Crystal, Skye and Cole Rose, collectively known as Sophia Fresh, may be one hit away from national fame, but they're unwavering in their loyalty to the Bayou City. Case in point: Sophia Fresh recently unleashed a remix of the DJ Screw classic
in honor of the chopped and screwed tunes that served as a soundtrack to their childhood.
We reached out to T-Pain's robo-voiced minions, whose new single "This Instant" (featuring their boss) premiered on BET's 106th & Park earlier this week, over the phone to find out what they've been up to lately. Dig in, it's sweet.
Rocks Off: Whose idea was it to do the "June 27" remix?
Crystal: All of us. We all came up with the idea.
RO: Oh come on, that's the diplomatic response.
Crystal: "June 27" was just one of those things that we play to get ourselves pumped. In the studio or in the car, we just used to listen to a lot of Screwed Up Click songs. It's just something that get us pumped up, so we decided to put our spin to it.
RO: Any other Houston tributes in the works?
Crystal: We're definitely open to doing more. Regardless, our music will always has something in it that shouts out where we're from.
RO: That's sweet. Here's an idea: How about a mixtape of R&B remixes of Houston classics?
Cole: That's a cool idea. We might actually do that. We'll make sure you get your 10 percent cut, of course.
RO: Explain your deal with T-Pain. Are you signed directly to his label?
Crystal: Well, the production deal is through T-Pain's company. That's for the music. Atlantic takes care of marketing and distribution of our music.
RO: How would you describe your sound to someone who's never heard of Sophia Fresh?
Crystal: We made up our own genre, which we call hip-rock and R&B. Our music is influenced by different genres, so it's got a little bit of everything from rock to hip-hop and R&B.
RO: If we're being honest, groups are going into extinction. What sets Sophia Fresh apart from everyone else?
Cole: We want to represent harmony and unity. When you hear Sophia Fresh, it may take you back to TLC or Missy Elliott. When you think back to people like Miss, you don't think "oh, she had beef with so and so." We're all God's children. I'm not a religious person but I'm spiritual.
RO: So positive. I think you should mediate the feud between Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj.
Cole [Laughs]: I'd love to do that.
RO: What would you say to them?
Cole: I'll tell them the same thing I said to you - that it's not about beef. It's about respect. We're all God's children. We're all women. If they come together, they can do some big things together.
RO: You're signed to T-Pain's label. How did that meeting go? What did he say to you?
Skye: Our A&R introduced us to T-Pain. We just performed for him and he liked it. It wasn't a matter of something being said. It was just the chemistry between us that made us connect.
RO: What surprised you the most about T-Pain?
Cole: He was just so musical.
Skye: He can play every instrument. He can sing with or without Auto-tune. People think it's just easy to sing with auto-tune. You need actual talent to sing with Auto-tune because you can overdo it. He's so good at it that people can't tell when he's using it or singing with his real voice. That's how talented he is.
RO: Does he speak in Auto-tune? I imagine that, for example, when he orders cheeseburger he does so in Auto-tune. Or is this just in my head?
Skye: No, he doesn't speak in Auto-tune. He has an app, though, that can make people speak in Auto-tune. See, that's how much he's made it his own. You could say that it's a part of him.
RO: Music is so competitive now. You have to sell people as well as music. You have to sell them a story. What's the story of Sophia Fresh?
Skye: That we're talented. Each member brings something unique to the table.
Crystal: We know what it takes to be here. Cole is a little bit of rock and roll. I'm a bit more soulful. We understand the commitment it takes to get here because we've been in entertainment for a long time and we've all been in groups before.
RO: What's the status of your album?
Cole: Our album is still TBD at this time. The way Atlantic works is that they wait for the right time. You see a bunch of people's albums being released everyday, but with Atlantic it's about the right timing. It's like they did with Trey Songz. Sure, they put out his first album a long time ago, but it wasn't his time. Finally when he got some buzz, they backed him up and he blew up. They're waiting till that one song or that one moment, rather than pouring millions into a project that probably going nowhere.
RO: If there was a natural disaster and you have an opportunity to save one artist, who would it be?
Skye: Ourselves, because everyone that we love, everyone that has influenced us is a part of our music. So we'd have to save ourselves
RO: The game works better if you pick someone other than yourself.
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Cole: T-Pain, because so much of our future is riding on him right now [Laughs].
RO: Can we switch places for a day? Each of you takes turns writing my articles and I get to fly around and perform with T-Pain.
Cole: Let's do it. We'll take your check and you'll take our check.
RO: I humbly accept this deal.