The Fly Girlz, out of Brownsville, Brooklyn, are the first act to be born out of the new artistic collaboration project Representing NYC, which matches underprivileged youth with working indie musicians, said Sam Hillmer, founder.
Hillmer , of the experimental band Zs, had been an arts educator and musician in Brooklyn for more than a decade. He says Brooklyn is ripe with opportunity for both youth and adults, new residents and old, to work together. He’s been a “teaching artist” for some time, but in 2007 decided to take his teaching one step further.
“At some point I just thought, ‘I’m going to step up my game. I’m gonna make records with the kids,’ ” he said.
And Representing NYC was born.
The first release was the Fly Girlz’ “Da Bratz From Da Ville.” Hillmer put the group together at PS 284. The Fly Girlz, who are 6 girls, Tamera (aka Angel), Tyshana (aka Pinky), Vernice (aka Lady Millz), Sharmaine (aka Rose), Ameena (aka Sophia), and Ashli (aka Princess), ages 12 to 14, played their record release at the New Museum on the Bowery on March 13.
Hillmer has partnered with True Panther Records, which is releasing the Representing NYC albums. And he’s already hard at work with a new act, Nine 11 Thesaurus, an older group, ages 13 to 20. Nine 11 Thesaurus is working closely with Tim from Gang Gang Dance who is making original beats for the group, said Hillmer. They will release their record in October and will open the record release show for Hillmer’s band Zs on June 15 at the studio under Webster Hall.
The Fly Girlz are currently writing new songs and two of them took time out to answer a few questions for us.
The Fly Girlz: Born 2 B Fly
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The Fly Girlz: Born 2 be Fly
Tamara aka “Angel”
I started Rapping in the 7th grade
It started in the 7th grade. We first stared out as the Get’em Girlz.
How did it feel to make the last 6?
It felt cool cause now it’s a small group. I like the small group cause it’s not a lot of noise and I get more work done.
I listen to beats in my room when I write my songs.
I like the clothes and shoe stores and I don’t the violence.but overall I like Brooklyn.
I make a title and I rhyme words with it in a sort of rhythm. I make up freestyles and then fix them into songs that’s where “love hurtz” came from. In “love hurtz” i was talking about this boy that broke my heart the first three days we were going out.
I listen to Lil Wayne and Kanye West. The reason why I listen to Lil Wayne is because I like his beats. I like his song “fone home” because he talks about the artists that don’t make there own music instead they take other people music and use it as their own.
I wanna follow the path of Kanye West because he makes his own music and beats.
We wanna be muscians when we grow up.
It was cool cause he makes his own beats and to me I wanna make my own beats someday.
I think it’s a positive thing cause we are technically telling people to get off the streets and stay in school.
I want then to stop the violence and come together as one.
When did you first start rapping, singing, dancing, writing?
I started rapping when I was 12 yrs old.
How did it feel to make the last 6?
It felt good but now it’s really only 2 of us coming in with a new fly girl Desiree and I like her raps and she is nice and her songs are just cool.
How do you write the songs?
I write my songs just basically from everything I hear that’s good that I think should go with a rap and that sounds good and makes sense.
What about Brooklyn do you like? Don’t like?
What I like about Brooklyn is that you have friends that can be there for youand stick up for you when you when you need them. What I don’t like is all the violence and killing that’s going on in the neighborhoods.
How do you write lyrics? How do you come up with them?
I write a lyric when the music comes to me, like if I hear a beat I could spit to, lyrics start coming to my head like last night I was writing my fly girl remix and I listened to the “turn my swagg on” by Soulja Boy. Lyrics started rushing through my head and all of a sudden I found myself writing lyrics I was like, ‘Oh my gosh is this for real’…(lol)
What music/artists are you listening to now?
I just listen to like every artist right now I even listen to Whitney Houston.
What artists career path seems like something you’re going for?
Well I don’t know right now I’ll just see when I find the right person like maybe John Legend I don’t know…
Do you all want to be other things when you grow up? Or musicians?
I wanted to be an archeologist but then my family and family friends telling me that I need all this scientific stuff ETC.
What was it like being produced by Nathan Corbin?
IT WAS SO AWESOME I MEAN I would like to tell him thanks for all that he’s done and not say that the Fly Girlz rap was wack. Thanks man…
What do you think of the changing face of Brooklyn?
I am part of the changing face and the reason why I said that is because like they have new people coming in meeting other people making friends having fun and I think that is the change.
What do you want people to get from the Fly Girlz‘s music?
I want them to get understanding and why we wrote the song.
What’s the best and worst thing about school?
The best thing about school is that I’m there chilling with my friends and having fun the worst thing is the bad kids in there giving our school a bad name and saying that our school is not a good school. It is but the kids put our school name in jeopordy.