Remember that clip of an unaired reality show that went viral last year which had Kiely Williams and Farrah Franklin having a small battle on whose group sold the most records? It was initially an unaired pilot for a supergroup made up of former girl group members that would’ve made for great TV. Earlier this summer, it was announced that BET would be airing the reality series brainchild of TV producer Carlos King titled BET Presents: The Encore, where nine former members from girl groups of the 90s and early 2000s would be living in a house for 30 days, would have to record an album and set up a finale performance. Coming back around from the initial pilot, the cast of ladies included Kiely from the groups 3LW and The Cheetah Girls, Cherish twins Felisha and Fallon, as well as Blaque’s Shamari DeVoe. Newcomers on board that rounded out the cast were Danity Kane’s Aubrey O’Day, 702’s LeMisha and Irish, Total’s Pamela Long and Nivea, the only solo artist. When the idea was introduced to the world that these ladies would be forming an NINE member supergroup, many wondered how that would work out. But during the show’s ten episodes, week by week, it seemed the drama became too much for some and the nine-piece dropped down to five…and now four. Now consisting of initial “creative director” Kiely, Shamari, Felisha and Fallon (Pamela left soon after the show’s finale to embark on a Gospel career), the ladies have cemented their moment as a group, named themselves BluPrint and released a self-titled EP to show that music was the foundation of this second chance for them back into the spotlight.
Produced by Kosine (Star cast, Kelly Rowland, Christina Aguilera) and primarily written by Felisha and Fallon, BluPrint’s debut EP is a six-track collection that shows the different ranges and sounds the group can tackle. The set kicks off with the inspirational catchy bop “Birds Eye View,” which quickly became a fan favorite from the jump when the ladies were recording the track on an episode on The Encore. Gears shift to the occasional relationship game on the track “Go Don’t Leave” where they’re fed up with their man yet have no desire to have them go away. Although Pamela Long left the group shortly after their formation, the Total singer gives total praise by leading the Gospel record “Only God Knows,” a beautiful record thats sure to touch many and was co-written by Pam along with Aubrey, LeMisha, Felisha and Elijah Blake. BluPrint delivers a call-to-action record called “Say Something,” where they come together in the name of sisterhood to “protect each other, save one another,” especially in today’s world where Black women go through a lot daily.
“You can lay your bones on the warm side of my pillow/I got room for the skeletons in your closet,” sings Shamari on the start of the island-tinged “Skeletons.” The upbeat fan favorite previewed while recording on the series lyrically points out that its okay to be the true “you” and that your ugly truths can be just as beautiful. Closing out the EP is the saucy “Talkin’,” where Kiely’s breathy vocals on the pre-hook compliments the production where the ladies talk their talk and lets you know who’s the boss!
When the idea of a supergroup full of former members from girl groups most of us grew up on, it seemed a bit chaotic to try to fit nine women on each song. Some of the records on the EP clock in at just over two minutes, sometimes leaving you wanting more and wondering where each person would find their footing aside from what we’ve watched on the show. The production by Kosine also spices up the moment, where if this group is going to be truly pushed, shows they can tap into any market whether its R&B, Rhythmic, a splash of Top 40 and inspirational audiences. But with just four voices heard on the songs, the blend of vocals from Kiely, Shamari, Felisha and Fallon seem to match well and showcase how a put-together group of already established women can just work. Having these women have their second chance in front of the camera be well receptive already with the EP going number one on the R&B iTunes album chart, number two on the all-genre chart and top 30 on the Apple Music album chart, its proof that we want to see these queens win. Here’s to what’s to come in the future from BluPrint.
BluPrint – EP is now available on all streaming platforms and digital music retailers via BluPrint Music LLC.