Miami's Anjuli Stars on VH1's The Linda Perry Project: "Nothing Was Fabricated"
Photo by Neil Dyer
Anjuli Stars has a voice that could make the devil change his ways, the sun shine brighter rays, and the ocean calm its waves.
She's a rapper, a singer, and a business woman reppin' West Kendall to the fullest who has taken the sounds of The Hammocks to the world on tracks with Pitbull, Scott Storch, and now Linda Perry.
Perry, the songwriter behind Christina Aguilera's hit "Beautiful," picked up Anjuli for a VH1 show, The Linda Perry Project, seeking to sign the next great artist for her Custard Records label. Here's what Ms. Stars had to say about TV drama, freestyle rapping, and aggressive criticism.
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Crossfade: Congratulations on national TV! How'd you get on the show?
Anjuli Stars: Well, actually, Linda found me on Twitter. It's a crazy story, but she had tweeted out that she wanted to hear independent artists and I sent her my song "Fish in the Water," where I'm playing piano and singing, and she tweeted me back like, "I like your voice."
She's been a favorite of mine for her work with Pink and Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani, so I was amazed that she said that, but I didn't think anything was going to happen. Two weeks later, VH1 contacts me and they're casting for a new show where the only requirements are that you play a musical instrument and write your own songs. They really didn't want anybody singing other people's songs and getting notoriety and fame off that. They wanted authentic artists who like that real shit. And that's how the show came about. I went through the casting process and now I'm here.
How long have you been there?
The show is done and that's all I can really say about that. You have to tune in to watch the outcome!
How much actual working on music was there?
Within the process of filming, we were constantly working on music. She wanted to see us write music on the spot. Everything was based on improvisation, and me, I'm a preparation stickler. But I stay ready. So when she threw us into situations coming off the top, I really shined in those situations. It was all based on what you can come up with right now that's going to move the people. Every day, we got up and wrote records, nothing else.
I was apprehensive as to whether the show would be more drama based, but it was not at all like that in the filming. Everybody told their story, and lived their story, and there was drama in that, but she was really clear that this was all about Custard Records, her record label, and signing an artist. If you don't know Custard, she has James Blunt with that song, "You're Beautiful." So now she wants her next thing, and she made it clear that we should only work on new music. We weren't allowed to bring any of our old stuff to the table. No old mixtapes, nothing. I did everything on the spot. I freestyled so much on that show.
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