At just 16 years old, she had a hit record after being “discovered” at a north Miami record store. Her two releases for Jam Packed Records…”When I hear Music”, and “Lookout Weekend” have become Freestyle classics on crossover radio, and can still be heard often on those stations during mix shows. Now, after a little time to herself, she is back with an all new live show, and new hit tracks to be released with a target date of Summer, 2004.
The Brooklyn, New York born, and North Miami Beach raised vocalist was never given a formal singing lesson, but spent much of her youth making her own “vocals only” cassettes, belting out Teena Marie and Deneice Williams tunes, and playing them back to herself on tape. Debbie notes: “I was very shy…So I never really sang for my friends at school. I kept my passion for music pretty much to myself”. At one point, a counselor asked Deb what she wanted to do with her life. Deb continues: “I knew I didn’t want to be a Doctor or a Lawyer, but that I wanted to do something in the field of music”.
With that, Debbie began a work experience program which would earn school credit. The Peaches Record Store on 167th. St. was Debbie’s home base for two years from which she would order records for the Disco station. It was here she got her first break in the business…a chance meeting with producer Pretty Tony. Tony told Debbie he liked “the way she talked” and asked if she could sing, and the answer was an unequivocal YES!
The day following the record store meeting with Tony, she traveled to his studio to check things out. Upon entering the studio, the musical track for “When I Hear Music” was blaring from the studio speakers. Tony and Deb ended up writing the lyrics to “When I Hear Music”, and in a matter of hours, had the vocal tracks down. Deb was excited and “psyched” to hear herself in a “professional” environment.
During the next few months, “Music” was played on the radio. Then it was played again. Then again, and again, then again….. A baptism by fire followed which included the signing of one-sided contracts and whirlwind concert dates from New York to LA. When Deb recorded “Lookout Weekend”, problems started, and her music was placed on the “back burner” as far as her record company was concerned.
The record company went so far as to replace Deb on live shows with imposters, and to make matters worse, Debbie was not receiving any payments owed to her. Deb adds: “They never paid me any of the money I was owed, so six months later, I sued for back royalties, and although I won a settlement, the entire experience really soured me on the business….I thought I was out for good.
As the calendar changes, some live appearances with other #1 artists, and a little time to reflect, Deb, now a resident of the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area, finds herself ready to find her way back on to the stage, and into the studio.