Pink is a young woman with the experience of many
lifetimes, Im a very extreme person. I went through a lot
of phases growing up, and for every one, I was extreme, confides
Pink, the latest R&B/pop artist to emerge from the hugely
successful, LaFace Records camp. From skateboarder to hip-hopper
to rave child to lead singer of a rock band I did it all, and
all at the same time. Looking at Pink, its easy to believe
that she skillfully mastered each of her extremes. With a shock
of pink hair, sharply focused blue eyes hinting of a rebellious
streak and an abundance of self-confidence, but she is also a
bewildered girl who is just now finding her place on this planet,
a strong person with a million lessons to teach and even more
to learn. Shes seen a lot, done a lot, and she now stands
on the fault line between the angst of adolescence and the knowledge
of adulthood. And thus, Pink is filled with self-discovery, having
written over half of the dozen songs on her self-titled album
herself Pink offers insight into her tumultuous world where life
is not always flowers and chocolate.
I decided at 15 that I didnt want to be
one of those artists that gets up and sings love songs they dont
mean, Pink explains of the songs that appear on her debut album.
I decided that I was going to be me to the fullest extent, that
my songs were going to reflect relationships Ive had, things
Ive been through, and even the stuff Im embarrassed
about. My dad always played guitar and taught me songs by Dylan
and McLean, Pink recalls. But his love of music left an indelible
mark on Pink. Ever since I can remember, I think before I could
talk, I sang she continues. I just ran around the house making
up my own fantasy world. By the time she was barely a teen, Pink
had navigated the precarious waters of the Philly club scene.
Any time not spent testing authority at high school was spent
tearing up the dance floor, and eventually, the stage.
I met this guy named Skratch, who was the best
dancer in Philly, she says of her thirteenth year. I started dancing
with him and eventually I was singing hooks in the background
for his rap group, Schools of Thought. I wrote some of my own
stuff, about the way it was growing up in Philly. We would just
get up on the stage at clubs, and hang out in studios hoping to
get some songs down on tape. At the time, making music was medicine.
Calling upon Mary, Janis Joplin, the Supremes, Shirley Murdock,
Donna Hathaway and Madonna for inspiration, Pink laid down her
first self-written song at fourteen. But she really got her groove
on not in the studio, but in clubs. I went regularly on Friday
nights to Club Fever, where the DJ gave me a guest spotlight,
Pink laughs. My little five minutes on Friday night was all I
wanted out of life. I loved the thrill of being on stage. It was
the only place that I felt like, okay, Im cool now. Being
heckled only boosted Pinks ambitions. One late Friday night,
a rep from MCA came round the club, looking for a singer to fill
out her new R&B group. She liked Pinks sound, and asked
her to audition for a group called Basic Instinct. She got the
gig practically on the spot, but the group fizzled quickly. I
didnt fit in, quips Pink. But I didnt care. You have
to laugh at stuff like that. And anyway, I dont see myself
as belonging to any group.
Nonetheless, another group instantly snapped up
Pink as one of three female leads. This one, named Choice, made
a ten-cent demo and was immediately signed to LaFace. The group
didnt last one wanted to sing Broadway tunes, the other
wanted to make alternative records and Pink wanted to do it all
but Pinks place in the LaFace stable was solidified. In
fact, it was during studio time with Choice in Atlanta that Pink
rediscovered her writing abilities and hooked up Darryl Simmons.
He asked me to write the bridge for Just to be Loving You
I thought that was so cool, because no one had even asked me if
I wrote. So I just closed my eyes and out it came. I wrote that,
and it was the beginning of my career. It was also the emergence
of Pinks powerful soprano, which is capable of taking sharp
dives and hairpin turns through multiple octaves. I had gotten
really good at emulating other peoples sounds, from singing
at the clubs, she says. But the day we recorded Just to
Be Loving You for Choice in the studio, that song was so
beautiful, I just sang. I didnt care what I sounded like.
It just came out and shocked me.
Pink began writing songs to display her vocal
ability and love of the pop side of R&B at a feverish pace.
When she approached L.A. Reid with her songs, he was floored.
I kept playing him my songs and going, What about this one? What
about these? she remembers. And he was like, yeah, I like that
one, yeah thats a single. He looked at me as a self-contained
unit, which he thought was interesting. Its always been
really cool with him. Reid signed Pink up as a solo artist and
hooked her up with various writing partners from She kspeare
to, Babyface and 112. There U Go the debut single, which displays
the versatility of her voice and the wickedness of her plume,
will undoubtedly place Pink on the map.
"Before, I wanted to throw my success in
the face of every teacher who told me I wouldn't be shit. Now
it's 'I'm so happy I can do what I love and not answer to some
asshole boss.' If not for music, I'd be in trouble all the time.
Music saved my life. It still does. This album saves me."
She hopes her voice also gives voice to a new
generation. "We never had to fight for anything. It shows
in the music; its just surface music. I want to open up minds,
break stereotypes--in music, sex, everything. The world is ready
to grow up."
Pink is no longer about the hair, which isn't
as pink as before. Pink is about the songs and their shocking
"Know what was the best thing that happened
to me the entire year? A 45-year-old woman and her daughter came
up and it was the mother who wanted an autograph. She told me
how I had helped her through her divorce, and how she and her
daughter both loved my music and how sharing that had saved their
relationship. That's more than I can do for myself."
There's no misunderstanding. As Pink says, "We
are all pink on the inside."