INTERVIEW: Purple Reign

A little over a month and a half ago, I presented to you the trio of ladies called Purple Reign, a Darkchild-assisted R&B vocal group that is just overflowing in soulful potential. Seemingly overnight, they've become one of my favorite new artists (look to your left to see them on my 'Mel 100% Supports' list.)

A lot has happened in that short span of time, including the official announcement the group has signed a joint deal with Universal/Motown Records in addition to Darkchild's Darkchild Records (making them labelmates to my other fave up and comer girl group, Jada). Also, their debut mixtape project is now available for your perusal over at Darkchild.com and all you have to do is sign up for a free account to enjoy a free copy. The group is currently working full force with Mr. Darkchild himself on their debut album project, which is looking at a early 2011 release, and plan to take their act to the East Coast by way of Atlanta for some club shows in the coming weeks.

(Purple Reign at a showcase event; from left to right: Victoria McCants, LaToya Duggan and Siobhan McNear -- get to know those names!)

My interest in the group was peaked after hearing their various acapellas on YouTube, and was solidified after hearing their mixtape (especially the Timbo/Drake cover "Say Something" which includes their "Purplepella" intro). The current running favorite off the project is "I Wanna Rock Right Now", which features re-dub verses by Chris Brown and Jay-Z. However, this changes daily.


And just this past week, the girls returned to their YouTube account to bring us a brand new fresh acapella cover of Britney Spears' "Baby, One More Time" complete in their soulful style. It gives a little bit of an idea of how the song would have sounded had it gone to its original recipient, TLC, instead of ending up in the hands of Ms. B. And, rather predictably, it's goosebump-inducing good.


Luckily enough for me and you, I was able to ask the ladies in Purple Reign a few questions for one of their very FIRST blog interviews EVER. As I've stated prior, I'm very very excited for the future of this group, can't wait for more original material to surface. You can be assured I will continue to be posting about them here on the blog, and can't wait to see them live in person when they take over the Big Apple (because it's gonna happen -- you know it's gonna happen). Take notes, fam -- Purple Reign is legit. Click the cut to read the full interview. As always, my thanks to Siobhan, LaToya and Victoria for sparing a bit of their busy time for lil ol' me, as well as Team Darkchild and their manager Tiffany Enriquez for helping facilitate this interview and making it all happen!


How did you decide upon the name Purple Reign?

PR: When we were getting to know each other we were asking each other general questions! One of the questions was "What is your favorite color?" When we all replied with the same answer Purple), the first thought was "Purple Rain" as a joke! After we told Rodney [Jerkins, their producer, aka "Darkchild"] about the name he grew to love it and changed the spelling of the word Rain to Reign! We have gotten nothing but great responses to the name since.

You first met at auditions by Darkchild himself back in October 2009. You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time! Has it just been nonstop since?
Yes, we have been working very hard toward our goals and we plan to stay very consistent in hard work! Cant stop wont stop. : )

How involved is Rodney in your album process? Did he produce all of your songs or were their other producers involved?Rodney was extremely involved in our album process. Everything we did went through him...he had the first and last word and we trust him completely. He is a genius! Other producers under Darkchild were also a huge part of the project as well as the writers within the camp and outside of the camp. We were blessed to work with some of the best writers and producers in the game!

Do you feel being signed Darkchild Records gives you a unique edge? 
It gives us an advantage working with a legend. He understands where he wants to take us and has the talent to drive us there!

Is it true you recorded your debut album in a month? What was that experience like? 
Yes, we recorded about 21 songs in a month but we are shooting for more! It was definitely a time to prove to Rodney why he picked us and it was a great challenge. We really enjoyed working together and developing our sound throughout the month. Purple Reign found a second home in the Darkchild studio!

Personally, I truly respect your vocals – girl groups on the scene that are so capable of performing such dazzling acapellas are really few and far between. Do you create the acapellas yourself? Will there be more acapella on the mixtape/upcoming album?
We arrange the acapellas along with other people in Darkchild. We are not sure if there will be more acapellas on the album but we would love that.

While so many seem to compare you to Destiny’s Child, I personally see a lot of En Vogue and SWV shining through your acapellas. Who do you each personally draw inspiration from? 
Definitely SWV, En Vogue, Destiny's Child, TLC and even male groups such as Boys II Men, Take 6 and Jodeci. We love the 90s era.

How much input do you have in the studio? Have you written any of your own material? 
We have a lot of input in the studio. They give us a generous amount of room to be ourselves. We are writing now. We have been writing everyday for the last month or so and we are loving it.

Rather than throwing out a radio single, you’re deciding to go the mixtape route. When will the full tape be out? How much of it will be original and how much will be re-worked covers?
The full mixtape has recently been released. It can be downloaded for free at Darkchild.com/music. All of the songs are covers of popular songs and we plan to do more songs in a few weeks.

Given you’re still prepping your mixtape, how do you decide which songs to rework with the Purple Reign style?
We rework all of the songs with a Purple Reign twist.

I really love how real you girls seem to be – not caught up in the stylized image of the moment. You are three women that I feel I can really look up to, especially since you all really sang! Is being a role model something that’s important to you?
Absolutely. We want to make sure that everyone that looks up to us is inspired to go after their dream. We want to stay humble, relatable and show people that dreams don't sit on a silver platter. They are something you have to go after. Be you at your best.

Do you have any touring plans? 
Yes, we plan to hit up ATL in the near future and do a mini club tour so we can have the south rockin' with us!

Message to the fans? 
To all of our fans, thank you for your love and your endless support. To everyone who downloaded the mixtape, we love you and thank you for listening to the introduction of Purple Reign. We want all of our fans to know that anything you put your mind to can be done! Purple Reign is another result of a dream! Stay tuned and follow us on twitter at @PurpleReignDC and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also get great updates and cool pics from our Facebook page.

1 comment

Paul said...

great interview - can't wait to hear more from the girls :)

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