Love Dollhouse, a trio of teenagers from Detroit, is aiming to fill the void left by legendary R&B girl groups like TLC, Destiny’s Child and En Vogue. And they got off to a very impressive start with debut single “Can I”. Written by Claude Kelly (Britney Spears‘ “Circus”) and produced by Jon Jon Traxx (Beyonce‘s “Deja Vu”), the summery feel-good anthem is pretty much irresistible.
I recently caught up with Ryan, Jasmine and Chelsea on the roof of the famed Capitol building in Los Angeles. Instead of staging a traditional photo shoot, I wanted to get the girls to take their own pics on a cell phone. Apart from nailing my selfie challenge (above), Love Dollhouse opened up about recording “Can I”, the importance of great choreography and their long list of musical inspirations. See what your new favorite girl band has to say after the jump.
How did Love Dollhouse come together?
Ryan: We’ve been together for about 8 years, me and Jasmine. We met in middle school. And we met Chelsea about a year ago. That’s how we came together, all three of us.
Where did you meet Chelsea?
Chelsea: Which was quite scary. But, I mean, since then, it’s been just amazing. Everything’s been awesome.
What was the audition was like?
Chelsea: They had me sing a song acapella and then sing with a soundtrack. So, I did that, and I went home. There was a dance portion, and they called me back for that, and I did that with Ryan, who was there. Jasmine couldn’t make it. It was a lot of fun, but I was very nervous. They ended up calling me back and following up with me and then they ended up choosing me.
It sounds tougher than American Idol!
Ryan: I know, but it was all fun and love.
Your name is really unusual. What is Love Dollhouse?
Chelsea: Yeah, what is Love Dollhouse, Jasmine and Ryan? These wonderful ladies came up with that great name.
Jasmine: Well, all the girls like to dress up their dolls and do their hair and put the jewelry on when you’re a kid. You just kind of have creative power. You can dress them how you want to them, depending on how you’re feeling that day, and whatever. So, we said we’d still like to hold that creative power today and dress how we want to dress. Ryan wants be tom-boyish one day and then girly the next. You know what I’m saying? Just however you’re feeling that day, and yeah, we feel like so many different girls can relate to that. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s young. You can do so many things with the name.
Ryan: Yeah. Everybody has their favorite doll, ya know?
How did you get signed?
Ryan: It’s a long story. We met Steve Rifkind about two and a half years ago. We did a showcase for him out in Miami and he loved us. We signed then to his label SRC, which was with Universal Republic. So then, he partnered up with Russell Simmons, and they created ADD.
Jasmine: It’s a multi-tier platform for unsigned artists to showcase their music, and we’re the first talent signed to them, so we’re really excited for that.
Chelsea: ADD then further partnered up with Capital, so that’s who we’re signed with right now, with ADM/Capitol.
Ryan: And they’re a great team.
Jasmine: ADM stands for All Def Music.
You guys actually had a couple of songs online before “Can I”.
Ryan: They were just buzz records for our hometown. We just wanted a song that could let people know who we are. We’re young, we’re fresh, we can sing, and we’re definitely working towards something bigger.
Jasmine: “Can I” is what we call our first official single for sure.
Tell us about working with Claude Kelly and Jon Jon Traxx on “Can I”?
Jasmine: Jon Jon is hilarious, and working with Claude Kelley, it was really fun. He was really outgoing, and he calls us “DoodleHouse.”
Ryan: Yeah, he’s crazy. They’re all very fun dudes. It was obviously just a great combination together because it was nothing but fun and good vibes so.
Chelsea: We are so excited to do more music with those three.
Was it a little intimidating to be in the studio with such heavyweights?
Chelsea: No, because they make you feel so comfortable.
Jasmine: They’re really humble, they’re really down to earth and really welcoming. I don’t think so.
What was the inspiration behind “Can I”?
Ryan: With “Can I”, they wrote it and then they played it for us. It was out of the blue kind of, and so we loved it automatically.
Jasmine: So we were just like “We have to do this record!”
Ryan: It was a blessing, and it was just meant to happen because that just started out what we’re doing for the rest of the album.
Can you relate to the message in “Can I”?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s kind of like our main thing we want to put across. We want to put across this empowerment, you know, for all girls to look up to us in that way, in that light. So, we want to be classy, keep it that way, and just you know be great role models.
Which girl groups do you look up to?
Jasmine: Well, we look up to the obvious groups like TLC, of course, Destiny’s Child, the Spice Girls, and, you know, we could take it back to The Supremes.
Chelsea: There’s also a lot of not-so-obvious people we look up to.
Ryan: Not just girl groups? I love entertainers a lot, so I love Aaliyah. I love Michael Jackson, obviously. Those are the obvious ones. Prince, I love so much. David Bowie. These amazing people that control the stage like no other, and there so many obvious ones that are true singers too like Brandy, Lauryn Hill, you know, so many people. A whole bunch of people.
Chelsea: Oh my gosh, I love The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Elton John. There are just so many that have influenced us.
Where did you develop a taste for the classics?
Chelsea: I think it’s literally like my human nature. I think it is our human nature. I think it is something I’ve always gravitated toward. Because not a lot of people really cling to music, but I feel like, you know, it’s part of my upbringing.
Jasmine: It surprises me too because I’ve met quite a few people who say, “Oh, I don’t really listen to much,” and I’m just like “What?! How do you not listen to music?”
Ryan: Yeah, but we’ve definitely come from families that are in music, me and Jasmine, and so that definitely had a lot to do with it.
A lot of the greats were amazing dancers. Are you incorporating that into your act?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s a huge part. Our choreographer is Jamaica Craft.
Jasmine: Shout out to her!
Ryan: Yeah, she’s amazing. The video was just a great experience because it was our first one so we were pretty much excited about the whole thing.
Jasmine: It was really fun shooting it. We wanted it to kind of look like Detroit and kind of feel like Detroit, although we couldn’t shoot it in Detroit.
What was the idea behind the video?
Chelsea: The theme of video is just very fun, very cool very ‘lax. Just kind of us getting up, getting ready for the day, and just walking down the street. And we see some honeys, you know.
Ryan: Some honeys, you knowwwwww!!!
Chelsea: Yeah, they’re just down the street, and my favorite shot is just us in the Jeep, and we were just cruising and having a good time. That’s the whole like it just correlates directly with the song and the vibe we want to put out. Just cool and fun.
You girls just took a bunch of selfies, what is your advice for talking the perfect one?
Jasmine: Find the right angle and the right lighting, and then just snap away! Take at least 10, and you’ll find two good ones that you like. That is Jasmine selfie advice.
Ryan: My selfie advice would be: get a dope background, okay guys? Don’t be in your room, looking a mess in the background. Don’t be in the bathroom! Yeah, and good lighting like she said.
Chelsea: My selfie advice is the caption. I’m into the captions. It has to be what you were thinking while you took that selfie, what’s going on. It’s just got to be fun.
Ryan: Or random!
Chelsea: Yeah, or random! Yeah, you’re right!
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