Ready For Their Close-up

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

Individually they are Marie, Mae, Monica and Melissa.  Collectively they are One Vo1ce, and potentially they are the next big thing in all-girl pop/R&B groups.  This Sunday, they will be performing at KDON’s Freestyle Explosion in Sherwood Park with a host of other performers including Timmy T, Rodney O & Joe Cooley and the Cover Girls.

In recent years there has been a boom in the number of Filipino performers coming out of the Bay Area, as well as Hawaii and southern California.  Since the group’s inception, One Vo1ce has been breaking down the musical barriers, showing listeners that Asian-American R&B artists can do just as well as their counterparts.

The members of One Vo1ce grew up in Vallejo and met at school, where music and singing was an important part of the curriculum. They began their singing career in their school choir, and their vocal harmonies quickly got them noticed among their friends.  One friend secretly entered them for a local talent contest which, despite having only a short time to rehearse, they won.  This inspired them to start performing in public, and at a show at UC Davis the president of Kamikaze Records, Kurtis Kato, heard them and offered the group a record deal.   In the fall of 1998, while they were all still students, the girls released a single titled “All Day, All Nite” under the name One Voice.  The song was written and produced by James “Jae-E” Earley, who produced MC Hammer and Marky Mark among others.  It quickly became a Top 10 seller in the Bay Area and was followed by an album “Just the Beginning” in the spring of 1999.

MCA Records soon noticed One Voice and offered to release a single nationwide.  The only problem was that there was also a gospel group with the same name.  The girls changed their name to Voice V (there was originally a fifth member, Aimee, who left to pursue her studies at college) and released the single “When U Think About Me,” which made it into the Billboard Top 100.  The single, along with its follow-up “Boyfriend” was also featured on MTV and gained the group a national fan base. 

With MCA set to re-release their first album, Voice V decided to change their name once again.  A competition to choose a new name was held, and the fans chose One Vo1ce.  The debut album was remixed and re-released in 2000, followed by a second album “Sincerely Yours” in 2001. 

With two successful albums and several singles under their belt, the members of One Vo1ce are ready to take the pop music world by storm.  A new album “Luvin’ You” is ready for release.  Recorded with Bay Area record label Straight Hits Entertainment, “Luvin’ You is again produced by James Earley, as well as Brian Morgan and Ricky Brown, who have worked with Britney Spears, N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys.  With support of this caliber, and an enthusiastic fan base across America, it looks likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more of One Vo1ce in the future.

First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, September 18, 2003

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