "All That". For this venture, as well as the last, Cheryl broadened her artistic involvement by writing and producing most of the songs, including the hit single , "Gimme".
Caught in the politics of the record industry, Pepsii changed faces and reunited with her first love - acting. Her first play "Momma Don't" co-starring Rev, Rance Allen, Lynette Hawkins, and The Clark Sisters, proved that she was not to be pigeon-holed as a one dimensional artist. Amazingly to date, Pepsii has starred in 11 national touring plays, all the while gaining a broader and more diverse audience base as a Singer AND an Actress. She has toured the country on theater stages with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Glenn Jones, David Peaston, Beverley Todd, Adele Givens, David Hollister, Clifton Powell, and Shemar Moore, with whom Pepsii starred in the romantic comedy, "The Fabric of A Man". Cheryl has taken her acting even further and made her film debut in 1999 in the celebrated independent film and winner of a 1999 urban film festival award, " Colorz of Rage". This show stopping performer was also featured in the stage plays "Madea's Class Reunion" and "Madea Goes To Jail". Both written by and co-starring Mr. Tyler Perry. Currently you can see and hear her artistry in the 2005 Blockbuster #1 Hit Movie and Soundtrack, "Diary of A Mad Black Woman". You can also bring Ms. Riley home with you on DVD, Starring in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married" and Co-Starring in "Madea Goes To Jail". Both Available June 27, 2006.
Now, Cheryl is back again, with the highly anticipated release of her first solo recording in 14 years, "Let Me Be Me". " The most honest recording of my career" she states. Allowing no boundaries or limits, Pepsii says this cd encompasses a little funk, a little jazz, a little rock, a little blues, a little gospel, a little love...all filled to capacity with a LOT of SOUL ! And to anyone who listens, the sincerity of this project is indeed, quite evident. Cheryl wrote all the lyrics and did all the vocals and vocal arrangements. While all the music was done by Houston native Luke Austin. She says of the songs, "Luke and I have such a wonderful musical marriage....it just fits. And, I know when one listens to this cd, they will hear exactly what I mean. Luke Austin is truly a force to be reckoned with. We both have stories to tell. Thank God, HE gave us music to share with the world!"
If Cheryl is not in the studio or on the road touring, you may catch her dropping in to sing at some of the most celebrated clubs in New York City. One of her favorite spots to frequent is The Cafe Wha, where she is the host and one of the featured vocalists on what they call "ThrowBack Tuesdays", with the old school, real school band called "DisFUNKtion". Yes, this amazing talent is indeed a busy woman who balances all this and a loving family as well. "My Family is my ALL" she says. They keep me focused, and grounded. They are the reason I can do all these other things because they support me and love me unconditionally. To them, I am just mommy, wife, daughter, auntie, and one who loves them just as much as they love me. Now THAT is the real gig of a lifetime!"
Cheryl soon plans to publish a book of poetry, work in television, do more film, and add more production to her resume. "I'm into telling stories" intones Pepsii. "And I believe that being true to me, what my life experiences are and those around me, and sharing that through song, rhyme, or just being an ear or a smile on a difficult day for someone, I believe I am doing what God wants me to do, therefore living my purpose. And, isn't that what it's all about at the end of the day? Well, it is to me and if my music helps someone, anyone, then I am doing my gig as a positive part of the human race!"
"Let Me Be Me,... it is not just about recording music, it is about Being Who and Whose I am, and making a difference in the World!" And we say...'Nuff Said !
Purchase Cheryl Pepsii Riley's new musical journey, "Let Me Be Me" and Be Blessed !