Getting to know Kristinia DeBarge
From the moment she took her first breath Kristinia DeBarge had music flowing in her veins. Born from a father who was in a successful 70’s and 80’s band known as Debarge, Kristinia was blessed with the gift of music from James her father. Taking from all she had learned, it was only a matter of time before she got out into the music world. You may have caught an earful of her song “Goodbye”, as it was buzzing on the radio. The song was a personal shout by Kristinia about her recent emotional experience, where she explains her release from a relationship. The song itself, embodies the pain and frustration many women go through, and is almost an anthem to the ladies.
“Goodbye” is among other hits on her debut album Exposed, which includes a number of songs that have deep correlation with many young women and their trials and tribulations. Despite her sweet composure, Kristinia is a sharp business woman who knows what she is doing. At the young age of 19 she has a lot of know-how, and is only going to rise in the profession.
After successfully spreading her name and publicizing herself. Kristinia is on her way with her hit song “Goodbye” and recent acquisition of a spot on Britney Spear’s The Circus tour.
The Entertainer had an opportunity to speak personally with Kristinia, where she divulges on what has made her grow, and also all the knowledge she has attained while enjoying the roller coaster that is fame.
From what we have heard, your songs are all so relatable to one growing up and finding their own path. But, are there any particular songs on your album Exposed that hold a special place to your heart?
I wrote two songs on the album, they both are very special to me. Every day it changes, but right now my favorite song is “Died In Your Eyes”. That song is definitely special to my heart, I mean all of my songs are special to my heart. It really just depends on my mood.
We’ve read the introductions, “Kristinia the next DeBarge”. Do you feel a lot of pressure from your family who has such a strong musical background?
Oh not at all, my family is very supportive. They have never put any pressure on me, and they make me feel very comfortable.
So, do they scrutinize your work since they have been in your shoes or offer tricks of the trade?
They’ve been giving me advice since I was 12. Because I’ve been wanting to be a singer since I came out of the womb. They gave me advice since I said this is what I want my career to be, and I have been working on that for the past seven or eight years now. They know that I know what I am doing, and they don’t have any doubt that I won’t be okay.
And even though you are a DeBarge, a last name in the competitive music business only means so much. What kept you going?
Patience really, my family and my friends being so supportive. I’ve always been so dedicated to my career and I’ve put it first. I still do. Pretty much what kept me going was God and my family. They just were always so supportive, if you don’t have a supportive family it makes it harder because you feel like your alone. I definitely don’t have that problem.
Would you have any advice for others that are trying to pursue their dream to become a successful artist?
Yes, my advice this far, as to my career, is to be prepared, to be happy sometimes, and be sad sometimes. You’re not always going to be happy. There’s going to be days when you’re working really hard and your going to be exhausted, but you have to keep going.
Have a lot of patience, know that there is going to be times when you feel like your being taken advantage of, and most likely you are. You know…you just have to be prepared for anything, and there’s going to be times when you’re going to be unhappy. You have to work through it anyway, and if this is something you really love and want to do; be prepared for the worst and be prepared for the best.
Congratulations on The Circus tour, alongside Britney Spears and Ciara. What has it been like interacting with them, were they ladies you looked up to?
I mean…I definitely love Ciara as an artist, she really can put on a show. Unfortunately, she’s not on the tour anymore.
I just did my first date in Hamilton, outside of the U.S. in Canada. We had Girlicious, me, and Britney Spears, and its going to be Jordin Sparks starting in New York once we get out there on Monday. Yep, that’s going to be our new show set. I am excited for that, because Jordin is a very talented young lady. I think we’re about the same age so hopefully we’ll become friends on tour.
I did finally meet Britney yesterday. She’s super sweet. She told me that her kids love my music and my song. She gave me a hug; you know it was a brief short moment, but I had my moment with Britney Spears.
On this tour you will be playing very large venues, do you ever get nervous before going on stage in front of a huge crowd?
I always get a bit nervous before any show, but what keeps me focused and just going out there and having fun is, remembering that this is what I love to do. So, when I go out there, I just have fun, I’m free, and I am who I am. I just hope that people accept it
Do you do any rituals to prepare yourself before you go on stage?
I just pray. That’s what I do, I pray with my dancers and my manager. We put our hands in the middle and say what we have to say, and lift our hands up and we go on that stage and do our best.
So, what is it like now when fans come up to you and know all of your songs?
It’s cool. It’s really cool I mean they are the ones that keep me going. I love my fans. There are days when I am really not in a good mood and I don’t feel like talking to anyone, and I will go on Twitter and ‘go live’, and me and my fans will talk.
They’ll make me feel better like completely make my day. I will be like “you know you guys, I was sad today, it was not a good day.” They’ll uplift my spirit.
Its amazing because these people genuinely love you and care about you. They’re not getting paid to say all these great things to you. They are paying to go see you, or just to go get your album. They’re supporting you and will always be your fans no matter what, loyal, loyal fans, and that’s what is just amazing to me, they do that without even knowing who I am as a person. They’re so loyal and I never want to let them down.
Speaking of Twitter, what do you do on the road to keep in touch with your loved ones?
I talk on the phone with my family a lot. I am going to have a few people come on the tour and visit me because I get really homesick and I don’t like being alone for too long. So, my cousins going to come out, my best friend, my other friends and hopefully my mom and dad will come out and see me. I am going to have as many people as I can come see me on this tour.
I am sure your fans would like to know, besides listening to your records what is in your I-Pod?
Well, I do have to say that right now. I am listening to an I-Pod, and the only reason why I am listening to this I-Pod is because its one of my old ones I’ve had for a really long time, but I am a strong believer in CD‘s. I always have my CD’s with me, but I packed them and they’re underneath the bus right now.
I was just listening to: Aretha Franklin, Jamie Foxx, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, Bob Dylan, Santana, Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin, Steely Dan, I listen to everything.
We are following your tours, and have heard you on the radio but what is next for Kristinia DeBarge?
I really don’t know what is next. I mean I would love to do movies, TV shows. I’d love to open up my own restaurant or my own magazine. I’m an entrepreneur. I love to be successful and get my name out there as much as I can to show people that I am a team player, and up for the job. Any way that I can be a strong business woman.
Is there anything else you would like to include, maybe an answer to a question that I didn’t ask?
I definitely want my fans to follow me on Twitter.com/kristinia. I want people to know that I am just like every other 19 year old girl out there. I am not perfect and there are days when I am sad, there’s days when I am happy and days when I am confused.
I am still trying to figure out who I am as a person. I just want everyone to know that, because I know people have a lot of expectations of artists, they expect us to be perfect, and they forget we’re human. I just want people to know that I am still figuring it out as I go.
We look forward to catching your Circus tour date in L.A. in September.
Yes, that will be towards the end of the tour. Hopefully, by then, I will have it down pact. I will go out there and rock the show! I rocked the show last night.
Kristinia’s album Exposed is available now online and in stores, visit Kristiniadebarge.com for the latest information.