Chanel Dizzle: Much More Than Just A "Barre Baby"
Rocks Off was pretty much blown away by that video of angelic-looking YouTube user ChanelDizzle singing the dirty hits of members of the Screwed Up Click, which we posted about last week. So we decided to get in touch with her and find out if she had dreams of becoming a ghetto superstar, rolling foreign cars through the streets of Third Ward.
The Houston native, whose real name is Chanel Dror, is a senior in corporate communications at UT-Austin. She was in town for the last bit of winter break and to celebrate her dad's birthday. And when it comes to singing, she's got a long history.
"I've just been singing for as long as I can remember," she says. "There was choir and musicals in middle school and high school, plus random talent shows. And now I sing with the premier a cappella group at UT, The Ransom Notes. We preform and rehearse a lot."
Her repertoire with that group is a bit more subdued: Pop and R&B hits like John Legend and The Fugees, and some "throwback oldies."
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"Definitely no SUC," Chanel says.
She started making the videos about a month ago after realizing she had no major plans to continue performing once she was out of school.
"I'd been telling myself for a while that I need to get some videos on YouTube, just 'cause that's what everyone does and because it's a quick way to put myself out there," Chanel says.
"I started worrying about graduating -- because once I graduate I'm no longer in the group. So I was afraid I wouldn't have the opportunity to sing ever again. I had a friend help me out. She works in video editing for ACL in Austin and she's a pro."
Her first video, Big Moe's "Barre Baby," quickly became popular. Chamillionaire posted it on his Facebook page, and since then, the numbers skyrocketed.
"I'm so grateful for that," Chanel says. "Once Cham posted it, Lil Flip and Paul Wall showed some love also. All three of those were awesome."
"The story behind it is that one day I had 'Barre Baby' stuck in my head -- and I was home alone, so naturally I was belting that shit diva-style. It sounded pretty good and was perfectly in my range. So the next chance I had to record and upload it I did."
"I went to public school where it was just one big melting pot," she explains. "I got exposed to everything and being such a music junkie, I was taking in all the different music. I was at school dances in 7th and 8th grade and we were dancing to that stuff.
"I remember being 12 and just jammin' Lil' Flip's '7-1-3' just being like... 'Hell yeah, that's my area code.'"
"Look through my iPod and it'll seem like the most bipolar person ever is uploading music onto there," Chanel continues. "I love it all. My favorite rapper... well it's hard. Because I like a lot of mainstream too, but a lot of people in Houston get mad when you start mentioning people like 50 [Cent].
"I do listen to more modern Houston rap -- most recently Z-Ro and Devin the Dude."
Since that first video was repped by Houston's big rap names, Chanel says she has been contacted by some people with potential offers, but she wouldn't be specific.
"Don't wanna jinx anything, so we'll talk about that when there's actually something to show for it all."
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