Grammy-Award Winning Artist Crystal Nicole Talks New Album, Beyonce’s Work Ethic, Defining Success & More!
Woodlawn Post’s Adrian Mitchell got the opportunity to interview accomplished singer/songwriter Crystal Nicole, who began her young career writing at the age of ten and first started singing at different talent shows and open mics in Atlanta.
Crystal Nicole is responsible for writing the lyrics for some of the “best” chart-topping singles on our airwaves, which include number one singles with Rhianna, Mariah Carey, Natasha Bedingfield, and Monica.
Crystal Nicole on success: For me, success doesn’t lie in the “numbers” but in the quality of the product. I’m aiming for quality…
The Atlanta native recently won a Grammy-Award for penning Rihanna’s ’Only Girl’.
WP: Congratulations on your career as a phenomenal songwriter. What is a typical day like for a Grammy Award Winning Songwriter?
Crystal Nicole: LOL… Well, a typical day for me. Hmm…… I wake up from a “nap.” LOL… I normally get 3-4 hours of sleep, I thank God for another day!
Then I daydream for a while which is really a vital part of my work believe it or not. Then, i’m off to the gym, vocal lessons and the studio!
The cycle continues. LOL…
WP: You are known for chart-topping songs that include number one singles with Rhianna, Mariah Carey, Natasha Bedingfield and Monica. How long does it take for you too write a chart- topping song?
Crystal Nicole: Well, I never “know” that I’m writing a “chart topping song.” LOL… I wish that I had some kinda insight on that. But i’m clueless! LOL… So, I can only speak on just writing in general. If and when I’m inspired…it could take 15-20 minutes. If i’m uninspired. LOL… It could take hours just to write my name on the paper. LOL…
WP: You wrote six singles on Mariah Carey’s album E=MC2, and began to be in high demand from other artist such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and many more. Can you explain what the pressure to write the next hit song feel’s like? How does this success make you feel?
Crystal Nicole: I actually still feel brand new as if I haven’t had the type of success I have. I still treat every song like the first. LOL… Its like a first kiss every-time. There is a lot of nervousness because you don’t wanna mess it up and of course there’s a lot of pressure because you’re not in it alone! You wanna make the experience memorable for both you and them! But, once you allow yourself to completely let go of control… its like flying!
WP: While being in high demand as a successful songwriter, you decided too ink a record deal on the label Blackground/Interscope. How do you balance your time working on A-list projects and working on your album.
Crystal Nicole: LOL… I don’t! Strangely enough, I just work and let the chips fall where they may. I let my creativity decide what we’re gonna do today. I don’t have a set time to work on me and a time to work on other artist. I never know what’s gonna happen when I get in a studio.. and I think I’d like to keep it that way, it keeps me guessing! That’s what makes u wake the next day, its that desire to know “what’s next.” Music and life for that matter would be boring if I knew the secret!
WP: The first single off your new project is set to be released in the summer of 2012. Are you super excited too show the music world how great you can sing and perform?
Crystal Nicole: LOL… Well, I don’t know how great I am yet! I try to keep growing. However, I’m super excited to be able to get back to what started it all. Singing! I have fun when I sing and I think “fun” is what gets lost in the process of working and becoming successful.. Sometimes you tend to forget why your doing what your doing in the first place. Singing has and will always be my first love!
WP: Your success includes 4 #1 singles with Mariah Carey, Natasha Bedingfield, Monica, Rihanna and you won the Best Dance Recording Grammy for Rihanna Only Girl (In the World).
WP: You wrote songs for Beyonce’s Grammy winning album I Am… Sasha Fierce. With all the accolades as a song writer, how do you define success as a NEW artist?
Crystal Nicole: Putting together a life changing body of work.. Something that can actually trigger the senses of people. Something they can not only hear, but touch, feel, see, and smell. While still being able to define who you are and why your here. For me, success doesn’t lie in the “numbers” but in the quality of the product. I’m aiming for quality… Everybody else can have the rest! LOL…
WP: What advise have you received from Beyonce and/or any other artist’s you have written songs for on making the transition from a songwriting, to a songstress performing for the world?
Crystal Nicole: I have received lots of advice on different subjects from the people I’ve been blessed to work with. But what sticks out to me is not what people say, but what they DO! Beyonce’s work ethic, Mary J Blige’s humility and drive, Jennifer Lopez’s focus, Mariah’s poise, Monicas wisdom, Rihannas fearlessness, and even Jermaine Dupre’s hunger! There is a lesson to learn from anybody if your humble enough to be a student!
WP: What can your fans expect from a Crystal Nicole project?
Crystal Nicole: True art! A masterpiece… Complete with all the flaws of perfection
WP: How can our reader’s and your fans contact you on social media?
Crystal Nicole: Follow me on Twitter @1crystalnicole or like me on FacebookCrystal Nicole, or on my site crystalnicoleworld.com
(Written by Adrian Mitchell & Edited by Adrian Mitchell/Aishlinn Mallory for Woodlawn Post)
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