Pop-Culturalist Chats with Kristinia DeBarge
Kristinia DeBarge is a quadruple threat. She sings, writes, acts, and designs. You may remember her massive hit “Goodbye,” and she’s back, better than ever! Pop-Culturalist chatted with her about her evolution as an artist, when fans can expect new music, and much more!
P-C: You’ve had tremendous success early on in your career, how has that prepared you for this next stage?
Kristinia: Aw, thank you! I still have a long way to go. The early taste of success only excites and motivates me to work much harder for what I want to accomplish. I know that it comes with a lot of sacrifice and will power. You have to love what you do. This business isn’t for everyone but if you love it and work hard, the rewards are endless. I can’t wait to experience that feeling again!
P-C: Tell us about “Pink Love” and the inspiration behind the song.
Kristinia: [Laughs] Well, “Pink Love” is about a woman desiring a man to please her in an intimate way. Need I say more? I want my audience to see that I have matured into a young woman and am no longer a little girl. A lot of my fans are now young women as well, so I would like for them to feel like we grew up together and broke out of our shells.
P-C: How would you describe the evolution of your sound throughout the years?
Kristinia: Wow, great question! It’s evolved so much throughout the last decade. I put out a pop album in Japan, then a pop record with a rap artist (Redrama) in Finland, and then an urban R&B EP in 2016. I’ve always wanted to release R&B music and I had things I wanted to get off my chest for that EP. Then, I secretly released a four-song EP, Peaceful Understanding. I feel it highlights my new mature sound. I also spoke a lot of my truth on this EP and I felt like each song represented me at different stages of my life, except “Wishful Thinking”, which I just recently experienced. Listen to the lyrics very carefully! Though all my songs are universal, they all have hidden meanings and are sometimes a play on words. The writer in me likes to keep it that way, so people stay engaged and always intrigued.
P-C: What pressures (if any) does coming from a musical background have on your career?
Kristinia: I never felt any pressures until more recently. It scares me that I’m almost halfway to 28 and I’m not yet where I want to be. I sometimes feel like I have big shoes to fill and I hope to accomplish that in a huge way and make my family proud. I know they want me, as well as all of the other next generation of DeBarges, to keep carrying on our family legacy. I know it will happen. I just have to stay focus and never give up.
P-C: What can you tease about your upcoming album?
Kristinia: Well, it’s unfinished at the moment. I have about five to six songs completely done. It has a pop feel and isn’t anything like my last two EPs at all. It’s more of what you hear on the radio today. It’s Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez meets Ghost Town. I wanted this new album to be more commercial, but still show off my vocal range, while being fun. I am finally at a place in my life where I am really starting to be this more happy/carefree girl again. I wanted to show that through my new music and sound.
P-C: Are there any plans to hit the road this year?
Kristinia: I have a few shows in the works, but as of now, just in LA. I’m working on opening up for a huge act—fingers crossed it happens this year!
P-C: You’re also an accomplished actress, have you always had that passion?
Kristinia: Aw, thank you! Yes, I have, but I tried pursuing acting at a young age and I wasn’t as successful as I was with music, so, I decided to give it a break. Luckily once I got back into it, it came back to me as if I never stopped! I am getting back into it this year and have been taking acting classes again. You’ll see me back on the big screen in no time.
P-C: How did your hat line, Cupid, come to fruition?
Kristinia: [Laughs] I see you did your research on me! I’m very impressed and flattered. I originally wanted to put out a makeup line called Cupid but the makeup world is very elaborate, so,I decided to focus my energy on Cupid Hats for some promo. Many fans ended up loving them and I made the decision to sell them on my website.
P-C: You’ve written a children’s books and plan on starting your own foundation. Has giving back always been important to you?
Kristinia: Yes, it has. I started volunteering at 17 at hospitals and singing at as many charities as I could. I love being able to make people happy with the gift that God has given me. It’s truly a blessing and I’m grateful I get to inspire and heal people through my voice and spirit.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Kristinia: Right now? Animal Kingdom on TNT. Great Show!
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Kristinia: White Chicks and Clueless. Oh, wait! Mean Girls and Monster-in-Law. You said movie and not movies but I couldn’t pick just one!
P-C: Favorite book?
Kristinia: The Bible
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Kristinia: Grease! I literally watched it every day after school when I was a little girl.
P-C: A band or artist that fans would be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
Kristinia: Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. I can thank my very first love for that. He put me on to him and I absolutely LOVE Trent! He’s so talented!
P-C: Favorite social media platform?
Kristinia: Instagram for sure! I love how you can post to all of your other social platforms from there as well.
P-C: Go-to karaoke song?
Kristinia: Mariah Carey’s “Hero”