ONCE UPON A TIME in America, in two distant locales, gorgeous twin baby girls were born. San Diego was the site of the momentous birth of Marie and Michelle Harris, while Selma, Alabama was the birthplace of Tonya and Tamica Johnson. As the fates would have it, these four young princesses all possessed outstanding vocal talents, which would have their paths cross when they got a little older. And so begins the tale of RCA Records vocal quartet ELUSION, whose debut album, THINK ABOUT IT!!!!, promises to bring a special magic to the music arena.
ELUSION adds a scintillating expressiveness and passion to their music, as demonstrated on their first single, the swaying "Reality." The song pulsates with the ladies' strong vocals and punchy delivery. "We feel that song, like the rest of the album, reflects what ELUSION is really about - meaningful lyrics, tight production and giving all-the-way-live performances from the heart and soul," enthuses Tamica.
Atlanta is the kingdom where RCA's Senior Vice President of Black Music A&R, Kevin Evans, ventured to, and came upon this unique vocal collective, managed by Marc Hawthorne. He put "two and two together" and the four added up to magic more dynamic than Merlin's.
With the inclusion to the bubbling brew of production hitmakers Tim and Bob, Mass Order and others, the stellar, 11-song THINK ABOUT IT!!!! came to life. It offers ear candy such as "Good and Plenty," produced by Majesty; smoking r&b/rap track "Giving It Up;" the no-holds-barred, seductive "I Need A Real Man," featuring smoldering lyrics, off-the-hook raps and bomb beats; the self-assured, liberated ladies anthem, "Bring That Lovin' On;" the passion dripping, smooth and sensuous ballads "Got To Have It" and "Chillin';" the fierce "Better Think About It" and stand-out track "Medicine," which offers a heavy dose of soul soothing harmonies, punctuated by hard-hitting lead vocals.
ELUSION evolved in 1996, when Atlanta-based identical twins Tonya and Tamica coined that name for their sister act, to signify the "optical illusion" that they represented. The name "doubled" in meaning when they teamed up with San Diego natives Michelle and Marie. Regarding the saga of the mirror image quartet's fateful formation, Marie relates, "Well, Michelle and I were in Los Angeles working with Tina Antoine, also a friend of producer John Howcott (H.O.P. Productions), who was working with Tonya and Tamica." Michelle adds, "Tina and John arranged for us to exchange photos with Tonya and Tamica, and after talking with them for hours over the phone, we knew right then that we had to be down with them." Surely, it was an unconventional way to form a group, but nevertheless, Michelle and Marie moved to Atlanta, and in with Tonya and Tamica. Now closer than quads, ELUSION is a fine, fierce, foursome to be reckoned with.
Twins Tonya and Tamica grew up in a family where everyone sang. "We were kind of tomboys growing up," recalls Tamica, who with her sister, brings a feisty, sexy, "can do" attitude to the mix. "We were so bad back then they called us 'T-n-T,'" laughs Tonya, an alumnus of a culinary arts school who also, like her sister, attended Georgia State University. "We used to sing a lot at home, and dreamed of becoming stars, although it took a long time for us to get really serious about it. That happened after we moved to Atlanta (at age 17) and later hooked up with H.O.P. (Howcott, Officer, Parks) Productions."
Twins Marie and Michelle are the products of a Filipino mother and African-American father and grew up on a farm in San Diego, California, in a close-knit family of seven children. They began singing in church, and later honed their voices at weddings, clubs and restaurants. "We traveled a lot to L.A., where we eventually did some demos, and joined a couple of groups," sweet, down-to-earth Michelle recalls. "We also knew that singing was all we wanted to do," equally warm-spirited Marie interjects. "So, when the opportunity opened up for us to be a part of ELUSION, we took it and didn't think twice about moving to Atlanta. Looking back on it now, it's the best move we've ever made."
Visually, ELUSION is a lovely, double-dipped treat for the eyes--- Tonya and Tamica sport close-cropped blonde hair over their saucer-sized bedroom eyes and smooth, cocoa-colored skin; Marie and Michelle have tasty caramel complexions and haunting brown eyes, framed by their luxurious, long black hair. However, flawless faces and bodacious bodies aside, the ladies concur that it's their music, not their image, that counts most. "We're very serious about what we're doing, and know that it's our overall talent that will give us longevity," says Michelle. "Beyond looks and our so-called sex appeal, which, by the way, we know are beneficial to us, we're determined to be appreciated most of all for our singing, music, albums and live shows," insists Tonya. And so, this modern-day tale is about to unfold in earnest. The four gorgeous young divas are poised and primed for their rightful claim to a musical throne.
Just THINK ABOUT IT!!!!, with ELUSION, the "Reality" is that both seeing - and hearing - are believing.
THE END???? NO . . . THE BEGINNING!!!!
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