Kristine Ws glad to be alive, and in the land of the living. But she
cant believe that shes survived, still in the land of the living.
Considering everything shes been through in the past 15 years, you
might not believe it either. The seductive songstress and dance floor temptress
has encountered many obstacles along the road to fame, but through it all,
she has done more than just survive, she has influenced and entertained
millions of people, while securing herself an impressive place in dance
music history. Now shes gearing up to do it all over again.
grew up in the small farming community of Pasco, Washington. Although her
father died when she was a child, both he and her mother exposed Kristine
to music at an early age through their careers as singers. Kristine followed
in their footsteps by regularly singing in her church choir and at a few
of her mothers nightclub shows. She also mastered the saxophone, guitar,
piano, drums, and timbales. This early exposure to the glitz and glamour
of the entertainment industry fueled Kristines desire to leave Washington
to pursue her own dream of entertaining the world. To finance her relocation,
the ambitious U.S. National Javelin Champion and all-around athlete took
her natural good looks and voluptuous six-foot frame to the beauty pageant
circuit where she was crowned Miss Washington in 1984. During the nationally
televised Miss America Pageant, she won the talent and swimsuit competitions
for which she was awarded a college scholarship.
Lights, Big City
Scholarship in hand, Kristine quickly left Washington
for the extravagance and opulence of Las Vegas where she attended
college and obtained an as-of-yet unutilized Bachelors
Degree in TV Production. Kristine knew she didnt want
a boring desk job though; instead, she took advantage of her
surroundings and worked the Las Vegas strip. After honing
her skills while performing in a multitude of hotel revues,
she eventually created her own show for The Nightclub at the
renowned Las Vegas Hilton. During her five years at The Nightclub,
Kristine was voted Best Female Performer by several prominent
Las Vegas publications in 1995, 1996, and 1997. In her spare
time, she worked diligently on building a substantial catalog
of songs, two of which she eventually recorded for the "Roadhouse"
and "Indecent Proposal" movie soundtracks.
thereafter, Kristine achieved the breakthrough she had been hoping for when
the intoxicatingly innovative "Feel What You Want" topped the
Billboard dance charts. On the heels of her first major hit, Kristines
dazzling debut album, "Land of the Living," was released by RCA
Records in 1996. Subsequent singles, including the inspirational "One
More Try" and the provocatively pulsating title track, stormed the
charts and nightclubs around the world with the help of remix treatments
by David Morales, Junior Vasquez (who has hailed Kristine as "The Donna
Summer of the 90s"), and others. "One More Try" spent four
months on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and garnered her Billboard Video
and ASCAP Song of the Year awards. Kristine was disappointed, though, that
the album never crossed over into the mainstream. "I kind of felt like
I let my fans down because I didnt make it as big as I wanted to,"
she regretfully reports. "Looking back, I realize [the album] was just
a little too sophisticated for the U.S. at that time. Right now, it would
spent the past several years writing over 70 songs with different collaborators,
eight of which appear on her new album, "Stronger," which is slated
for released by RCA Records on September 12th. "Its the completion
of a four-year odyssey since the last albums come out," she explains.
"Im just trying to fuse the perfect combination of dance, pop,
R&B, drama-ballads, classical, and jazz to make the ultimate dance/pop
The album, which Krstine solely executive produced,
has been a labor of love. Although she is shooting for mainstream
success with "Stronger," Kristine does not discount
the importance of club DJs and their audiences when
it comes to the success of a record. "I always start
with clubs always, always because theyre
very honest," Kristine insists. "Actually, I developed
this particular album in the clubs, trying out songs to see
if they moved people, and then focusing on what hooked them."
result is a deeply soulful collection of infectious dance tracks, palatable
pop tunes, and heartfelt ballads. The albums funky title track will
be the first official release, which has tremendous potential for both dance
floor dominance and mainstream success. Remixes of "Clubland"
and "Stand In Love" have already infiltrated the clubs courtesy
of bootleggers, but theres no word yet from the label as to when they
will be officially released. According to its Associate Director of Publicity,
Roger Widynowski, RCA is planning to "make Kristine W a household name
by first working her gay fan base, then crossing it over into the mainstream
Top 40 market, and eventually blowing her up internationally." We can
only hope he means the latter figuratively.
who credits George Gershwin, James Taylor, Donna Summer, and Chaka Khan
among her influences, has developed a great relationship with the gay community.
She didnt realize at first how gay-based the dance community is, but
it wasnt long before she "thanked the Lord," and enthusiastically
embraced the communitys support. "They [gays] understand what
Im doing," she says. "It was so liberating to be in an environment
where I felt like I was understood. It made me want to create more
it made we want to push myself. The communitys been really good for
passion for performing and deep devotion to her art is clearly evident when
speaking with Kristine. She is hopeful that widespread acceptance of her
music will further convince people to trust in her artistic abilities, thus
allowing the creative process to flow more smoothly. If Kristine accomplishes
her mission, which seems highly likely, hers will indeed become a household
name. "Im in this for the long-haul," she promises. "Im
not in it to make a million dollars on this album. Im in it to be
around for as long as I can. Thats more important to me to
be able to be with my fans and continue doing what I love, which is to perform."
is currently touring in support of the upcoming release of her album, and
will be returning to the Miami area very soon. She loves to "cruise
around" after the show and dance with the boys, so keep your eyes open.
After all, that glamorous drag queen you see on the dance floor very late
at night might just be Kristine W.
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