"Kiley Dean... where pop music is going" (Timbaland)
As fairy tales go, it's hard to top this. Small town southern girl sings in church, lands an audition for one of the biggest pop idols of the 90's (Britney Spears) and is hired as a background singer. The girl tours the world, performs on TV and meets one of the most influential producers in R&B/hip hop (Timbaland) who signs her to a record deal and produces the girl's sizzling solo debut Simple Girl. Sounds too good to be true? It isn't. It's the life of Kiley Dean, 20-year pop/R&B dynamo and the newest artist on Timbaland's Beat Club Records. "I thank God for everything that has happened to me," Kiley declares, speaking of her meteoric rise from obscurity to the cusp of fame. "I feel so lucky because there's so many people that want to be doing what I'm doing, and I'm able to do it"
Kiley's fairy tale turned reality begins in Alma, Arkansas, (pop. 4000). Kiley lived in Alma with her folks and her brother until she was 8 (and then moved to Orlando, FL) and from an early age showed a talent for performing. "I have tapes of me at age 2 singing "Tomorrow", from Annie, Kiley laughs. "I'd be sitting on the bed, not even knowing the words, just mumbling". The following year Kiley began singing in her church choir and cites gospel music along with Anita Baker, Basia, Taylor Dayne, Whitney Houston, Sade and Mariah Carey as huge influences.
By the time Kiley hit high school (attending the same school as N'Sync's Joey Fatone), she was regularly singing at school and community functions, including appearances at Disney, and performing at church. In 1999 Kiley became a member of the national anti drug organization PRIDE performing team based in Florida, that same year with a scant resume of local gigs, Kiley was hired to sing background on Britney's tour in support of the multi platinum smash Baby One More Time. Even Kiley was shocked at the turn of events. "It was my first pro gig, ever. I mean I sang at a wedding but that's nothing, I just believe that if you have it in your blood it's just meant to be."
Kiley toured with Britney for almost a year and half and appeared on the MTV Awards and the Grammys. "Not only was I seeing the world but I was doing something I loved, as well as bonding with Britney."
In '2000 Kiley was in LA to perform at the Grammys and to work on her demo. Kiley's manager took her to meet Timbaland at the hotel he was staying at. There was music playing in the lobby and Kiley started singing over it. Timbaland was blown away and immediately he and Kiley formed a creative partnership "We knew this was a team that could really work. I think Tim saw something special in me. Someone with personality and talent and somebody who was willing to work really hard for what they believe in."
For the next 2 years Kiley recorded demos, worked on her image/direction, and perfected her craft. By the spring of '2002, Kiley and her manager began shopping her music to the labels. Once again Kiley and Timbaland's path crossed. This time Timbaland had his own label, Beat Club records. Kiley inked a deal with Beat Club/Interscope and commenced working on Simple Girl.
At first Kiley admits she was a bit intimidated by the prospect of working with Timbaland but those fears faded as soon as the recording process began. "Tim's like my brother. He's so funny and cool. He's goofy. I'm goofy and he really allowed me to be myself and bring my own perspective to the album. I feel like every song came from within."
Brimming with grooves, and laced with a sexy, sassy stance, Simple Girl is an explosion of passionate singing, hot beats and hip shaking tracks that will make you want to push the repeat button over and over again. Boasting songs co-written by Kiley and production by Timbaland and Big Bert (Brandy), Simple Girl shimmers with an honest vibrancy that's hard to resist. "I just think that this album is real. A lot of things out there right now are canned and that's why this album feels so right, because it's so real and it talks about the things everyone can relate to. I know I can."
Need proof of Simple Girl's pop/R&B power? Dive into the lead off single "Make Me a Song". Produced by Timbaland and co-written by Kiley, "Make Me a Song" is a rhythmic push and pull dedicated to finding the perfect melody and the perfect beat. With lines such as "A song like Rock the Boat, a song that you and Missy wrote", "Make Me a Song" conveys the yearning to be behind the mic during the creative processes of making a song vs. being behind the scenes, wishing and daydreaming, 'When is it my turn?'
Equally rhythmic is "Keep It Movin" a straight from the heart tale about a lady in a club watching another girl give her man the eye and having the utmost confidence in letting her know he's taken (Keep It Movin). Emotionally on point is the slinky, sinuating "Warsong" which finds Kiley's smokey vocals gliding on top of an urgent groove. The passion continues on the edgy "Kiss Me Like That" which examines the ups and downs of a love affair with an unblemished honesty. The title track, "Simple Girl" is a sultry breath of warm air that lets it be known that Kiley's keeping it real by keeping it simple when it comes to love. "This is definitely an album that speaks to how the girls feel," Kiley smiles.
Simple Girl is so direct. Just like Kiley. "I'm not fake, I'm someone who's impressed with the small things. The word that continues to stay in my head is humble, I know this record is going to be a huge accomplishment but at the same time I have family and friends to keep me in check. I've been blessed and I know this all comes from God and as long as I keep my head right I can't go wrong."
Asked what she wants fans to hear when they listen to Simple Girl and Kiley is up front, "I want people to be able to relate to me and sense who I am. I hope that comes across in my personality and my music. Music brings many different emotions to its listeners. I want my music to bring out those emotions and touch everyone in a special way. I want them to love what I'm bringing."
"Kiley Dean... where pop music is going" (Timbaland)
--- from the official Kiley Dean website