Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Keesha: Keep It Real (Advance) (RCA, 1999)

Dubbed 'the secret weapon', Keesha was a former artist signed to Carey's ill-fated Crave record label in the late 90s. Though she never actually released anything under the Crave brand, she did release two singles with RCA shortly after. Though her debut album never saw the light of day, promotional copies of it can be found for those willing to part with about $80. It straddles 90s hip hop soul and the later urban-crossover stuff perfectly and comparisons can be drawn with Brandy Norwood's earlier stuff. I am unsure as to the reasons why the album was never released but RCA closed its urban division Peeps in the early 2000s, bringing about the collapse of many works-in-progress including Coko's sophomore album Music Doll and others.
"Keesha, born Lakeesha K. Fuller in 1983, is a talented, singer/writer from Yonkers, NY. She's been singing since a child, but used her granny's (Loretta K. Fuller a.k.a. Nana) beauty parlor in Yonkers as the first platform to display her talents by entertaining customers with her sing-a-long's to records blasting from the radio. Impressed with her granddaughter's talent, Nana hired Harold S. McKoy to develop and manage Keesha's career. She soon became a force at local talent shows and won nine contests in a short time span. Achievements followed, she was named Amateur of the Year in 1995, and placed second in the Children's Choice Awards.

The accolades brought her to the attention of Lionel Job who worked with Starpoint, Joe Public, Keith Sweat, and others. Job signed Keesha to a production deal, cut some tracks and shopped them around, securing a contract with Mariah Carey's Crave Records, unfortunately the label folded before releasing Keesha's recordings.

Another opportunity came to fore in 1999 via RCA Records who released her debut CD Keep It Real. Keesha hopes to emulate the success of fellow Yonkers' native Mary J. Blige. The first single "You Got Me Where You Want," received extensive play on New York's WBLS radio station, and other markets. Keesha co-wrote three tunes on the CD, the title track, "Forever," and "I'm Goin' Crazy," and owns part of the publishing via her company, Five Twenty Six. She enjoys doing young adult things: partying, pizza, and movies, and looks forward to a long prosperous career in music." - AllMusic
Another good artist that slipped through the cracks of the music industry...
    You Got Me Where You Want 4:00 
    Somebody's Baby 4:20 
    What You Gon' Do 3:59 
    Come To Me 3:56 
    Ain't No Way 5:27 
    Say You'll Be Around 4:47 
    Keep It Real 4:56 
    Love Don't Come Easy 5:05
    I'm Goin' Crazy 3:50 
    Just Be Mine 3:43 
    Maybe Tomorrow 3:59 
    Find Your Own Way 5:22