Updated July 07, 2006Even if you were a very close observer of the R&B scene in 2003, it's likely you might not remember Cherish, because they showed up - and then disappeared - so quickly that year.
The group, which consists of four biological sisters (Farrah 22, Neosha, 20, and twins Felisha and Fallon, both 18) was at the time signed to Warner Bros. imprint Ashanti Records. The quartet released one Jermaine Dupri-produced single, "Miss P," which featured rapper Da Brat, and were set to release their debut album, The Moment. But for reasons that still remain murky, the album was never released, and the group and the label eventually parted ways.
The Re-emergenceSome music industry stories might end there, but wait - fast forward three years: it's the summer of 2006 and not only have Cherish persevered and re-emerged, they're on a new label (Sho'Nuff /Capitol Records) and have one of the hottest records of the season, "Do It To It," featuring the rapper Sean Paul of Hip-Hop act YoungBloodZ, (who, just like the Cherish girls, is from the Atlanta area).
They're also about to release their official debut album, Unappreciated, on Aug. 15, and have an instructional video circulating the Internet on how to do the 'snap' dance that's popular right now.
So although still in their teens and 20s, the group has already seen the ups and downs of the music business. Kind of makes you wonder why such a young group of family members would want to go into the business at all. Neosha and Fallon, however, said that performing's in their blood.
"We started singing when we were 2, 4 and 6 (years old)," Neosha said. "We've been professionals since we were 7, 9 and 11. We would always sing together."
Triple ThreatBut the four girls aren't just singers, they're a triple threat: they all sing, can dance and - here's the biggie - they can write their own songs. Many big-name acts - small ones, too - are content to merely perform material written for them by others, but not the Cherish sisters.
"We actually wrote the entire album," Fallon said of Unappreciated. Many of the songs deal with real-life situations and true stories, such as "Whenever," "Ohh" and "Show and Tell," which are all about love and relationships.
One song that's already got people speculating is the title track, "Unappreciated." Considering the mysterious circumstances under which Cherish left their last record label, could the song be a reply to Warner Bros? If it is, the girls aren't saying. At least not yet.
"It's all on the album," Fallon said, insisting that the title doesn't necessarily refer to what happened with their last record label. "Unappreciated is a very, very broad statement," she said.
UnappreciatedAs far as what else to expect on the album: "You can expect a lot of realness," Fallon said, somewhat vaguely. "We're trying to bring real R&B back to the world.
That's a curious statement, considering how their breakthrough song, the Don Vito-produced "Do It To It" features a memorable guest appearance by a rapper, and the remix of said song features not one, not two, not even three, but four rappers. In fact, the song is a perfect example of an R&B/Hip-Hop hybrid.
But Fallon insists that the album is a whole is more R&B-specific. "Right now, R&B is not a genre anymore. It's Pop, It's Hip-Hop, it's other things. I wanna bring back Rhythm and Blues," she said.
One thing you won't hear on the new album though, is a lot of material from the girls' first, unreleased album. As they've grown up, so has their style, they say, and a lot of the songs they wrote three years ago - or longer - simply aren't right for Cherish in 2006.
The current Cherish album, which according to Neosha the group spent 2-3 years working on, features production by Jazze Pha (who's also CEO of the Sho'Nuff imprint the girls are signed to), Dre & Vidal, Jasper, Don Vito and Adonis. Guest performers include the aforementioned Sean Paul, as well as the rapper Yung Joc.
'How to Snap'Regarding the 'how to snap' video featuring the girls, that was actually their label's idea. The video, which can be found on YouTube among other places, features the quartet demonstrating the Atlanta-born dance that's taken much of the US by storm.
They'll get a chance to show off those dance moves in cities across the country in the near future. Although nothing official has been released yet, it's expected that Cherish will be one of the opening acts on the Up Close & Personal tour, headlined by R&B young guns Ne-Yo and Chris Brown.
So after leaving one label three years ago and having their debut album shelved, the girls are making the most of their second chance at stardom.
"I feel very blessed and fortunate," Neosha said. "On this album, we got another chance."