It’s been a very long time since a girl group has blessed the music industry, stolen our hearts and created the music that empowered our women and intrigued the guys. BLUSHHH is soon to change that.
BLUSHHH is a trio a little different from most with two rappers, Sunni and Bunni Ray, and one vocalist, Tali, who all believe (B)eauty (L)ives (U)nder (S)toned (HHH)earts. The girl group is based out of Houston, TX and signed to Mathew Knowles’ Music World Entertainment. Comparisons to any other girl groups of the past do these ladies absolutely no justice, and we sat down with the trio and talked about their discovery by Mr. Knowles, the biggest lessons they’ve learned on their journey to stardom and much more.
You’ve been developing yourselves as artists for roughly three years now. What’s the biggest lesson you ladies have learned that you probably didn’t know coming into this industry?
Tali: We’ve actually been in artist development for about a year and a half going on two years now with Mr. [Mathew] Knowles. We were a group for about five years and counting. But, we’ve been in artist development since we signed with Mr. Knowles at Music World Entertainment. Bunni Ray can speak on that half that we got from Mr. Knowles.
Bunni Ray: Basically, we were very blessed to be put in the same artist development boot camp as Destiny’s Child which consisted of us doing multiple shows and getting our image together, which takes a long time [giggles], working on your fitness and you know just a lot of things that go into that. He always tells us, “These are things that will help you later on down the line and creates a path of longevity for you guys.” So we’re very blessed to have that experience with Mr. Knowles.
Tell me how Mr. Knowles found you guys.
Sunni: Mr. Knowles actually found us at a Music World showcase they were having where he was implementing his feedback. They had a judges panel and funny story, we got there and the first time we performed he actually wasn’t there. We got some feedback from the judges and they were like, “You all are a girl group. You all need to sing more. You need to lessen the rap,” because two rappers and a vocalist hadn’t been seen before. We came back and did another song and lo and behold Mr. Knowles walks in. He sees us basically doing a Destiny’s Child type of performance. He was like, “The world doesn’t need another Destiny’s Child. You all need to be something different. Be something unique,” which is something that we already were but we pretty much took the wrong feedback, is what he says. People that didn’t know what they were talking about and were afraid to do something different. Another crazy thing is we gave him our mixtape. Everybody was like he doesn’t accept CDs. But, we still did it anyway. He threw our CD out the window. [laughs] But…
In front of you?
Sunni: No. [laughs] He told us later that as soon as he got in the car he threw it out the window.
Tali: We were like, “Did you listen to us?”
Sunni: He was like, “I don’t listen to CDs.” We were like, “Ahhhh, okay!” But, him seeing us come back and implement the feedback and the direction he gave us made him pay attention to us. So he started paying attention to us and he saw the passion. He saw the drive. He actually requested us back. On the spot we weren’t really prepared, so we did an a capella. The two rappers rapped and the vocalist sung. He said, “I want to develop you guys. It’s going to take a minute. Are you ready?” Which kind of goes back to your first question, when you asked what was one of the lessons. I feel like one of the biggest lessons is that a lot of people don’t realize you have to pace yourself in this industry. Success isn’t overnight. We have been working for, like she said, almost five and a half, six years. Two years with her (Bunni Ray). So it’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. He developed us in a lot of ways with our confidence, image, things of that nature then we thought, “We’re ready! We can be…”
Bunni Ray: (yells) “WE GOT THIS!” [laughs]
Sunni: And we weren’t! [laughs] We realized through artist development there are a lot of things you have to work on as an artist. So we really appreciate Mr. Knowles for putting us through that artist development and for believing in us and seeing the passion and the drive.
Tali: That’s how he found us. [laughs]
With you two being the rappers of the group, what are you bringing different from each other?
Bunni Ray: Tali?
Tali: Y’all want me to speak on that? I’ll speak on my rappers. [laughs] So Ms. Bunni, she brings you this energetic feel. When we first met her she came with the name “Ray.” We were like, we like that because first of all it’s already different. It’s a boyish name when you hear it and rap and Hip Hop being a male dominated industry, we’re like “Okay, that goes against the grain. Ray fits you.” When they see you they’re like, “Okay, you look feminine,” but when she starts spittin’ she has this higher pitch and this energy. So we’re like, “Bruh, you’re like a bunny rabbit, like just the Energizer bunny.” So she’s like, “I like that!” and Mr. Knowles is like, “Bunni Ray, that’s your name now.” Everybody’s like, “BUNNI — RAY.” [laughs]
Bunni Ray: And I got stamped right then! [laughs]
Tali: She’s like, “Okay!” [laughs] And she just comes in, she’s youthful and her rap ability is just what you don’t really hear nowadays. Her tone might remind you of Left Eye and Da Brat. Her cadence is like a E-40 — the fastness, Da Brat. She really brings that to this group and it’s a quick cadence. No matter what she’s talking about you just [snaps fingers and pretends to listen to Bunni Ray rap really fast] and she’s speaking. She’s highlighting what I may be singing about. She’s highlighting what Sunni’s talking about and she brought that old school thing back where you acknowledge who you are on stage with. She’s always shouting out, “My girl Sunni! My girl Tali! I’m Bunni Ray! This is BLUSHHH Music!” She’s very good with that and stamping us.
Bunni Ray: Because I love my group! [laughs]
Tali: And then you got Ms. Sunni, our hard hitta!
Bunni Ray: HARD HITTA!
Tali: Yes, Sunni is that dominant, that backbone. So when she comes she has that ‘WOW’ power that just reminds you of like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and then her lyric ability is like Tupac and Lauryn Hill. Not saying that she sings but you know Lauryn Hill from The Fugees and rapping. So, Sunni brings that to the table and you just never know. We’ll be in practice and we have our team telling us, ‘Dawg, Sunni just surprises us on stage because she be so mellow and low-key but when she hop on stage it’s like BARK, and NO BITE!’ That bite is just like you don’t want it. So she’s just like I’m just going to tease you a little bit. [laughs] So that’s the two rappers. We don’t have that nowadays, and then a rap duo. Of course in the African-American community at that, like sisters standing together and showing unity as female rappers. That’s what we want to show that we can work together. We’re not made. We weren’t put together and we’re making history.
And y’all are making it happen! I love that description from your singer. Please give me a description of her now?
Bunni Ray: Alright! She has a range, a vocal range that is out of this world, okay? I will honestly say she is very unique in the sense that you’re not going to hear what she brings to the table in this day and age. There’s a whole different type of vocal thing that’s going on and she really reaches down deep and she can get really high with you. She’s going to take you from your Toni Braxton’s to your…you know she just brings it all in. She has a very great range.
Sunni: She has a very great register. At the end of the day, when you hear her she can give you that T-Boz feel, that Toni feel. She can bring you the Destiny’s Child harmonies. A lot of people hear our songs and she’s very big on her harmonies and people are like, “Man, it sounds like it’s about five of you.” No, its one and all her girls. [laughs]
Bunni Ray: No, it’s just her. [laughs]
Tali: Me and all my people. [laughs]
Sunni: She got her own girls. That don’t be us. [laughs] So that’s something she very much takes pride in and it’s something that really gives us a whole different unique sound just alone with her vocals and us with our rap melodies and we’re kind of like a female Bone Thugs [and Harmony] because that’s what they did. They had their voices and they harmonized their voices together. I feel like the elements of us three and our chemistry is something that’s new and fresh and hasn’t been done before. We’re ready to really let the world hear it.
As far as coming up under Mathew Knowles, do you feel any pressure from Destiny’s Child or is there no pressure at all?
Sunni: [laughs] No. I wouldn’t say it’s pressure coming from Destiny’s Child and trying to get to who they were and what they did because we are BLUSHHH Music. We’re a Hip Hop trio. We’re going to break barriers and do things that BLUSHHH Music can put their name and their stamp on. Destiny’s Child, we obviously aspire to get to the success level that they got to. They are the number one female Pop and R&B group of our generation. We want people coming up behind us to look to us like we looked to them. So that’s pretty much what we’re trying to do and at the end of the day they had their own formula and we have our own formula and we just want to get to the platform they got to.
Definitely. I love that!
Tali: That’s pressure! [laughs] If you know Mr. Knowles… [laughs]
Sunni: But, it’s not pressure to be like them. It’s pressure to us to reach that success level.
..to reach that success level in your own style, in your lane. Okay.
Sunni: Yes, and staying true to ourselves the whole way through.
Yes, thats definitely major key right there.
Bunni Ray: Major key! [laughs]
Tell me your performance rituals. What do you all have to do to vibe out, to get ready for that performance? And just let the world know the importance of a performance and preparation and the rituals, the habits, whatever you do to get prepared.
Sunni: Well, it depends on what type of show it is. [laughs]
And then I’m sure each of you have your own thing.
Tali: Well, one thing we never forget is to thank our heavenly Father. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. We pray. We meditate whether it’s a five minute or one minute or two minutes. We always find time to relax. When we’re in the dressing room like today, there’s no music playing. There’s silence. Anything that’s on our chest we try to clear the room. We’re our own therapist. And that’s the great thing about not being by yourself and having each other because through your ups and downs before a show you’ve got to be mentally prepared to deliver.
So, whether Ms. Bunni Ray is like, “Come here. Let me check your face. Let me do your makeup,” we’re very self sufficient in making sure we’re “together.” We appreciate the team and we know that they support us and their always there and they’re going to do what they need to do. But, we always know that at the end of the day we have to have each other as well when it comes to being on stage, because at the end of the day we’re on stage together.
And if Sunni, like this morning I asked her, “Tough night?” She said, “Yeah. I’m like, ‘Alright Sunni!”[laughs]
Sunni: I was roughin’ it this morning [laughs]
Tali: And you know to back off and you give that person that time and they come around, and we’re very understanding because we’re sisters.
Bunni Ray: And we’re very upfront with each other. They might tell me one day, “Bunni Ray you’re known for energy. Your energy is just a little bit off today,” and then immediately I’m like [snaps fingers] “Okay, if my sisters notice I know, okay get myself together.” [giggles]
Tali: But yeah, prayer and meditation. We all get together. Our team prays with us. The newest person that probably drops in you have to pray today [giggles] and that’s just the way it works. Mr. Knowles is very supportive on our preparation and the way we get ready and making sure we’re mentally prepared all the way to the point where he believes in, ‘When you get off stage I’m not giving you any feedback because you have to come down from that so I’m going to wait until tomorrow or next week and tell you how you did on that show because you need to get through today and enjoy your show.’ He says we’re tough on ourselves. We’re our toughest critics. We’re perfectionist. I’m the drill sergeant of the group so I’m really like [frowns]— I can’t get off stage smiling and I need to work on that but hey [smiles] but we get our minds right and enjoy it. [laughs]
I love that. Please tell us what we should be expecting from BLUSHHH Music coming up? What should we be on the look out for?
Sunni: You should be on the lookout for the single [laughs] called “Old School’s Back,” the video with that is going to be dropping soon. We have merchandise for it and you can go to blushhhmusic.com. Our album is coming in June. But right now we’re just kind of focusing day to day but those are a few things to prepare for.