Singer Dondria aka Phatfffat, is the YouTube singing sensation that was picked up by Super-Producer Jermaine Dupri some years ago. Now 23 (I thought she was much younger!), Dondria is poised to release her debut album, Dondria vs. Phatfffat. The album’s lead single is the gospel-tinged, classic-themed love song, You’re the One. Written and produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox, the song is a sticky-sweet ode to young love. Dondria sings,
I feel it all over my body (I feel it all over my body)
I dream about you when I sleep (Yeah)
You’re the one for me, you’re the one
Cute. Dondria looks like a young Monica in the video and glams it up a bit in a classc black dress. I haven’t been following Dondria on her YouTube but I know she has many devoted fans and I know she can blow. I have my doubts about JD’s hitmaking abilities in this day and age, but I hope for Dondria’s sake, he hits gold with this debut.
Check out the video below and let me know your thoughts.
You may have heard about Bertell. He is the newest artist exclusively signed to Capitol Records via Bryan Michael Cox’s label BlackBaby Entertainment and Bertell’s own Upscape Music group. A Houston Native, Bertell had to leave his hometown to try his hand at a basketball scholarship opportunity in New Jersey, before leaving school his last year to try his hand in the Music Industry once again. After collaborating with Dem Franchize Boyz for a local hit, Shorty What That Do, he caught the attention of R&B Music Producer B. Cox. Together, they began to work together to hone Bertell’s sound. Bertell would soon record a hit in the buzz single She Bad featuring Houston Royalty, Bun B. His next single, Beat it Up would become his first real Single and major label push. After I peeped the video last week and checking out his Myspace I was starting to really feel the song. Now before you say anything, yes, I hear the references. Beat it Up has some Dream-inspired moments and the lyrics do remind me of the music Trey Songz is doing nowadays with his sing-songy rappper meets sanga style. Bertell decides to push the censors by talking about different sexual positions, including the “Suicide position” that got bleeped from the song.
The main reason I mentioned Bertell as one to watch is that his production company, Upscale Music Group (specifically T.A And Kwasi) has produced a hit with Beat it Up! It was the 3rd most-added song to Urban Radio according to Bertell’s Myspace page. That is an important feat for an Industry that is becoming harder and harder for new Artists to break into.
Also, Bertell has a uniquely smooth voice that he showcases on Beat it Up. If he can get past the imitations of other artists and the fly-by-night success of a first hit record, Bertell may have something of value to offer the R&B scene. Still, from what it sounds like, Bertell will be following in the footsteps of Trey Songz and he may have some trouble gaining real fans this way.
Nonetheless, check out Bertell’s video, then listen to the remix to Beat It Up featuring a fast-talking Twista (who is perfect for the song). What do you guys think of Bertell? Do you think he sounds like other artists or is he currently in his own lane?
I know I am late on this one. Singer Monica has been televising her latest adventures back to relevance with her television show, Still Standing, on BET. Monica and her producers, namely Bryan Michael Cox who has been overseeing the project, have been steadily trying to craft that Hit for Monica that her Label would approve. I’ve enjoyed most of the material I heard from the project, but I understood the Label’s hesitation at moving forward. Monica is one of those solid artists from the 90s that struggle to find relevance today in an Industry that feeds on scandal, sex appeal and stunts, sometimes moreso than talent itself.
Luckily, Monica was able to team up with Superproducer Missy Elliot who has an uncanny knack for producing for women in R&B, specifically for Monica. Not only did Missy Executive Produce Monica’s last hit album, After the Storm, including its hit first single, So Gone, she also produced my favorite track off of Monica’s Makings of Me album, A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me).
Monica has officially released her first single off her album Still Standing, called Everything to Me. The song was produced by Missy Elliot and features a sample from Deneice Williams’ Silly of Me. Williams is a popular singer, songwriter and producer who found fame during the early 70s and 80s. She began as a backup singer for Stevie Wonder and Minnie Ripperton. Everything to Me borrows the music from Silly of Me, while Monica sings new vocals. Everything is getting a lot of radio love and airplay, though the song is also drawing critics who say Monica shouldn’t have touched the Classic and can not compare to William’s version. My take: I never knew who Deneice Williams was before this song. (I will hand in my R&B fan card – next week) Williams has a great voice and I enjoy her version, but Monica definitley did her thing! Take a listen at both songs.