This interview originally appeared on EARSTYLE May 18th, 2009
It took a little bit to get all of the wonderful ladies of Electrik Red together on the phone, so while waiting I had an opportunity to chat with Binkie about everything from her love for Grapefruit juice, her days on tour with fellow Def Jam artist Amerie, to a prom I was going on the evening of the interview. Check out this funny clip of Binkie singing an improvised song called, “Waiting On Your Friends”. Thanks to Electrik Red’s team for making this happen and thanks to the ladies for chatting with EARSTYLE.NET!
Let’s do Roll! Binkie?
Binkie: Roll Call!
Naomi: Right here my friend.
Lesley: I’m Here.
Who came up with the name Electrik Red?
Binkie: I came up with the name in my bag of Tricks. I don’t know I just threw it out there to see if it would stick. Leslie liked it so it stuck. We had an idea what we wanted the music to sound like so we wanted a name to match that huge glandor of our music. We wanted to bring something new to the industry. We want something that’s not going to be easily overlooked and alas Electrik Red was born.
So were you all touring together prior to forming?
Sarah: We did all tour together, but even before that we were all childhood friends in separate countries. Naomi and I being from Toronto, we knew each other since we were 10. We went to school together, a performing Arts school. Leslie and Binkie also went to a performing arts school together in New York, LaGuardia. We all pursued professional dance careers after high school so that’s how we met and fell in love with each other. We became good good friends and decided, “Hey, we probably can do what these bitches are doing singing in front of us”, because we can hold a note or two and we actually had some great ideas. We did it and that wasn’t until five years ago, we were on the grind, building our music, plotting and scheming, still paying our bills dancing behind people. We were doing movie and commercials. Shout out to Nair! We got signed a year ago. Shout out to Tampex! (laughs)
Naomi: Fuck You. (laughs)
Sarah: Now here we are with you. Who would of known? That’s hard work and dedication.
The tracks are crazy! How did you all get up with Dream?
Naomi: We were signed to Def Jam by Shakir Stewart. The late great Shakir Stewart. He really believed in the project and believed we should meet Tricky and the Dream, because they were magicians. So we did. We gave them a little razzle dazzle, they really got to see who we were and got to know us a little about us, so they wrote us a fabulous album. Tricky produced it, Dream wrote it, also Sean Hall and Los produced a couple of tracks.They all worked together, the Red Zone team, to get his great album together. We all went out to Vegas in June of last year and we spent a couple of weeks getting it done and that’s how we met The Dream. Now he’s our family, so there.
Who came up with the album title, “How To Be A Lady, Vol. 1″?
Lesley: We all kind of collectively did, because we had an idea. One, the tone of the album is so in your face, bold honest. We are definitely taking chances that other girl groups haven’t done. With the good balance of all of that, we don’t want people to think that is all we do all day, but we are trying to represent the modern woman and just break boundaries and rules. We are not your typical group of girls, so how could we represent that? We just want to teach other females out there how to be a lady, but be the Electrik Red version of how to be a lady.
Sarah: We also feel like there’s a void out there for people to look up to, little girls. Everything is a very stereotypical way of how you are supposed to be as far as other girl groups were portraying. What about the crazy little bad ass kids that have A.D.D. and dance all over the malls? They can’t sit still and all you know. Who’s representing those people? We felt like “How To Be A Lady”, which was supposed to be “How To Be A Fucking Lady” or some shit like that. (laughs) It was something with a cuss word right?
Electrik Red: Yeah! (laughs)
Sarah: We were like, “What? We can’t say Fuck? Aww”. It kind of stems into just a play on that. There’s other ways to be ladylike and womanly. You can still say your point and be a “B.I.T.C.H.” and get your point across and be smart and intelligent. Know which fork to use at a nice dinner table and cross your legs and all of those things, but also kick someone in the face and say “Your talking crazy”.
Speaking of the F-word. Who Came up with the concept behind the “We F U” track?
Lesley: Dream wrote the album and Tricky produced it. The second we heard the song we were like, “That is it!”. That is it, We are the girls to pull that song off. We were like “When are we recording it?” Immediately, yeah!
Naomi: Let’s go!
That’s one of our favorite Electrik Red tracks. What’s some of Electrik Red’s favorite tracks on the album?
Lesley: I would say my favorite is “Kill Bill”, because it’s angry, honest, and in your face. It’s an uptempo it has a lot of energy to it and I Like that.
Sarah: I would say…it depends on if I am feeling a little freaky nasty, I would go with “Go Shawty”. It has a little nice old school H-Town feel, I am a big R&B head. I would go with “Devotion”, it’s a beautiful love song. The harmonies are really pretty and the music is too. That shit is bomb, you know what I mean? so those are my two!
Did you all have any struggles moving from the stage to the studio?
Lesley: Not at all. It was a new arena for us, but it wasn’t a hard progression at all. I feel that we are all extremely talented and we were able to adapt to any given situation. Music is our life and we love it. We were all very much in tune with how we wanted our album to sound with all the different personalities and energy we were putting in to it. We were very happy to be there!
You all just came off the tour with Wayne right?
Electrik Red: Yup!
Are there any other tours in the works?
Lesley: Hopefully, we want to take the whole world by storm! Whatever tour is going on we want to be on it. Our management is on it so they are sorting all that stuff out right now so you all can see us all over the place.
Naomi: That’s right dammit!
I saw the YouTube videos, all of the Vegas ones and everything. The videos are crazy entertaining! Any plans for reality television in the future?
Electrik Red: (Laughs) We definitely entertain that. It just have to be the right thing. If you haven’t noticed we aren’t your typical group of bitches. So whatever we do it won’t be typical. Until we wrap our brains around what that next thing will be, yes you will absolutely see us on one of our own shows.
What are you all currently listening to?
Lesley: Drake. I can’t stop playing him.
Sarah: I listen to Katy Perry, but I am not a Lesbian.
Naomi: Neither is she.
Sarah: Awesome so we can just do each other in our minds!
BinkieL Nice. I have this ill early 90s CD that has everyone from Aaliyah to Missy. It’s all over the place. It’s so perfect.
Naomi: DJ Green!
Binkie: It’s awesome, so that’s what I listen to.
Sarah: I have to co-sign off of Binkie. I am a witness to her only listening to that. I pulled up next to her at a red light and she was just singing her heart out not knowing anyone was watching her. She was singing at the top of her lungs with the music blasting. She saw me and got embarassed.
Binkie: I Love it. Thank you, Thank you for that. Thanks for telling everyone that.
I have a little confession. I saw you all and just fell in love with all four of y’all. I definitely have crushes. (laughs)
Electrik Red: Awww!
So are you all dating anyone and if not do I have a shot?
Binkie: Everyone has a shot honey.
Electrik Red: (laughs)
Lesley: I would say…how do we say this ladies?
Electrik Red: We are married to this mother *beep* game! The money!
Lesley: Everything else will fall in place.
Binkie: But we also love flowers and nice meals so call us when you graduate!
Sarah: …And it’s really easy to remember that we all wear a size 7.
Naomi: Gucci! (Start’s singing “Freaky Girl” by Gucci Mane)
Binkie: We will be your date for your Senior Ball at Hampton. He goes to Hampton, where my sister graduated from. All four of us.
All four of y’all? I am holding y’all to this!
Electrik Red: Absolutely!
Binkie: It’s so crazy, because I’ve been to the Hampton Ball. You all party goes off. We actually have to show up in a gown. We can’t wear no little bullshit. Like I had on a gown.
Sarah: We are going to wear those leotards with the cheeks out.
That would be hot!
Binkie: Actually, they wouldn’t even let us in. It’s so crazy. They won’t let anything go down over there! Well except for that shooting, what happened?
I really don’t know. Everyone is fine though.
Binkie: Thank God! Even though I would have never expected anything like that to go down on that campus. I am glad you are fine though. Stay out of trouble! Use a condom I know it’s hard. (laughs)
Do you all have a message to your loyal fans out there?
Electrik Red: We love you guys! Thank you for the support. Show the support by swiping the card on May 26th, “How To Be A Lady, Vol. 1″!
Binkie: Don’t buy one, buy two!
Lesley: One for the car, one for the crib. Trust, it’s a good album.
Sarah: You are probably going to need it also for your computer, so you probably will need to buy another one on Itunes. Just in case!
Lesley: Twitter us, we all have twitter accounts. www.twitter.com/electrikRed or NaomiER, LesleyER, SarahRoseteER, BinkieER. True Dedicated Twitterettes. Myspace.com/electrikred. There are so many different ways to actually communicate with us and yes we actually do check our own messages. So holla!
Electrik Red: Holla!
Thank you so much for calling in! Definitely keep us posted. I am definitely copping the album!
Electrik Red: Nice!
Naomi: Make sure all of your friends have a copy! When you go their house check be like “Where’s your Electrik Red album?” Take them to the store and swipe the card. Get the album!
Sarah: I’ll be curious. Seriously you have to let us know, seriously because every song bumps to us. So you have to let us know after you hear it . So hit us up on twitter and be like “Number four wasn’t it girls..”. That goes for everyone!
Electrik Red: Exactly tell us the truth.
Naomi: Remember, like she said with the twitter page. There are a lot of impostors. So make sure it is Electrik Red with a K. Not Electrik Red Group, not Electrik Red Is So Sexy, not Electrik Red Is Amazing. Just Electrik Red.
Right so make sure y’all hit up the REAL lovely ladies of Electrik Red on Twitter! It’s about to be Electrik City up in here.
Electrik Red: May 26th, World Domination! The Takeover starts.
Naomi: World Domination!
Electrik Red: Thank You! Bye