“We like to consider ourselves as the girls next door with a touch of ‘Rock Chick,’ ‘R&B Diva,’ and ‘Pop Princess,’” say Kristen and Shaina Lovett, sisters who make up the singing duo Lovett. “We are strong-minded young women who have a lot to stand for and are passionate about making a positive difference through our music.”
Haling from northern Jersey, the duo has performed throughout their home state, as well as New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In addition to club gigs, they’ve done a number of festivals and benefit shows, sang the National Anthem at New Jersey Nets games and even appeared at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City for a talent night contest.
“The night at the Apollo Theatre was a surprise to us, in no way did we expect to be first place winners,” laughs Kristen. “I was concerned that Shaina didn’t forget to rub the log for good luck. We just wanted to make it through the entire song without getting booed off the stage. At the end of the show, when they announced us as the winners, we were shocked. It was a great night!”
The girls became involved in entertainment by taking dance classes at a local dance studio. Eventually dancing became singing and dancing, and when they showed some potential, it became singing and writing. “When we first started writing. We would write from scratch, meaning no background music; just a pen, a notebook, lyrics and melodies,” they recall. “Over time we met music producers and started to collaborate, and from there built up the music library that we now have. It is our current goal to learn the piano, which we bought as a Christmas present to ourselves.”
They are influenced by a wide variety of artists, which is what has led to such an eclectic mix in the songs they produce. They cite Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, The Beatles, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel and Michael Buble as artists they love to listen to, and to try and incorporate influences from in their own music.
They also share a penchant for collaboration, as well as to write for other artists as well as themselves. Some of their better-known collaborators have included Reggie B. Flowers (Alicia Keys, Wycleff, Black Buddafly), Toby Gad (Britney Spears, Fergie, Beyonce), Keith Shocklee (Public Enemy, Xzibit, LL Cool J), Curtis Richardson (Rihanna, Joss Stone), Fo Onassis and many more.
Currently, “Always on My Mind,” a song they wrote with Toby Gad, is out in Germany. This song is performed by an artist known as Sandra on her latest release, which is titled Back to Life.
Working closely with a sibling can be both a blessing and a curse, in terms of trying to get along in trying circumstances, where disagreements often surface. “To the contrary, it is actually better working with a sister,” Shaina says. “We are a support team for one another both musically and mentally throughout our journey. Of course, there are arguments, which is inevitable with siblings. We will be yelling at one another one minute and literally two seconds later we are like, ‘So what do you want to do tonight?’ Our bickering is short-lived and we keep it moving.”
In fact, one particular incident still makes them laugh. “We got into a little quarrel, as we do from time to time,” Kristen remembers. “Shaina, without thought, got mad and squeezed her water bottle over my head and just let the whole thing pour out while I sat there in complete shock and didn’t even move. The fight ended in hysterical laughing and the recording went on, me soaking wet!”
When they work on material together, they always start with the melodies. They feel it’s the mood or feel of the melody that will lead into what the song should be about lyrically. And then they try to channel their life experiences, or the experiences they’ve witnessed through friends and family, to come up with theme ideas and lyrics. “We write many types of music, but the common denominator is usually some sort of pop music,” Shaina adds. “It could be pop/R&B, pop/rock, or dance pop. However, as we progress on the keys we would like to venture into different genres, and who knows where that will lead us. Our goals are to always grow and get better. We never settle. There is always room for improvement. This goes for both our music and us as individuals. Our short-term goal on the business end is to find the right team. We currently manage ourselves and mom helps too. But we are seeking management.”
The girls have a short list of dreams for the future, including making music forever, and to entertain, motivate, inspire, infuse hope and generate happiness through song that can make a person’s day just a little bit better. As they put it in the motto they try to live by, “Sing it! Breathe it! Live it!”
You can learn more about Lovett and hear their music, at Lovett-music.com or at myspace.com/lovettmusic.