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Interview: Vistoso Bosses

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It’s not often that the mainstream pop scene surprises or even delights. The Vistoso Bosses do both. Their sound is an eclectic blend bridging the gap between pop and hip-hop with fresh grooves hearkening back to the glory days of late ’80s freestyle. They do what all mainstream music should do: make you want to dance, laugh, and have fun no matter who you are or where you are.

The Vistoso Bosses, cousins Kelci (16) and Taylah P. (17)  have an undeniable talent and a funky thrifty D.I.Y. fashion sense that is so so vistoso (Spanish for “glamorous” or “colorful”). They’re the latest act to catch the eye of Mr. Collipark, the man who brought you Yin Yang Twins and Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em. With their new single, “Delirious” reaching over 900,000 plays on MySpace and their first album dropping later this year, these girls are gearing up for super stardom. CoS writer Cap Blackard went on a mission to uncover the secret origins of the Vistoso Bosses before all the world is saying their name.

CoS: Give me a Vistoso history lesson. You’re cousins, you’ve been best friends forever- but what led you to make music?

Kelci: We grew up around music. Our mothers and dads they made music- they either performed, or played an instrument, or produced. They were all a part of the music industry in a way. So we grew up around it.  We started [making music] around age 14. We just started coming up with beats and Taylah actually wrote my verse. I knew how to rap I just didn’t know if I could rap my own stuff. It was kinda weird. We’d just use a tape recorder and tape ourselves rapping and singing and that was it it all started from there.

Taylah P: Our first song ever was made on a keyboard with a little beat. It was only like 3 keys and then after that we just started writing everything. We would beatbox and then record it and then we would have to play the recording back to work over it.  The next step was we got ACID Pro and FruityLoops on the computer and this teeny tiny- like, the smallest mic. We made a booth in my closet with all my shoes. I had a bunk bed and I made that the studio, so Kelci goes in the closet and I stay out there and do the engineering and we recorded ourselves. After that people started to see that we had some drive and so they actually wanted to help us, it made them want to work with us.

Kelci: Our family is really supportive. They’ve been supportive since day one so that’s really been pushing us to start the group.

CoS: Tell me about your name, “Vistoso Bosses”.  Where’d you come up with it?

Taylah P: Vee.eye.es.tee.oh.es.oh have the whole world screamin’ out “Vistoso”!

Kelci: “Vistoso” means “gorgeous.” It’s a Spanish word. It also has other meanings such as “colorful” and “bright”.  Basically it describes us. The way we dress, our colorful outfits, our vibe. When you meet us in person it just meshes with everything. It goes.

Taylah P: We were jotting down things that described us. I thought of “gorgeous” and was like, well that sounds good, but “gorgeous”-what?  We can’t just be called “gorgeous”.  So I translated it to Spanish and got “vistoso” and I liked that, it’s hot. It couldn’t just be “vistoso” so I started writing things next to it like, “Vistoso Campers”, “Vistoso Stealers”, “Vistoso Psychos” and then I got “Vistoso Bosses” and I was like, that’s perfect. It just seemed right. So I called Kelci and told her and at first she was like, “what does that even mean?” She didn’t really like it. I was like, “are you being serious?”  ‘Cause I loved it. So we tested it out. The way we test out things is like, “alright live today on MTV we have Lil’ Wayne comin’ through and we’re gonna have Pretty Ricky, and the Vistoso Bosses!” So we were like, okay, that’s hot and we went to it.

CoS: Your music was described to me as being ’80s freestyle, Miami Bass, R&B, and British indie pop.  In a video on YouTube Mr. Collipark called you guys “pop-hop” would you say that’s an accurate description of your music?  How would you guys define yourself or are you just undefinable?

Taylah P: Well, actually we like what you just said, “undefinable.” The way you said someone described it to you- we’ve never heard that. We get a lot of different things, but we describe ourselves as hip-hop and pop, because it has rapping in it, but basically like you said, “undefinable.”

CoS: Undefinable pretty much goes with your Vistoso credo. The video you guys posted recently talking about your fashion sense really lays it out. You guys want to be different, undefinable, and you want to send a message to other young women. Tell me about the Ultimate Young Lady movement and what it means to you.

Taylah P: We consider ourselves Ultimate Young Ladies, which means we’re not in the category with all the other girls.

Kelci: We started the Ultimate Young lady movement to get the little girls out there to be how little girls used to be.

Taylah P: And not just little girls, but teenagers our age and even women- every female. If you wanna be an ultimate young lady we wanna show you that it’s okay. We have so many friends that try to fit in that do things maybe they shouldn’t, or that the other girls do, when really they’d rather not do all those not so good things and just be who they really are- a nice, sweet girl. Everybody has their sides but for the most part you just want to be the Ultimate Young Lady.

Teenage [girls] have a lot of problems… you get a lot of drama and back stabbing. Me and Kelci have never been that way to each other. We never stab each other in the back, we’re always very open and honest about everything and that’s how all friendships should be. We just wanna teach girls how to be like that with their friends and not be jealous of each other. We just want to help them, find the Ultimate Young Lady in them and help them bring it out. There are so many girls who are afraid to be themselves and to be a good girl. Everyone wants to be a bad girl, be a rebel, and just not listen to anybody, but it’s okay to be good. There’s nothing wrong with that.

CoS: What do you think is the biggest challenge that young women face today?

Taylah P: With girls our age I’d say it’s being pressured into things that they’re not supposed to be doing or that they don’t wanna do right now- all those little things that you just really aren’t ready for.

CoS: Like trying to grow up too fast?

Taylah P: Yeah. We dealt with that problem and a lot of girls we were hanging out with too, so I think that would have to be the biggest one. I think they were doing it just because other girls that were considered “cool” got a lot of attention from the guys that were doing it and we never did it so that’s kinda why it’s just me and her now, ’cause we didn’t fall into the pressure.

Kelci: I think also not having a role model can be a big problem for teenagers. A lot of girls or guys don’t have a role model to look up to. So that can leave them just going out and doing a lot of stuff they’re not supposed to.

CoS: Tell me about your writing process.

Taylah P: Basically all we have to do is just sing it, or rap it, or just say it. That’s how we come up with our stuff. We don’t say, “okay well, let’s sit down and we’ll try to write a song.” We just do it. Sometimes we’ll be having a conversation or getting ready to go somewhere, we just clown around a lot, so if I start humming something like, “oh yeah, these socks are hot.” And then we’ll make a song about some hot socks, but we can flip it and it won’t actually be about the hot socks, it’ll be about something deeper, but it’ll feel like a song about hot socks.

Kelci: Also, for us it’s never really quiet around. That’s how we make our songs up – action everywhere. Like her little brother, he’s making a lot of noise, and things are going on around us and we just have fun with it. We write it down, we record it on a tape recorder. We still do that.

Taylah P: Writing for us is really, really fun. That’s why our songs come out so fun and bouncy. That’s how we are. Now that we have people that can make us tracks and beats we come up with what we want and get into the studio. We get so much creative freedom. They let us have a lot of input on everything so we can tell them the way we want things to sound and if they like it we just run with it.

CoS: How many songs did you guys write before you got picked up?

Kelci: Well, since our producer, Stjames, he’s a writer too so he’s written a couple songs with us, but on our own- I can’t even count.

CoS: How’d you guys meet up with Stjames?

Kelci: Stjames is like family to us. My mom and her mom they went way back with him. They did music with him.

CoS: I read that your moms’ were in a group together? What were they called?

Kelci: [Laughs] They get mad when we talk about that.

Taylah P: It was something totally different [from us].  They were called “Raw Feed” and did hardcore rap.

CoS: You guys have also had some tracks produced by Billy Hume.

Taylah P: Yeah! He’s really, really awesome. He’s written some stuff for us, and we write with him. He gives us a lot of creative freedom as well.

CoS: What tracks has he produced for you?

Taylah P: “Supastar”, “Camera”, “More Than Glitter” and we’re still working on some stuff right now.

CoS: Your forthcoming album is called Confetti. I saw it slated for April or May this year, is there a drop date yet?

Taylah P: Right now we don’t have any set date. We’re still doing a lot of stuff.

Kelci: We’re probably looking at the summer for the album to drop. We also have a song called “Confetti”. Shout out to Rock City. Rock City wrote it with us. It was really fun working with them in the studio. They’re crazy.

CoS: What’s your favorite track on the album?

Kelci: You know what, I don’t even have a favorite song. I love the whole album. I can’t wait for it to come out.

Taylah P: Oh, booooo!

Kelci: No, not “boo” I love all the songs.

Taylah P: Okay well, my favorite song is “Confetti”.

Kelci: What happened to “Supastar”?

Taylah P: Okay well that’s my… Okay well listen, wait- I like the whole album, okay. Jeeze.

Kelci: If you compare “Boy Crazy” to “Confetti” I’d pick “Confetti”, it’s way more fun.

Taylah P: You can’t do that!

Kelci: Yes you can!

CoS: That’s actually pretty helpful, ’cause I’m thinking: “Boy Crazy”, that’s a fun song, if “Confetti” is more fun than that- woah.

Taylah P: No, but she made me leave the other song behind. Now she wants to choose. That’s not fair! You can’t do that, and you can’t take up for her.

CoS: Sorry. Let’s change the topic. What are you guys planning to do to celebrate when your album comes out?

Taylah P: No! We haven’t even thought about that! Right now we’re just living in the moment. Everything is happening so fast. Our ringtone just got on the T-Mobile catalog, everything’s so fast and we’re just enjoying it all. Who knows what we’re going to do to celebrate. Hopefully somebody else has ideas ’cause we might be so pumped up we can’t even think about it.

CoS: You guys say you’re living in the moment, so if I asked you “where do you see yourselves in a year from now” what would you say?

Taylah P: I was just about to answer that question. It’s so weird because we’ve though about it, but it’s hard to explain it to someone else. Ever since we started all we’ve wanted is so be superstars and get our music out to the world. We just wanted to be in the spotlight. We can’t say that we wanna have this amount of money or this amount of cars, we just wanna be superstars and for our music to be world-wide. We wanna be international.

CoS: Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

Taylah P: No, not really. This is about it right now.

Kelci: If I would’ve chosen something else I would’ve wanted to play volleyball.

Taylah P: And I love acting.

CoS: Do you think you’ll ever take that avenue? A lot of music stars branch out.

Taylah P: I hope so, but that goes along with the question of where do I see us farther down the line.

CoS: I heard that you’re going to Europe soon. What’s happening in the Vistoso performance world?

Kelci: I can’t wait to go to Europe, it’s gonna be so fun. Like, our first time experiencing everything – it’s gonna be amazing. Taylah can’t even get herself together, she’s just saying, “Europe.”

Taylah P: I’m so excited. Lately though, we haven’t been doing shows. We were doing shows before, like, a high school tour and everything, but now they’ve thrown us into choreography so we’re pulling our show together and it’s coming out really great. We’re just getting all the finishing touches on everything.

CoS: What’s the show going to be like?

Taylah P: It’s gonna be crazy!

Kalci: Fun!

Taylah P: Really, really fun. Yeah, that’s the word to describe it. We’re not dancers. We never wanted people to think that we’re like, super hardcore dancers. It’s not very complex choreography. It’s really simple and it’s just fun. If you watch the show when you leave you’re gonna walk out the door doin’ the same thing.

Kelci: A lot of people say that we’re animated, like characters. You’re gonna see a lotta confetti!

CoS: What do you guys like most about performing in general?

Kelci: Just being ourselves and having a bond with the fans.

Taylah P: I would have to say being in the spotlight with all eyes on me because I love attention, so being up there and knowing everyone’s watching me is a really good feeling.

CoS: Speaking of attention, a lot of your connection with fans is based on MySpace and YouTube– you guys seem to live life pretty publicly. What’s that like? Does that ever get weird having your fans knowing what you’re doing all the time?

Taylah P: No, not really. Even before [MySpace and YouTube] we were always kinda out there. We had a lot of friends and we knew a lot of people so everybody always knew what was going on with us. That was weird because we weren’t putting it on the Internet. So when we put it out there and everybody knows it’s not as weird as when we go a party or something and whatever happened that night everybody knows the next day, or if Kelci broke up with her boyfriend everybody would know the next morning.

CoS: Now you guys control what people know.

Taylah P: Yeah.

CoS: You’re both seniors in high school. How do you juggle school and a pop career?

Taylah P: I’m actually homeschooled. Kelci goes to public school.

Kelci: It’s really not hard for me to do both.  We’re almost done anyway, so whenever they need me to go in I’ll go in. I get out of school at 2 so it doesn’t take up the whole day. It’s not really hard at all.

Taylah P: It’s hard for me being at home. I’m very social, so I wanna be out with Kelci at public school.

CoS: Musically or non musically, what are your strongest influences?

Taylah P: We don’t really like naming one specific person, because there are so many artists that influence us.  Our moms definitely influence us a lot. Just because, you know, we saw that they already did it and that is a big inspiration to us.  Because they did it so we know we can do it. We know we come from them and have the same drive. That’s our passion just like it was theirs.

The future totally sparkles for this young duo. Check out these tracks and you’ll see why. Their songs will be stuck in your head in the most pleasureful way possible and you’ll be singing along in no time.

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