Blend the old-school rnb sound with a quirky hybrid of hip-hop and pop and you get Little Jackie, the creation of genre-defying singer-songwriter Imani Coppola and programmer Adam Pallin. With a nod to the soulful Motown rhythms of the past and a sneer to many of the social and cultural issues that consume the public today, Coppola has crafted an album of musical sugar and spice, filled with sweet, saccharine-tinged melodies and spicy, bold commentaries.
Coppola had an early brush with fame when a demo she cut with Digable Planets producer Michael Mangini during her freshman year at the State University of New York landed her a record deal with Columbia Records. In 1997 the 19-year-old music composition major’s debut record Chupacabra earned radio and MTV buzz with the cheeky, Neneh Cherry-reminiscent lead single Legend of a Cowgirl and her dynamic NYC persona was introduced to mainstream America.
Little Jackie is Imani’s return to center stage. The Long Island native, who was raised in a musical household by a black mother and white father who were both always playing and performing music, named the project after a mischievous little boy named Jackie who set her family’s backyard on fire and fittingly after the Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam song Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star.
Coppola met Pallin, a Boston native who grew up listening to hip-hop and the golden oldies his parents cranked during car rides, through Mangini. Pallin, who has worked on projects for Tom Jones and American Idol finalist Elliott Yamin, programmed and co-wrote the Little Jackie tracks with Mangini (who also produced the tracks), while Coppola wrote the melodies and lyrics, and produced the vocals.
With her music, Coppola has created a space where she’s free to be herself. Fitting in has always been a struggle. “I have a unique take to look at both races,” she says. “The only thing I can really speak for in this life is as a woman.”
Little Jackie's first single The World Should Revolve Around Me - which RollingStone.com described as "the best song the Black Eyed Peas never wrote" - was released on May 20th 2008 via iTunes. Their debut album The Stoop (S-Curve Records) was subsequently launched July 8th 2008, marked by an appearance and performance of "The World Should Revolve Around Me" on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
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