Armed with talent, attitude and the support of industry heavyweights, their journey has now come full circle; yet their travels are unique. Passion. My mother used to tell me, ‘Do what you love and you won’t ever have to work again.’ I listened. -- Asia Each lady can cite the moment when music became more than just a pastime. Asia’s professional career as a dancer turned singer began at age 3.
I’ve always said that dance has my heart and music has my soul. She perfected her stage performance through TV gigs and as a background dancer for various artists. She joined a girl group at the age of 18 and enjoyed taking center stage. As the group folded, she decided to invest more energy into her singing career.
For group mate Bel, it was her musical childhood which had the greatest influence. Latin and American music constantly filled her home and she often joined her father and brother in impromptu jam sessions. We had a grand piano, two drum sets, acoustic and electric guitars and a saxophone. A spur of the moment talent show entry during a trip to Jamaica proved to be the only spark Ariel needed to embark on her musical journey. My mom taught me Whitney Houston’s ‘The Greatest Love of All’ in about 20 minutes.
I won the talent show and received first place. After that I wanted to do this forever. From that point forward, the young singer honed in on her abilities through classical training and vocal boot camp. Their individual pursuits of musicianship have been handled delicately and their combined formal training resume is impressive: Stevie Mackey, Lydia Mouton, Sam Cook, Arturo Spinetti and Craig Derry. As a result, their tones blend effortlessly.
Asia’s sultry vocals unite with Bel’s soulful timbre and Ariel’s classically trained register to create a truly dynamic sound. Massenburg Media. Kedar is a visionary. -- Ariel The group is the brainchild of music mogul, Kedar Massenburg (D’Angelo/India Arie/Erykah Badu).
Having hand-picked each girl—carefully developing them under his imprint, Massenburg Media—there is an intense mutual respect between the industry veteran and his latest find. Massenburg’s belief in the group is a tall honor. He is a trendsetter whose reputation for breaking new artists borders on groundbreaking. As for Rawyals, each member credits the executive for his musical impact and overall guidance. Personality.
Asia has the highest and happiest energy on the planet! I’m super-duper laid back and chill. And Ariel’s the happy medium between us. – Bel Vocal capacity aside, their personality is equally captivating. Collectively, they possess the energy and sass that often made artists of the past so endearing.
They are culturally diverse, as well. They are of mixed heritage—Asian, Dominican and Jamaican—but are linked by their Black American roots. Not fond of sugarcoating their message—on or off record—the girls stress the importance of keeping it real with their fans. Their name plays on the fact that their music so naturally infuses a sense of rawness. Purpose.
Beside every man there is a better woman. We are the better women. -- Rawyals The group’s mantra also represents one of their overarching goals: to serve as an example that women can work together to reach success and to teach our Kings how to treat their Queens. They consider their circle a “Queendom”—one which promotes growth, but rejects the type of competitive nature which might cause an ensemble to self-implode.
As a group, they are already active in several projects, including the Be You campaign—an anti-bullying organization established by Asia’s sister. In the near future, they plan on participating in campaigns geared around female empowerment as well. But for now, the group is preparing for the release of their three forthcoming singles and debut EP, In The Raw. In addition to recording, they are working on their performance; excited to take their show on the road. Driven, self-assured and dedicated, the trio is certainly on their way.
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