Soul singer Cherlise is destined to become a household name. As one of ten children, she learned early on the importance of standing out. Having developed an interest in music at a very early age, she quickly learned the influence her voice had on others. At the age of 13, she began writing songs and recorded her first record when she was only 14 years old. After listening to her voice, Cherlise knew that music was her calling, seizing any and every opportunity to showcase her smooth, soulful voice.
Her hard work and dedication would soon pay off after she was discovered by her current manager, Percy, on the video set of Hip-Hop veteran Fat Joe. Percy introduced Cherlise to Multi-Platinum producer, artist and songwriter Rico Love who has worked with many artists including Usher, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce to name a few. She is now signed to Love’s Division 1 imprint and is set to engage her fans by being a pioneer and true entertainer.
Cherlise, first off can you tell us what it was like growing up in Carol City, Florida?
Carol City is the inner city, so as with any environment like that; you have to stay active and focused so you don’t get side-tracked with the negativity. It’s every man, or in my case, woman for himself/herself. It’s made me who I am.
You began writing songs at the age of 13 and recorded your first song at 14. What was the experience like for you, going into the recording studio for the very first time?
I remember being excited. It was in my neighbour’s bathroom “studio”. I remember thinking, “This is harder than it looks.” Hearing my voice through the speakers made me feel so good. I never wanted to lose that feeling.
Do you come from a musical family?
Yes and no. My mom dabbled in it a bit. My sister played the piano and a few singers here and there but not a strong line of singers like some families I know.
What artists have inspired you and why?
Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Beyonce, Boyz II Men, Ce Ce Winans. They all made timeless, innovative music that made you believe. They sang and sing with such conviction.
How did you get your first break in the music industry?
My manager, Percy, introduced me to Fat Joe on his video set. He later introduced me to Rico Love who eventually signed me to his Division 1 imprint.
Do you write your songs on your own?
Yes. I’m as much a writer as I’m a singer.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on my album right now. I’ve been in the lab with Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Maino, Young Chris, and a few other artists. You should look forward to big things! My main focus however, is my album. It’s going to be a classic!
You released a major single with Lil Wayne titled Love You Right. How did that collabo happen and how was it working with Weezy?
Simply amazing. He’s one of the greatest rappers of our time. He heard the record and loved it. I was honoured and humbled at the opportunity to share a record with him.
Are there any other artists, producers or songwriters that you would like to work with?
I’d love to work with Drake, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Miguel, Kanye, Esther Dean and anyone else ready to make timeless music.
What do you think makes you stand out from other female singers out there at the moment?
I’m gimmick free and I don’t limit myself to one genre. I am more focused on being an entertainer and you can feel my heart through my music. My tone is signature and I try to make an undeniable connection with my listeners. P.S.: I can really sing [laughs].
You’ve opened up for Bobby Valentino and Ludacris, what can people expect to see at a Cherlise show?
They can expect high energy dancing, amazing choreography and great concepts. They should expect a movie!
In five years from now, where would you like to see yourself?
Happy and doing what I love. Being the best at being me. I see worldwide tours, great music, and making history.
Your professional music career just started, but what advice would you give to an aspiring singer?
Believe in you more than anyone else! Be that best at being you. Faith has great mileage.
Where can people find you online?
They can visit www.division1.com. Check me on Twitter @cherlise101 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cherlise. Join my fan page!
To download Love U Right, featuring Lil Wayne, visit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-u-right-feat.-lil-wayne/id462438581?ls=1
- By Jai Boo