My Baltimore Spirit Listen Live
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Armed with confidence, brains and beauty, urban/R&B songstress, Paula Campbell has a story to tell. Life may have dealt this strong-willed, twenty-something student of the game a questionable deck of cards, nevertheless this gorgeous and street-smart song stylist is coming up nothing short of straight aces. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Paula’s home life was anything, but stable, yet she continuously kept the faith and her music expresses songs from the heart and soul of areal survivor. Nicknamed “Sparkle” by her neighborhood peers after the character that Irene Cara portrayed in the 70s Joel Schumacher cult classic Sparkle, Paula’s journey mirrors that girl with big dreams of singing, overcoming obstacles along the way. “I’ve always wanted to do it; I’ve never had anyone push me. It’s just my calling”, she states. Citing Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston as major musical influences, young Paula used to mimic their Songs and it was their music that inspired her to create; which ultimately saved her. Before her major label signing, Paula Campbell had been pounding the pavement for several years to create opportunities for herself. From studying the LP credits of the latest artists and cold calling A&R executives, to taking label meetings to get signed, Paula was learning about the players behind the scenes. A mainstay throughout the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region with a penchant for penning the lyrics to her songs, Paula won Best Female Vocalist three years in a row at the Baltimore Super-fest, in addition to having been one of the top 8 finalists of the Baltimore Idol competition. After independently releasing the single “How Does It Feel”, Paula found support from local radio station WERQ Baltimore where the song shot to number one for eight weeks straight. The buzz she generated led to the Billboard charting regional release of her independent LP, “Who Got Next” which sold over 10,000 units in the first month. When Paula was re-introduced to the executives at Sony the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. She played her hometown hits for the executive team and the ink couldn’t dry fast enough. Paula moved from the now-defunct SONY Urban imprint to Columbia Records were she gained the respect of platinum pen Ne-Yo. Where she collaborated to make the no-nonsense, man-checking beat balladry of “Ain’t Nobody Stupid” and won the Glamour Magazine music contest where superstar Ciara directed Paula’s first video. Ne-Yo adds “The songs I did for Paula were written for her, with her vocal style and personal swagger in mind. I loved Paula’s vibe from the first time I met her. She is who she is, in that she doesn’t try to be strong or try to be real, she just is”. Great songs and name-dropping production aside, working with noteworthy hit makers –from Ne-Yo and Karma Productions’ Carvin Ransum Haggins, Ivan Orthodox Barriasto and Warryn Campbell gave the star pupil a chance to learn. “There is a difference when you get with these people who already have done it and they know what they’re doing; you learn if you take the time out to listen”. Paula says. Being confident, fragile and strong all at the same time is in every woman, but above all, she’s real. Paula Campbell is very clear on her purpose in life and its singing.