'Learning The ABCs of Music!'!
9 original personalities; 15 hit songs; 1 amazing group of friends - this is Girl Authority, the newest singing sensation cresting the suddenly hot wave of music sung by and for kids.
Girl Authority's eponymous CD, released on independent label Rounder Records, features covers of popular “girl power” hits from yesterday and today, including “Dancing Queen,” “Material Girl,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “Holla Back Girl”. Six of the fifteen tracks on the CD are group vocals, highlighting the long-standing friendship among the Girl Authority girls; the remaining nine tracks showcase the solo vocals and unique personalities of each girl.
“The girls”, as they're known, are a group of friends ages 8 through 13 with lots of dreams. They want to keep their grades up, have a positive effect in the world, enjoy their various hobbies, and have fun together. They also want to perform. Ask these girls where they see themselves in 10 years, and none of them hesitate: “Singer, dancer, actress.” “I want to be on Broadway.” “I want to make records.” “As long I'm singing, I'll be happy.” Their words overlap, as do their arms and legs. They lean against each other, giggle when one of them says something funny, finish each other's sentences.
The members of Girl Authority are: Tarr, age 13, known as “Rock n' Roll Girl”; Jacqueline, age 13, known as “All-Star Girl”; Alex, age 13, known as “Fashion Girl”; Carly, age 13, known as “Glamour Girl”; Jess, age 12, known as “Boho Girl”; Gina, age 12, known as “Urban Girl”; Kate, age 11, known as “Party Girl”; Crystal, age 11, known as “Country Girl”; and Zoe, age 8, who is known as “Preppy Girl”.
Chatting recently with a few of the girls, and with six of these fifteen tracks being group vocals highlighting the long-standing friendship shared among them, I first wondered when and how they all first met?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "We all first met doing plays and acting/singing classes together with our executive producer Sam Hammel. We all eventually became like sisters."
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "We all pretty much met through various projects in the community theatre and music world. We have been together for about 5 years and Samantha Hammel, our Executive Producer, has been there from the beginning. We all have worked in many of her projects."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "We met through a theatre group and a touring singing and dancing group. All these groups were directed by Samantha Hammel, our Executive Producer for Girl Authority."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "We met through our Executive Producer's theatre workshops and plays."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "We all met originally through doing musical theater productions and workshops with SAMM Entertainment."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "I met some of the girls in the Friends of Broadway seven years ago, and others through MetroWest Family Theatre five years ago."
Were there were any 'girlfriend' spats at the beginning before you
all became friends?!
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "No we didn't argue but if there were any arguments we would work them out by talking openly to each other."
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "If there were any spats, I was not aware of them. We all get along and support each other in what ever we do. We have a special relationship and really don't see all the caddy drama and attitude issues going on. We all have our moments and days when we are working hard and get tired and grumpy but truly nobody fights. When working with Sam, she has taught us to respect everyone and what each person contributes and tries to have everyone shine."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "We've all been best friends for a really long time. We may have disagreed about little things from time to time, but that hasn't changed our friendship."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "No!"
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "Not that I can remember. We all have a strong admiration for each other, and it brings us close together."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "Not really. We've all gotten along from the beginning."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of GA and was thinking of buying this album, how would you yourself describe this CD to them?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "I would tell them that this is a really fun CD that kids will love!"
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "GA is fantastic album with fun tracks that everyone young and old can enjoy. There is a song for everyone to connect with. All of us had so much fun making the CD and I think it shows in the music!"
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "They may be songs initially sung by other people but we put our own twist on them that makes them very original. This is music by kids for kids."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "Fun and peppy."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "It is a fun CD for young girls who love to sing and dance with the latest pop songs and some of the old classic ones. It is also a CD that I think parents would approve of."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "It's a fun, upbeat CD for kids that are too old for the Wiggles but too young for MTV."
As nine of the fifteen tracks on the CD are solo vocals which song is
yours and why was it your personal choice to sing?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "The song that I sing on the album is called 'Beautiful.' I chose this song because I believe that everyone is beautiful on the inside and the outside."
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "'Breakaway' is my song. I chose this because I love the artist, Kelly Clarkson and admire her success. It is also a style of music that I like to sing most. I think this song has a lot of meaning and I thought I could do a great job vocally with it."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "I love my song, 'Get This Party Started' - it's just a fun song! And that's me!"
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "'Shop Around' - I like it because it's really fun."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "My song is 'Pon de Replay'. The song has a great beat to it for dancing, and it is a lot of fun."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "My song is "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". It's a perfect song for me because it's a fun song that I can really relate to."
As you've been performing for years as GA through Metro West Family Theater productions, what has been one of the most amazing things that you have seen or done so far?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "The most amazing thing I have seen or done so far is being at the Dresden Dolls concert. It was a thrilling and ecstatic night and I can't wait to do it again."
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "I have seen a lot and learned a lot over the past few years at MFT. I guess what amazes me the most is how a production can be put together in such a short period of time and with high quality. I've held lead acting roles in a few productions as well as general singing roles and loved each experience."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "Definitely being part of the singing/dancing group the Friends of Broadway was amazing. I started being part of it when I was eight years old and in the second grade. Up until Girl Authority, the Friends of Broadway was a true highlight for me. We performed in so many places in front of so many types of audiences - young ones like at Disneyworld, and older ones in nursing homes. Every show had its special magic."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "The commercial we filmed because everyone was screaming and cheering for us. It was exciting!"
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "The most amazing thing would probably have to be when we (GA) were special guests of the Dresden Dolls at the Orpheum theater in Boston. We sang "I love Rock n Roll" with the Dresden Dolls in front of about 3000 people."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "Being interviewed on TV by NECN was amazing."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Girl Authority at their musical finest - regardless of who sings the lead vocals - which one would it be?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "I think the song that would encapsulate GA is "We Got The Beat," because we love to sing and our lives revolve around singing. And we got the beat!"
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "All of the tracks are good and show how much talent I think we all have. If I had to choose one song I would have to go with the group song "Dancing Queen" or "I Love Rock and Roll" as musically our best vocals. I think all our voices come together and blend perfectly. When we are all singing together, there is an energy that you feel that just amazing. The individual solo songs are all so great and shows people that we can really sing and sing anything."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "Probably 'Leave' or 'Material Girl,' because we put in lots of twists to the songs to make them really our own."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "'Material Girl' because it shows our spunkiness."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "Definitely "Leave". I like the vocals and harmonies. It is a great group song that we all contribute a lot to."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "I'd have to say "Material Girl"."
When it came to the photo shoot for the inner sleeve of the CD, did you choose your own clothes to wear ... and then take them home?!
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "Yes we did pick our own clothes a took them home and that was really cool!"
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "We all had a say in choosing our final outfit as far as whether we liked it and felt comfortable. Yes we got to take them home and keep them."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "Yes, we met a stylist beforehand and chose our favorite of the outfits from the many ones she picked for us. Now I do have the outfits at home. YAY!"
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "The stylist helped us choose our clothes, and we got to take them home."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "We had a fashion consultant, but we were all able to keep the clothes."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "We had choices and we got to decide which outfit we wanted to wear. And yes, we got to keep them!"
Who are you personal musical favorites right now and how close to meeting them have you got?
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "Kelly Clarkson, of course, is one of my favorites right now and singing her song is the closest I've come to meeting her. I would love her to hear my version and wonder if she would like it. I like a bunch of other artists and could never imagine meeting them. I also love Charlotte Church, Leann Rimes, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Martina Mcbride and many others. I would someday love to meet many singers......maybe at the Grammy's!"
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "Beyonce, Nicole from Pussycat Dolls. Also Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and Chris Brown. I haven't gotten to meet any of them yet."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "I like Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. I met them both, which was really cool."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "Kelly Clarkson and Idina Menzel, because I think they have amazing voices. I've never come close to meeting them, but I would love to someday."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "My musical favorite is Christina Aguilera, but I've never met her."
With a lot of these songs having been hits back well before any of you were even born, what were your first experiences of listening to them today ... knowing that they were 20 years old?!
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "Listening to these songs for the first time was not that big a deal. I've listened to a lot of oldies while driving in the car with my mom. I like the oldies and think they are musically great and fun songs and very singable even today."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "We had a lot of fun ideas for them to make them sound good to our peers. I first heard 'Material Girl' at a Friends of Broadway audition - I could tell it was a Madonna song and I liked it."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "I liked seeing how we could change them up from the past to today."
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "I had actually heard the older songs before, but I don't remember when or where for the first time. However the first time I heard "Shop Around" was on this CD."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "They're all such great songs; I never knew they were so old!"
If you could sing another pop song from any era, what would it be and why?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "If I could pick a song from any era it would be "That's The Way It Is" by Celine Dion, because I have always loved her and her music."
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "There are so many I like to sing. I know I like to sing songs that tell a story or have a lot of meaning. It would be a tough choice and depend on where or who I was singing for."
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "'Beep' by the Pussycat Dolls, because I know all the words and I love the beat and creativity they used. I think I have the right attitude to put into it and to pull it off."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "Probably "Who Said" by Hannah Montana! I like the song - it's fun!"
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "I would probably choose "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" because it is such an uplifting song and classic."
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "I'd like to sing some of the songs from the 80s because they're so fun!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?
Gina, 'Urban Girl' - "Of course!"
Jacqueline, 'All-Star Girl' - "What's not to like about penguins? I think they are cute and a lot of fun to watch. They can be stinky but, so can a lot of animals!"
Kate, 'Party Girl' - "I might soon because I just got the "March of the Penguins" on DVD - but I haven't had a chance to see it yet. I do think penguins are very cute."
Zoe, 'Preppy Girl' - "Yes!"
Carly, 'Glamour Girl' - "I love Penguins too! They are so cute!"
Alex, 'Fashion Girl' - "Yes, especially macaroni penguins!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Girl Authority's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: All the music recorded for the album was recorded by a top-notch group of musicians from which city in the US?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before July 1st with your answer and the subject title 'GIRL AUTHORITY SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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