Word on The Street: Meet Epic Records’ Candice Boyd/ Hear a Snippet of "Make Me Over"
“I remember it so vividly. We were driving through the ‘hood in LA and my boyfriend at the time was being such a hater. He was like, ‘Man, NE-YO ain’t gonna call.’ And as soon as the words came out of his mouth, my phone rang. It was NE-YO.”
Serendipity spiced with a dash of payback—how sweet and savory life can be. Such marked the arrival off songstress Candice Boyd, she of the vaunted Live From the Smokers Room EP, the provocative single “Lesbian,” the tracks with David Guetta and Flo Rida, the international tour with crooner Eric Benet. So, just how did this rising R&B diva end up piquing an icon’s interest? “It’s a pretty common story; I started singing in church,” Boyd reveals. “My father’s a preacher, so, basically I didn’t have much of a choice. I sang in the choir, I sang on the praise team.
And eventually a mutual friend recommended Candice to Eric Benet, who needed a female counterpart for his stage shows. Candice once again displayed both her chops and her poise: “I toured with Eric Benet for two years –Africa, Japan, everywhere– singing all his ballads,” she recounts. “I didn’t audition. I didn’t even rehearse. I met Eric on stage.” No practice? No problem. Just before she embarked on the tour, Candice apparently left an impression on the aforementioned NE-YO. The two got together in the studio and began work immediately, recounts Boyd
NE-YO promptly walked Candice into the office of L.A. Reid, seminal impresario and the CEO & Chairman of Epic Records. “L.A. pretty much offered me a contract on the spot,” Boyd states matter-of-factly about her partnership with Epic. “But I’m not arrogant about it; I wasn’t then, I’m not now. I’m humble because I know my gift comes from God. And I won’t be as excited as they are until I’m on the Grammy stage. I know I’m not yet where I want to be.” Pretty ambitious and eclectic stuff, particularly from the mouth and mind of a preacher’s daughter. When asked if Pops balks at any of the subject matter, the edges of Boyd’s mouth creep up: “My dad has never said anything about the raunchiest stuff. He’s cool.” She pauses. “But I’m sure he hasn’t heard everything yet, either.” Touché, Candice.