Kristinia DeBarge Biography
At just 19-years-old, Kristinia’s emotions run deep. She’s learning and growing while she experiences life, love and relationships along with her young fans. Kristinia knows that she doesn’t have all the answers but on her captivating first album, her fans will absolutely relate to her as they join her ride of self-discovery.
Kristinia is no stranger to the music business. She’s the daughter of 80s pop star James DeBarge but her road to a record deal was not handed over to her without patience, perseverance and hard work. Kristinia knew she wanted to be a singer at the age of three but didn’t reveal this passion to her dad until she was twelve. “He wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer. I tried to be open to other careers because I didn’t want to disappoint him but my heart was set on singing,” Kristinia remembers. The same day that Kristinia told him she wanted to sing, they recorded a duet together called “How I Feel Inside.” “Our studio session ended at 4 am and my dad asked me after all those hours and after all that work if I still wanted to do this,” she recalls. “When I answered yes, that’s how he knew I was serious about being a singer.”
Less than a year later, Kristinia appeared on American Juniors – a younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. Kristinia made it all the way to the Top 20 and suddenly her phone was ringing off the hook with producers and managers who wanted to make her a star. Kristinia also went out on the road with her dad soon after her TV debut. He brought her up on stage to sing with him each night. It didn’t take long for people to start asking Kristinia for her autograph after each performance. Kristinia’s biggest break, however, came when she was 14-years-old and she started working with legendary producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. He knew that she had what it would take to make it and worked with her on all the songs heard on her album. About Kristinia, Babyface notes, “First off, she’s a DeBarge, and when you are a DeBarge, one has to stop and listen. When I saw her at a very young age, I know she wasn’t ready yet but she had “it”. I’ve been watching her evolve and one day, I knew: she was ready. And she keeps getting better and better.”
Babyface got Kristinia a meeting with LA Reid at Island/Def Jam records and two days before her 19th birthday, she signed her record deal. “Things started moving very fast after that,” Kristinia recalls. “When Babyface and I played LA the completed album, he liked every single song . . . that’s unheard of!”
Kristinia grew up listening to strong female vocalists like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and the Supremes but she credits rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and even Queen of the Stone Age as some of her influences. “They inspire me to take risks,” she says. But at least for the first album Kristinia will be sticking to more of a pop style. “I want my fans to grow up with me as a person, an artist and a woman.”
Kristinia has a personal connection to each of the songs on her album. They either tell a story about her life or delve into an emotion she’s experienced. Kristinia, whose currently enjoying the single life, wants “Goodbye” to be an anthem for girls to put on when they’re sad or discouraged about an unfulfilling relationship. She hopes the song will give them the courage to move on. “I want girls to listen to it and feel that they’re beautiful, smart and a catch, and know they will be okay,” she says.
“Doesn’t Everybody Want to Fall in Love” is about Kristinia’s real experience gaining her parents approval while falling in love for the first time. “A parent telling their child not to fall in love is them saying ‘I’m not going to put up with your heartache,’” Kristinia explains. “Parents need to let their kids grow. Love is a beautiful thing.”
Kristinia goes from the excitement of falling in love to the pain of breaking-up on “Cry Me A River.” Kristinia co-wrote the track with Babyface and credits it as her favorite song on the album. “I went through a hard break-up but this song reminds me that my life wasn’t over and I was okay,” she says. “Crying it out makes you stronger so you can look forward to a new chapter in your life.”
“Disconnect” is for the ladies out there who just really miss their man whenever they’re apart. “No matter how much you talk on the phone or text or e-mail, it’s just never the same as it is when you’re together in person,” Kristinia says. “And telling your man ‘I miss you’ and ‘I can’t get you off my mind’ and ‘I think about you morning, noon and night’ is very romantic. I’m definitely a hopeless romantic myself.”
Kristinia hopes that her fans will relate to her lyrics. “I want to show people they’re not alone. I’m still trying to figure it out and I want my fans to know I’m just like them,” she explains. “I hurt, I get scared, I get nervous and I’m not always at my best – but I try my best. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and that’s okay.”