No Barbies in this “DollHouse”
words and interview by: iman n. milner
Meeting with Detroit’s new breakout girl group was nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Three different women. All beautiful, all smart, all humble…and all hungry for success. The group comprised of Jasmine Pore, Gabriella Frattareli and Ryan Destiny have all committed their time and energy to picking up where super groups of the past left off but they don’t intend on stopping there. These dedicated young women are looking forward to not only blazing up the charts but being around long enough to make a difference in the world at large. Taking time out of recording (the girls just signed with SRC/Universal and are hard at work on their debut album) on one summer day in Detroit, MI, the girls sat with me to discuss everything from favorite foods to why there will never be a lead singer in this DollHouse.
Edge: Hi girls! Tell me a little bit about all of you individually.
Jasmine: Well, I’m Jasmine. I’m the crazy one out of the group. I’m also the “fat” one. (laughs). I’m the one who’s always wanting to know where and when we’re going to eat. I love high heels and I am originally from West Bloomfield, MI.
Ryan: I’m Ryan. I’m the swagged out and chill one, I suppose. I’m still a weirdo though. I love bacon–it makes the world go round. I had bacon bits on ice cream once and it was tasty. I love taking pictures and I’m a fan of all art.
Gabriella: I’m the goofy one. I laugh at everything. I love blogging and big hair…(points to hair)…clearly.
Edge: How would you all describe the style of the group as a whole?
Gabriella: Our style is definitely urban pop and I would say our look is more like “flirty fun”.
Ryan: We all have our individual thing but it all blends together really well.
Edge: I know you get this question all the time but how did “DollHouse” come to be?
Ryan: We started about 5 years ago in middle school. It was really simple like, “you sing?…oh, me too”. Jasmine and I had known one another for a while and we were singing as little girls but it didn’t turn into a serious thing until we were a little older and our parents really started to notice that we really wanted this dream.
Jasmine: After that Ryan’s mom started shopping around for a label for us and that’s how we ended up at LiveTMG.
Edge: What’s been the most important lesson you girls have learned in this short time when so much has happened for you already?
Jasmine: I learned that hard work really pays off. The 7 months that we were just working was hard but it paid off in a major way.
Gabriella: You also have to remain consistent though. It doesn’t matter if you work hard a couple of times, every time you show up…you have to give the same amount of yourself.
Ryan: You have to stay positive and patient.
Gabriella: Patience is so important. That’s something I don’t have at all and you need it so much in this business because you will be waiting.
Edge: What void is DollHouse going to fill in the industry right now?
Ryan: Aside from there being a need for a girl group…we’re going to bring a real unity with the way we approach the idea of a “group”.
Gabriella: We admire the TLC’s, the DC3′s and of course The Supremes but they all had a very clear leader. There’s no lead singer in Dollhouse, we’re all leaders. We’re all Beyonce’s.
Jasmine: We want people to do away with the idea that there has to be one star. We are equally strong…
Gabriella: We can all stand on our own.
Edge: Can each of you describe the others vocal quality? What do each of you bring to the group?
Ryan: Jass has a lot of soul in her voice. She’s the most soulful and her voice is so beautiful.
Jasmine: Aww, thanks Ryan. That’s sweet.
Gabriella: That’s true about Jass. She has that old school sound. It moves you.
Jasmine: Gab’s voice can go either way. She has a diverse sound. She can be r&b and pop. It’s dope. And Ryan’s has this really pretty tone that’s sort of reminiscent of Brandy.
Ryan: Comparisons aren’t really our thing but I do get the Brandy one a lot and to me that’s a great compliment.
Edge: So what’s been going on with Dollhouse as of late. You’re now signed with SRC/Universal, how are things moving for the group?
Jasmine: We’ve really been pushing our single “Never Be Me” at radio. We’re doing a little promo run with that at different stations but we’re also working on our album in the studio too. We don’t know when it’s going to drop officially but the hope is that it’s before next year.
Edge: Well what do you ladies do outside of the group? Anytime to just be regular teenagers?
Gabriella: Well I’m home schooled so I was used to not really being a part of all the things that most people do as teenagers.
Ryan: Jasmine and I just graduated. No collegiate plans right now because there’s just too much going on. A normal day is interviews, rehearsals, vocal lessons and studio, of course.
Jasmine: And then choreography if we have any shows coming up, meetings to push our records and to just build those industry relationships.
Edge: What do you feel is your responsibility as young women entering this industry, being where you’re from especially?
Gabriella: We have big shoes to fill. There hasn’t been a girl group from Detroit since The Supremes and besides Big Sean no one has really put on for the city and I feel that we can do that. There’s not a lot of people who make it out of our city so when you get your chance–you have to show up.
Ryan: We have to really watch our image a lot because there are people who look up to us. We have to be conscious of what we wear and say all the time. What we do in public is under a microscope. It forces you to be more responsible.
Gabriella: Last year we were going to all of the parties and hanging out and not really thinking about what people thought but now it’s different. There’s a sacrifice that comes with it.
Ryan: You just have to remember to keep it classy at all times and to stay grounded. We want the little girls who look up to us to carry themselves that way so we have to be the example.
Edge: What do you think defines beauty? All three of you look so different and seem to have your own type of beauty…so can you define it?
Gabriella: I don’t think beauty has a definition. It comes in all different colors and shapes and sizes, facial features, etc…there’s not a specific thing. There is uniqueness—and that’s beautiful.
Edge: What have you ladies learned from your label, LiveTMG?
Gabriella: We’re really blessed to have them.
Jasmine: When we first started, I wasn’t the way I am today. I wasn’t able to really be myself. I was sort of shy but now I’m so much more comfortable and confident.
Ryan: We’ve grown with them for sure.
Edge: What are you ladies interested in doing outside of music once you’re more established?
Gabriella: I’d like to do an organization that rehabs people who’ve been on drugs. I’d like to take the time to travel around the world and help people in need.
Jasmine: Those are of course things we’d do as a group too.
Ryan: Right. Definitely opening up organizations that help in general. Personally, I want to start something with fashion.
Jasmine: I’ve always wanted my own shoe line.
Ryan: We’ll definitely have Dollhouse stuff, it’s built into the name.
Edge: If you could use one song to describe yourself, what would it be?
Ryan: Brandy’s “Camouflage”. I really like that song and anytime I want to just be alone with my thoughts, I listen to that. It describes me really well.
Gabriella: The first song that comes to my mind is Rihanna’s “Hard”.
Jasmine: That’s a really tough question, I seriously can’t think of one.
Edge: What song would you say changed your life?
Jasmine: Oh, this one is easy, Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.
Ryan: Beyonce’s “I Was Here”
Gabriella: Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”
EDGE: In 5 years, where will DollHouse be?
Ryan: Dollhouse will be on top of the world in 5 years. Really…on top. Awards, top of the charts, touring, every magazine–that’s the goal in 5 years.
Gabriella: With our work ethic, I’m sure we’ll make that happen.
EDGE: What’s the best advice you ladies have gotten thus far?
Jasmine: Stay humble.
Ryan: Stay positive.
Gabriella: Don’t lose yourself in the process.
EDGE: What does living a life on the EDGE mean to you?
Gabriella: Taking risks and chances. Not to be cliche but that whole “YOLO” movement–not being afraid to do anything.
Ryan: Live life, have fun but be wise.
EDGE: What do you want your individual legacies to be?
Gabriella: I want mine to be that I truly believed and lived as though anything was possible.
Jasmine: I want people to say that I stuck with what I wanted and I got everything I dreamed of because of that. There’s going to be a lot that happens between now and when our legacies are written but I’ll never let people deter me by bringing negative thoughts into my mind because of their own fears. I’m always going to go after what I want–I hope people remember me that way.
Ryan: Just that I didn’t stop. I was relentless. And I won.
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