Richgirl is an R&B girl group that blends the sexy sophistication of En Vogue with the youthful spirit of the Spice Girls. And for the past few years, under the watchful eye of record producer Rich Harrison, Audra, Brave, Lyndriette and Seven have patiently waited to take the musical world by storm.
Fresh off the road, as the opening act for Beyonce’s I AM… World Tour, Richgirl has performed in front of hundreds of thousands and generated considerable buzz with “He Ain’t Wit’ Me Now (Tho),” the lead single off of their self-titled debut. In the weeks and months to come, expect young women across America claiming and professing themselves to be “Richgirls” too – young, focused and independent!
Upon the release of Richgirl, Audra, Brave, Lyndriette and Seven managed to squeeze some time out of their busy schedules and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Beyonce Knowles, “Millionaire,” and their individual backgrounds.
On June 26, 2009, I had the pleasure of seeing you open for Beyonce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. How did you manage to arrange such a wonderful opportunity?
Brave: From what we were told, she really liked the video and liked our song so her team reached out to us and asked if we would join the tour.
I know you’ve only had a few dates so far, but what have you learned about yourselves on the road?
Seven: I would have to say that I learned that I have little discipline when it comes to junk food on the road. I eat crazy and I need to cut it out! [laughing]
Brave: Every night, I’m looking forward to having a party on the stage. The stage for me is like the biggest party that we get to go to every night. I enjoy getting ready and getting pretty. [laughing] When I look at it this way, it helps me relax and remember to just have fun. It’s hard work, but once we get on the stage and start dancing, it’s just a lot of fun.
Audra: It’s just a really good feeling to be in a position where we are now. For me, it seems like I blinked my eyes and the next thing I knew we were opening up for Beyonce. Being on the road, I can seriously watch Beyonce’s show every single day and take notes and just learn from her. Right when I think I’m doing good, I look up to her and say, “Wow! I have so much to learn.” I think I pick something up every single night watching her.
Lyndriette: I learned that I never get tired of doing what I love to do. I realized that even though we’re doing the same thing every night, night after night, I know that I’m never going to get tired of this. This is something I want to be doing for years to come. I know I loved this before, but now I really, really realized that I love what I do.
During your set, you performed a ballad for your second song. It was very pretty but I was unable to catch the title. Could you tell me a little bit about the song – the inspiration and the title?
Brave: The ballad is called “Back to the Club.” Basically, what we’re talking about is – and we can completely relate to this – meeting someone in the club who we thought could be very special to us. Then he basically broke our heart and we feel like the club is not the place we want to be yet. That’s why we called it “Back to the Club.” We just talk about how in that moment we don’t feel like we ever want to go back in the club because it reminds us of him. We kind of just want to be done with it.
You ladies are not only talented singers but songwriters as well. How important is it for you to be known – especially on your first album – as both singers and songwriters?
Lyndriette: I think it is very, very, very important to us that we be known as singers and songwriters. All four of us write. We all get a chance to write in this album. I know a lot of times new artists don’t get that chance to write on their first album, so it’s definitely important that people know that. We are multi-talented.
Brave: To add to what Lyndriette said, we want our fans to know that even just on the musical aspect in terms of the arrangement, we get to do those type of things, too. Rich Harrison will leave the studio and then come back and we already have the song completely arranged vocally, the backgrounds, the ad-libs – a lot of that stuff we come up with as well.
As a quartet, it is hard to know each member on an individual level, especially as new artist. So how would you fill in the blank, Lyndriette: “Brave is the _____ of Richgirl”?
Lyndriette: Brave is the – what’s a good word? There are so many. I like to say Brave is the diva of the group, not as in bad attitude but as far as style and fashion, you know just being funky and hot. That’s Brave all day. Brave is the diva of Richgirl.
Brave: “Seven is the _____ of Richgirl”?
Brave: Seven is like the kid sister of the group. She’s like the one who could never do wrong. She is very innocent, or she likes people to believe. Little do they know… [laughing] She’s fun. Whenever we want something or request something from somebody, we always ask Seven to ask them because of her whole demeanor, the way she acts, the way she smiles, the way that she talks.
Audra: “Lyndriette is the _____ of Richgirl”?
Audra: Lyndriette is very funny. She can make someone laugh. She’s our country, southern twang girl. And she’s a jokester, too.
Seven: “Audra is the _____ of Richgirl”?
Seven: Audra is a practical joker, as well. I tell you we can’t even count how many times she scared the crap out of Brave behind corners or when somebody sleeps, she puts cayenne pepper in their mouth. Audra is crazy. Do not let her fool you! [laughing] I talk to her a lot. She’s a good friend. She’s sexy as hell. She brings the sexy. She’s our sexy jokester. She’s combined everything into one. She’s sexy, funny – a guy’s perfect girl.
The bulk of your debut album was produced by Rich Harrison, and he was very instrumental in the development of your career. When you were recording in the studio, what was the best piece of advice that he ever gave you?
Seven: I’m going to say that Rich encourages us to be ourselves in the booth anytime we’re singing or performing or anything. He encourages us to be ourselves. He gives us free rein to do whatever we feel. Personally, that’s the best I take from him: Do you. He works with all these other incredible singers but he doesn’t want us to be like someone else. He wants us to be who we are. That’s one of the beautiful things about working with Rich.
Since all of you are coming from different places across America, how hard was it for you to gel as a group at first?
Audra: It wasn’t that hard because Lyndriette and Seven already knew each other through songwriting. Seven wrote Lyndriette a record.
Lyndriette: Yeah. When I was about 15, I was signed to a label in LA. That’s when I actually met Seven. After I met Seven, I actually met Rich Harrison to do a solo record. Even though we didn’t end up doing a solo record, he kind of kept me in mind for this group. He was putting a group together and asked me if I’d be a part of it.
Audra: I knew Seven from just being in studios in LA. I got Brave on my own. I just saw her and wanted to be her friend so I introduced myself to her. So we weren’t complete strangers. At the same, Rich took his time and hung out with us as individuals and got to know us as people to make sure that we’d gel together. He didn’t want girls to be snobby and didn’t have the ability to make friendships. We actually lived together last year for a year. I remember even before that, we all stayed in the same hotel room together. We just got up for hours and hours and talked and it’s been like that pretty much ever since. You know, three years later we still get along.
Collectively, you ladies are known as Richgirl. What does the name mean to you? And what qualities make up a “Richgirl”?
Brave: The name is a metaphor and it just means we want to speak to every girl who have desires to do something with their life, who desire to have greatness through their God-given talents. That’s important. It’s almost like every woman is rich – whether it’s being rich in spirituality, rich with friends. We just want every woman to know that it’s okay to be confident, that you have power. Every woman does. We do want to inspire them to be “Richgirls.”
As you prepare for your debut, what particular song are you really anxious for the world to hear?
Brave: My favorite track probably won’t be a single, so I look forward to when the album comes out. It’s called “The Enemy.” It’s one of my personal favorites and Audra’s. One of the singles that I do look forward to that I believe is going to be single is called “Millionaire.” That’s an incredible song. It’s a huge record in terms of the metaphor of what it means to be a millionaire or how a woman is a millionaire because of the love that she has. So yeah, I look forward to that.
Lyndriette: “Millionaire” is also one of my favorites, just because of what it means.
Although you have your own unique style, comparisons are always bound to be tossed around – especially when they concern girl groups. That being said, what vocal group or female entertainers do you think most influenced you? And in what ways do you want to build upon their musical foundation?
Seven: We look up to so many different girl groups for everything that they bring. Destiny’s Child, SWV, En Vogue, TLC – we look up to all of them. I think that growing up we just loved them. We still look up to them. We just take pieces of what they taught us and we love them to death. We’re very inspired every time people try to compare how we’re four girls and there were other four-girl groups. We’re very humbled by all of it and had it not been for previous girl groups, we wouldn’t even be able to be here.
For more information on Richgirl, visit their official website.