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3LW: A Phoenix Rising
By Sirion "The Industry Insider" Sewell
(more articles from this author)
2004-02-20
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Their minds and spirits are in the right place, they are focused, driven, determined and slowly but surely moving forward and pushing all obstacles aside. You may have heard many rumors about what went down between the once "happy", hip-pop, Epic Records' savvy, young R&B girl group 3LW (Three Little Women), but rest assured they are doing just fine and are finally, happily unfolding yet another chapter in their illustrious career. Regrouping has taken place, a label change has commenced, a US promotional mall tour has come to a close and work on their forthcoming album, Phoenix Rising, on new label venture, So So Def/Arista has begun to take shape. These three hardworking little women are now headed on the path that was predetermined for them many years ago. Let the journey begin.

[The Industry Insider] You all have been to the Northwest three times and I always seem to miss you. However, I did see you in Miami at the Source Awards.

3LW Yes, we presented!

[The Industry Insider] And you were nominated for "Best R&B Female Artist of the Year." Congratulations on that. How did you all like that?

3LW Thank You! We were actually sick, so we didn't get to stay for the whole show.

[The Industry Insider] Now you all are on the Simon D Mall Tour. How is that going for you?

Jessica Benson Great! Actually, were sad because tomorrow's our last one and we've been doing it for like the whole month of October.

[The Industry Insider] You all have a new member, Jessica Benson, 16 years old from Maryland. Jessica, what has your experience with 3LW been like thus far?

Jessica Benson Wow! It's been a great experience, but it's still all new to me. When I first got in the group, I was so scared, like I would just get out there and do it anyway. But now I'm just mad comfortable when I get out on the stage. I don't feel like, "oh my gosh, what are they gonna think." Now it's just mad cool, like traveling and everything. I haven't been home in forever - I would say at least almost two months now - but I've gotten used to it. I used to come out here and I'd be like, "oh my gosh, I'm missing all my friends out there at the mall, going to the parties, the football games, going to cheer and track …"

[The Industry Insider] Going to the 3LW concerts at the mall …

Jessica Benson Yeah … so its like, I gave all that up, but it's cool because I'm doing what I wanted to do.

[The Industry Insider] You're living your dream.

Jessica Benson Exactly … and it happened early, so it's all good.

[The Industry Insider] Are you all working on a new album?

Kiely Williams Yeah! Our album's working title is Phoenix Rising and it will be out, if not March or April, it will be May or June. Were not exactly sure yet, we were going really, really fast and now were going a little slower.

Adrienne Bailon Originally, our single was going to be out at the end of this year, but were actually moving it a little bit back. It will probably be out in February and the album will actually now drop late spring, early summer.

[The Industry Insider] What producers and artists have you begun working with on this album?

Adrienne Bailon We're definitely working with JD (Jermaine Dupri). We're signed to So So Def now and it's been wonderful. Were actually on our way to Atlanta to work with him …

(Interruption from Keily, commenting on how she looks like a man in her early 3LW days, while looking at pictures put together in a scrap book by fans.)

[The Industry Insider] So how did the venture with So So Def come about?

Adrienne Bailon Actually, we approached JD, and there were a couple people we were in talks with because we were looking for a new deal. We had finally been released from Epic, which was the label we were on previous to now, and we showcased for him. We sang a couple songs for him and he was like, "Yo, I'm down!" It's crazy because he was kind of gangster with it. After he left from meeting with us, he went straight to MTV news and told them we had already signed to them, which is mad gangster 'cause we really hadn't. But it was cool and we signed and that's how it happened.

[The Industry Insider] So it's working out well for you guys.

Adrienne Bailon It's working out really well. Were going to Atlanta at the end of December and we'll be out there for a couple of months working on the new album, and there's talks of a reality show that's going to follow us down there that will either be going to BET or MTV. So it will show the new beginnings of 3LW and all the good stuff, so check it out.

[The Industry Insider] Yeah, it seems like Ms. Keily over here has a whole 'lotta personality, so I'm sure a TV show will be crazy.

Jessica Benson Yeah, it would.

Kiely Williams Except for the fact that I might look like a man at some point and that would be bad!

Jessica Benson If cameras were to follow us everywhere, you guys would crack up. She's hilarious, And we like need a leash on her when we go to stores in the mall … (referring to Adrienne)

Adrienne Bailon Oh yes … I will …

Kiely Williams (another loud interruption from Keily) "What is this!?!" "What is this?!?" (Once again looking at the pictures.)

Adrienne Bailon Okay, this is when we were ugly!

Kiely Williams But look at the ugliness! Sometimes I look at the pictures from three years ago and I just, uhhh!

Adrienne Bailon This was fun though, I can't be mad at it. That's when I met Jennifer Lopez.

[The Industry Insider] What was it like working with Raven Symone on Cheetah Girls/That's So Raven?

Kiely Williams It was good.

Adrienne Bailon A lot of fun. I was actually just working on the show yesterday.

[The Industry Insider] What did it take for you all to get where you are today?

Adrienne Bailon A LOT OF HARD WORK! I don't think people really understand how much you give up and how much you sacrifice and how much hard work goes into this. Even looking back at this (scrap book) it makes me realize: how much stuff we've done, how much stuff we've gone through, you know, and it shows all the rumors and everything that went down. I think the biggest thing that helped us get to where we are is maintaining who we are as people and staying who we were. Keeping good-positive people around us, our families and close friends, and definitely our relationship with God has definitely gotten us where we are and all that good stuff.

[The Industry Insider] Okay, so for those that don't know, how did 3LW become to be?

Kiely Williams Actually my mom (Michelle Williams), who was already in the industry and used to manage Joe and Ce Ce Peniston and had worked with Jodeci, thought that it would be a great idea to start a girl group and also make money so…(and there's my mom! Pointing). She's really nice sometimes, when she's not evil. (Laughing)

Mon And Keily gets on my nerves sometimes … (Laughing)

[The Industry Insider] That's what kids are for.

Kiely Williams That's what I try to tell her …. and so we started a group. We found Adrienne. She was singing at her school and in a choir at church and we put her in the group. And we then we found another girl, Naturi, and put her in the group. Then we showcased for Tommy Mattola, had two albums, things went capoots and …

Adrienne Bailon And then we started all over again.

Kiely Williams And we found Jessica!

Jessica Benson I heard about auditioning on the radio and I auditioned, and that's where I came from.

[The Industry Insider] Do you all feel that now, you are a complete group and that you're finally where you need to be?

Adrienne Bailon Oh definitely!

Kiely Williams We'll be where we need to be when we've sold 8 million albums worldwide …

Adrienne Bailon There's so much more that we want and I think that is what's so dope about us. We're never going to be satisfied, we're always going to want more. That's why were going to keep putting good music out there for our fans to listen to, and its going to keep going and going and going.

[The Industry Insider] How tall are you all?

Adrienne Bailon I'm 4'11".

Jessica Benson 5'5" or 5'4". I'm short.

Kiely Williams And I'm tall, I'm the Jolly Green Giant … Don't tell anybody.

[The Industry Insider] Do you all have any hidden talents?

Adrienne Bailon Yes!

Kiely Williams Hidden where?

[The Industry Insider] I don't know where they're supposed to be hidden. (Laughing)

Jessica Benson I'm not sure.

Adrienne Bailon I can flip my eyelids … (And so she does-It brings me back to the great times of being a child.)

Kiely Williams Do it, Do it! Do it! Do it please for me! (cheering on Adrienne) No wait! Not that one, the other one.

Adrienne Bailon Oh yeah, I do voices.

(Everyone listens, laughs and looks on in bewilderment as Adrienne does weird voices and performs songs like, "The Ricki Lake Show" anthem and "The Flinstones" song with her mouth closed.)

Adrienne Bailon And then I can pop my hip out, are you ready? Okay put your hand right here. I can dislocate joints-feel that? I was born like that as a child and I think I just found weird things to do.

[The Industry Insider] What advice would you give to others looking to get into the music industry?

Adrienne Bailon I would say put yourself out there. That's definitely something that some people need to realize. A lot of people don't want to get involved because they think they're too good. You should do talent shows, sing in church, just join stuff because there are always people looking for new talent.

[The Industry Insider] What would you like to let your fans know?

Jessica Benson That were normal. We do everything that you guys do.

Adrienne Bailon And we go through everything the same.

Jessica Benson And we go to the movies and everything and sometimes people don't see us.

Kiely Williams And were going to see Scary Movie 3 tonight! And I'm really mad at Adrienne and Jessica because while I was away "working" and "politicking" for them and our clothing line, they went to go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre and then when they were at the movie theater. Old girl (referring to Adrienne) lied to me, and told me she was there to see the Denzel movie 'cause she knew I wanted to see Texas Chain Saw Massacre and they saw it without me and …

Adrienne Bailon And I was going to go see it again with her anyway.

Kiely Williams But it was still so wrong!

Adrienne Bailon But I know Keily wouldn't want to see it again if she knew that we had already seen it

Kiely Williams And so now I don't want to go see it!

Adrienne Bailon And I don't to spoil it for her, even though it was absolutely incredible movie and it was really, really scary!

Kiely Williams I'm not going to see it!

Adrienne Bailon I recommend it to all of you!

Kiely Williams I don't like you. I'm so mad at them for that, it was so wrong!

[The Industry Insider] Anything else you would like to mention before we bring this interview to a close?

Adrienne Bailon Oh yeah, and we also have a clothing line coming out. Its called FUSS (funky, urban, sassy, styles) and the clothing line should be out not this fall, but fall 2004 for the beginning of school.

Gera Baker (an on looking fan) I don't understand how anyone could write such bad press about you guys, you're all so nice.

Adrienne Bailon Thank You! Its sad, but think about it like this: if you were in high school and somebody spreads rumors, our high school is the industry. If I say hi to you right now and somebody said, "oh, she just slapped her in the face!" then the whole school knows. But instead, the whole world knows and it's just blown out of proportion.

[The Industry Insider] Well, we wish you all the best and thank you for your time!

3LW Thank You!

With all of the upcoming ventures, projects and other endeavors that 3LW have their hands in, they are sure to make a strong come back. The horizon is looking bright and this phoenix WILL rise, undoubtedly!

For more info on 3LW, visit:

SoSoDef
Arista


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