Monday, July 13, 2009

Local singer to record with Wyclef Jean : Alycia Nichole, 25, was recently announced one of Wyclef's "More Bottles" contest winners


MORGAN HOOVER, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT

July 13, 2009 7:33 AM

A Santa Barbara songstress will travel to New York later this month to add her talents to a new song by famed hip hop artist Wyclef Jean.

Alycia Nichole, 25, was recently announced one of Wyclef's "More Bottles" contest winners.

The contest, which selected ten competitors, ended June 15 and asked contestants to perform and submit via Twitter their own remixed version of Wyclef's song "More Bottles."

The 10 winners will join him in a New York studio on July 25 to record the song's official remix, an opportunity that Alycia Nichole hopes will propel her music career and also prove to be an enjoyable experience.

"I didn't do this to win," she said. "I did it for fun! I've been a fan of his for a long time."

When the winners were announced on Twitter, the singer said, she was certain she had no chance.

"I said, 'I don't think I won,' but my husband said, 'Be patient, babe,'" said the singer. "When he said my name, I was like, 'This is a joke. Did he really just say my name?'"

Though she was excited, she tried to remain calm.

"I wanted to scream, but I didn't scream. I just squeezed my husband's hand really hard," she said, laughing.

The singer, who has released one single called "Suddenly," plans to release at least one more song before she goes to New York for her studio session with Wyclef and the other finalists.

At age 4, she began singing, and at age 13, she began singing publicly in her church. She views winning the contest as another step toward a successful singing career.

"I'm taking it as a stepping stone," she said. "I plan to stay focused on my music and what I'm already doing."

One of the talented artist's three producers is Goleta resident Rogan Allen, the producer of "Suddenly."

"Rogan is fusion," she said. "Suddenly is sweet, soothing, with a pop touch to it but not commercial."

In the past, she has worked with musical marvel Stu Heydon, Buddy Guy's former Blues Bassist.

Her inspirations include Sam Cooke and Pattie LaBelle, and she compares her music to the early sounds of Jill Scott and Erykah Badu.

"I grew up in the '80s," she said, "but a lot of what I was listening to was '60s and '70s because my parents are in their 60s and my four brothers are in their 30s and 40s."

For more information, look for Alycia Nichole on Twitter.

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