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MP3 Rory - Catch Me If You Can

Bubble gum and razor blades.

1 MP3 Songs
POP: Today''s Top 40, POP: 80''s Pop

The word “rebel” is not frequently used to describe a young female artist who delivers club-rocking jams with an entourage of backup dancers. But as in many other respects, Rory is an exception to the rule. Her intellect, originality, and moxie, are evident in everything from the material on her debut EP, Catch Me if You Can (RorDog), to her grass roots marketing savvy.

She insists she feels more of a kinship with the current wave of edgy U.K. singers than with most of the doe-eyed pop starlets on the American scene – which is hardly surprising, given her brash, shoot-from-the-hip sensibility. When asked to describe her music, Rory laughs, “I normally tell people it’s a mix of Top-40 pop and razor blades.” While an unlikely combo, this accurately describes the atypical blend of Rory’s radio-ready music and her unconventional persona.

“The first time I ever met with a producer,” she reveals, “I told him I wanted to make songs that were fun and dance-friendly but talked about things other than sexuality, being in the club, or having boyfriend problems. His response was basically ‘good luck with that.’ Three months later I wrote ‘Crazy.’”

The second song off her debut, “Crazy”, is an up-tempo dance track featuring West Coast rapper E40. A declaration of dignity, the hook says it all, “I like it crazy, but I’m a lady…you know that good has never been so bad.” At her own admittance, “I’m not perfect, believe me, but I’m not about to advertise it, ya’ know? When did trashy become cool?”.

Similarly, her single, “Catch Me if You Can”, underscores her cheeky persona, taunting the simple-minded with an enticingly elusive, spy-girl persona: “I’m not a stupid blondie…All of the facts are my tracks, that’s why they’re tracing this song, dancing all night long”.

Musically, Catch Me if You Can showcases the versatility of the young artist, who claims to have been influenced by everything from “The Supremes to Shostakovich,” citing inspirations as far-flung as OutKast, Radiohead, Eva Cassidy, and Young Love. So, its not surprising that the scope of her EP ranges from a sassy 1950’s vibe on “Modern Day Fairy Tale”, to the calypso inspired “Evagreen” (featuring Elan), as well as the delicate ballad, “Just Like You, Mum”.

Rory was comfortable performing from an early age. “I think I was about three years old the first time I got on a stage,” she recalls. “By the time I got to high school I needed more. I was hell-bent on going to art school.” And so she did – and her experience in countless stage productions only deepened her commitment.

“If you’d told me five years ago that I''d be releasing an album, I''d have been so confused,” she says, “because I was all about [playwright] David Hare and indie films at the time. I never saw music as possibility – which is funny, because now I can’t see myself without it.”

While everything pointed toward an acting career, Rory found herself at a crossroads. Feeling stifled by her acting program, she noticed a flyer for jazz vocal lessons, and decided to try it. Her ease particularly impressed the instructor, who urged her to pursue music more seriously.

While singing standards, Rory found the ideal intersection between musical discipline and creative freedom. “You see what’s written on the page and you still do it your own way,” she marvels. “Which mirrored what I was doing in my life. I just felt like me.”

Shortly thereafter, Rory found herself singing in the vocal booth of a recording studio, putting her own spin on a couple of pop hits. She was just having fun and didn’t think of it as an audition, but her performance during the impromptu session led to a recording deal with an independent label.

Though the company floundered and the deal went south, she used the experience to learn as much as she could about the business. After Rory’s attorney extricated her from this deal, he introduced her to Corey Crismon of CDM Entertainment, who immediately grasped her potential appeal. “Corey is definitely the guy you want on your team,” she says. “He''s gonna be early to practice and he''ll stay late to help the other players. But he''s also a cheerleader on the sidelines – the one doing back flips…I consider myself very lucky.”

She dove headfirst into the songwriting process despite having had little practical experience. “I was in over my head but I really believed I could write songs – so I just went ahead and did it,” she points out. “I never wanted to be controlled by anyone, and if you don’t write your own songs you’ll never be in control – It was about being the kind of artist I wanted to be.”

Hitting the studio with wunderkind producer Ryan Ademy, she got to work on the tracks comprising her EP, the first of which turned out to be the single, “Catch Me if You Can”. In Ryan, Rory finally found the partnership she had been looking for, “I can come in, lay down a melody, and tell him the general vibe I’m going for and he makes it happen.”

The young performer is particularly excited about her opportunity to reach pop audiences directly, with an innovative high-school tour and guerrilla-style marketing. Her team has been crafting a campaign worthy of Rory’s maverick stance – a grassroots, indie approach that’s virtually unheard of in pop/Top 40 music. Critics beware, “I’m already happy because I got to do it on my own terms, so everything else is a bonus.”

Her exacting approach is already paying off. “I know I''m not always the easiest person to work with,” she relates. “I have an opinion on everything from how the guitar sounds in the hook to the layout of my website and what font we use. But I''ve been very lucky, because everyone involved seems to have the same kind of passion.

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