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R&B singer & hip-hop dancer, Tricia Battani, has been behind the scenes of the Los Angeles music industry for a minute. Now she’s stepping out of the shadows, gearing up to perform her fat catalog of fresh, original music, and releasing her debut single, “Dear Mr. Scrooge,” this holiday season.
Raised in Austin, Texas, Tricia graduated early from high school in order to head west and follow her musical dreams. Growing up under the tutelage of her pitch-perfect mother (an opera singing piano & voice teacher who taught the neighborhood kids in the Battani living room), and her maestro father (a high school band director for 44 years, and a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame), Tricia knew at a young age what she wanted to do for the rest of her life: sing and dance.
Tricia’s mother discovered her singing “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty in a High C when she was only three-years-old. In elementary school, Tricia rarely left the house without her boombox; she had a karaoke machine set up in her closet; and she wore dance costumes to school on the regular. Tricia’s father, the band director at her high school, laid down an unspoken rule that all three of his children would participate in band, and Tricia chose drumline. She began dancing professionally at 17 in hip-hop dance crews around Austin.
Tricia arrived in L.A. at the age of 18. Soon after, jazz vocalist, James Torme (son of Mel), hired her as his lead back-up singer, a role that expanded into vocal producer and co-writer, spanning six years.
While developing as an artist, Tricia also performed backup for artists like Lindsay Lohan, Ashlee Simpson and ZZ Ward. She was a demo singer for hit songwriters and producers, which became her bread and butter. Meanwhile, Tricia was creating an ever-evolving songwriting demo for herself, always keeping her unique sonic vision in mind. Heavily influenced by vocalists like SWV, Brandy, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson, the RnB songstress knew exactly what moved her soul. As a fair-skinned-“y’all”-sayin’ Southern belle, producers often tried to box her as a country singer, but Tricia stuck to her guns.
A few years back, Tricia was writing at the studio of Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, another major musical influence, when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity fell into her lap to become his new executive assistant and studio manager. It was a dream job that she could not refuse. During her two years at Brandon’s Way Recording, Tricia had the privilege of writing songs with and demo singing for Babyface and his producing partner, Antonio Dixon.
She was sitting at her desk one day when she received a message from A.C. Burrell, producer for legendary songwriter, Diane Warren, with whom Tricia had wanted to work since arriving in Los Angeles. A.C. had discovered a video of Tricia singing and played it for Diane. He invited Tricia to come in and demo some songs.
Tricia left work that day, drove straight to Diane’s studio and became one of her go-to demo singers. A.C. expressed interest in producing Tricia’s album. He introduced her to his producing partner, G’harah “PK” Degeddingseze (producer, Chris Brown’s “Fine China”/film & TV composer), and they began writing and recording.
Meanwhile, back at Brandon’s Way, Tricia was in the middle of multiple co-writes with Antonio Dixon, while he was working on the upcoming Braxton Family Christmas album for Toni Braxton and her sisters. Antonio asked Tricia to write a Christmas song for the album, so she gathered her team and headed into the studio. The session resulted in the Christmas song, “Dear Mr. Scrooge.” Toni Braxton praised the song but felt that it was not quite right for her album. Antonio Dixon and Daryl Simmons (mega hitmaker/Babyface’s longstanding songwriting partner) encouraged Tricia to release the song herself.
“Tricia is an incredible singer-songwriter with an amazing voice,” said Simmons. “She is definitely on the rise and someone to look out for. She has the spirit of someone you know something is about to happen for. Well, I promise you it’s going to happen for her. It’s a matter of time. I think she knows that too, and that’s why she sticks with it. But, when it happens she won’t be saying, ‘I knew this was going to happen,’ she’ll be saying, ‘I can’t believe this happened.’ That’s the kind of person she is. She doesn’t want it for fame or fortune, she wants it because she loves music, she breathes it. When it happens for her, it’s gonna happen in a big way.”
Daryl’s words to God’s ears! It seems Tricia’s time is here. She left her job at the studio—and has taken a break from writing for other artists—in order to focus on her music. She has taken the advice of the musical greats who encouraged her to release her own music, starting with her Christmas single.
“Dear Mr. Scrooge” is a throwback R&B tune produced by PK who captures Tricia’s sexy, soulful & breathy sound. The song was co-written with Tricia’s brother, Nick Battani, and Stephanie Carlisi. The lyrics & composition put a unique spin on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with an inspiring message about the spirit of giving at Christmas. Its release is expected the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). Be sure to check it out on iTunes.