Have you seen that gorgeous model-looking chick that's got Usher sprung in the video for "Love In This Club?" Turns out, she's a recording artist in her own right. Keri Hilson is about to be huge. And she's one of those rare people who deserve to be. For Keri, music was a childhood friend she kept throughout adulthood. "In school, I would get in trouble for singing all the time. I unknowingly hummed every chance I got. It got so bad my friend's nicknamed me 'Keri-okey'". She wears that name proudly on her sleeve, and in credits for every major hit she writes.
Destined for stardom since day one, the Atlanta native's determined spirit first materialized all before she'd turn a teenager. While performing in school plays and winning talent shows all around Atlanta, she taught herself how to write songs at twelve. Impressed with Keri's vocal ability, her piano-turned-voice teacher ushered her into a studio session where she learned the nuances of recording music. "That was when I really knew that I could take music seriously," she says. "But at the time, I didn't know if there was such a job as production or songwriting."
It was definitely happening. As soon as Keri and Timbaland met there was chemistry. "A lot of nights we would just listen to other people's music and critique it. Not for the sake of study but to listen to it and discuss it. We don't agree all the time. Definitely not. But I think that's what happens when you get two strong creative minds in the same room."
Even better things happen when you get three strong, creative people in the same room. September 2008 will see the release of Keri Hilson's first album, "In A Perfect Worldâ€¦" It is being issued as a joint release from Mosley Music Group (Tim's label) and Zone 4 (Polow's label) as an imprint of Interscope Records (Jimmy Iovine's label). The album is about relationships, it's emotive, human, gorgeously and deliberately imperfect. "No human is exempt from the realities of life-heartbreak, love, failure, success-I want my album to convey a sense of reality. That's the standpoint that lent itself to the title. There will always be something you'd change if only you lived 'In A Perfect Worldâ€¦' and I'm no different."
The highly anticipated debut features her indomitable songwriting skills, the genre-obliterating production of Polow da Don and Timbaland, and Keri Hilson's undeniably incredible voice. "I deliver my songs with emotion," she enthuses, "I don't like a lot of effects. It takes away from the emotion. Like the raspyness of my voice in 'Slow Dance' (written with Justin Timberlake) for example. I love the way I sound on that track-straightforward, throwback, and old school. I don't want that feeling taken away. I'm so particular about those emotions. I don't want anyone to walk away from my album just thinking, 'that sounds nice.' Anybody can do that. I'm much more concerned that they walk away thinking, 'that felt great.'"
"In A Perfect Worldâ€¦" represents a world where music is music and you can't put it in a box. It's a catalyst for Keri to defy categorization, "I want to be a point of reference" states Hilson. "Hip-hop has become pop; pop is hip-hop. Music is definitely changing. I want to be the crux of that. I want to be a reason, not a result."