Girl Authority
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Girl Authority

Sudbury, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Sudbury, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Children's Music

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
08
Girl Authority @ JCC Newton

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Jan
18
Girl Authority @ JCC West Orange

West Orange, New Jersey, USA

West Orange, New Jersey, USA

Nov
02
Girl Authority @ Umass Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

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The Click Five are sequestered somewhere inside Q Division studio, and Girl Authority are seated in a circle in the lounge area, scheming a way to meet the lead singer.

“I never knew long hair looked so good on a guy!”

“I’m so in love!”



“They’re sooooo good!”

They start to sing the chorus to the Click Five single “Just the Girl,” except they change the lyrics so that they’re in the first person.

“I’m just the girl you’re lookin’ for/And when you see it’s me/On your caller ID/You won’t pick up the phone/You’d rather be alone . . . ”

They sing louder, showing off a little.

“Shhh! You’re embarrassing me!”

“Ohmigod, he’s SO GOOD.”

“Ohmigod, what if this is their next, like, hit. And we’re sitting here!”

“Shhh!”

“I love his long hair. Dark, long hair.”

Even though they’d have been happier if I were a skinny dude with doe eyes and a guitar slung over my shoulder, the five members of Girl Authority I speak with (four were away on vacation or at a play rehearsal at the time) are charming and polite. You couldn’t conceive of their acting the part of flashy mini-divas — particularly 14-year-old Jacqueline, who’s soft-spoken and delicate in a way that makes you want to protect her from mean boys. They’re also already stunners: glowing complexions that would suit a Clean & Clear commercial, big smiles with straight or in-the-process-of-being-straightened teeth, trendy clothes.

Girl Authority formed when Rounder Records asked Samantha Hammel, a Sudbury-based talent manager, to recommend potential candidates for a girl-pop group. She had previously worked with each of the girls, who range from 9 to 14 years old, in community theater or her Friends of Broadway program, and all of them were already friends. Seven of the nine are from Sudbury; two are from surrounding towns Weston and Westborough. Of course they get carpooled to rehearsals.

You can already hear the girls’ voices maturing on their sophomore album, Road Trip (Zoë/Rounder), which Hammel executive-produced with the band’s current production manager, Liza Levy. On their homonymous debut, the production occasionally reduced them to sugary twee. If Girl Authority was Kidz Bop with a High School Musical Broadway edge, Road Trip amplifies this, setting the band up as more than mere impersonators. Five original tracks commissioned by Rounder are interspersed among the 14 vacation-themed covers. “This Is My Day,” a self-confidence anthem that flexes major pop muscle, was written by Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses/Belly), and Vince Clarke (Erasure/Depeche Mode) penned the synth-happy opener, “Let’s Get Together.” No surprise, they’re two of the album’s best tracks. Although there are moments on Road Trip where I find it necessary to turn the volume down and think Simon Cowell–ish karaoke thoughts, Girl Authority are pre-packaged for an audience that probably couldn’t care less what a grumpy Brit might say about the band’s song choices and harmonizing skills.

Last April, Girl Authority entered the Billboard Top Kid Audio Chart at #9. Can Road Trip close in and threaten the Disney soundtrack to Jump In! or Kidz Bop 11? Possibly. Little girls are practically engineered to idolize a group like Girl Authority and accept the band’s simple, wholesome, slightly cringe-worthy Girl Power message without argument. “Mostly, Girl Authority is about reaching to the younger girls who don’t know who they wanna be yet,” 14-year-old Tarr says of their target audience. I’m not sure what she means by this, given the options. There are the six fashion identities of Party Girl (Kate), Urban Girl (Gina), Fashion Girl (Alex), Glamour Girl (Carly), Preppy Girl (Zoë, who is the daughter of Rounder president and CEO John Virant), and Boho Girl (Jess). There’s one sporty All-Star Girl (Jacqueline); Rock and Roll Girl (Tarr) and Country Girl (Crystal) offer the musical identities. What about an Art Girl, a Dance Girl, a Smart-Ass Riot Grrrl Girl? But if something is missing, the girls don’t seem to notice. As Tarr puts it, “Almost every girl has a point in their life where they watch a show and they imitate that person or they want to be that person. We really want it to get to the point where we do that. Basically we’re fulfilling our three-year-old dream.”

They’ve already picked up some surprising supporters. The Dresden Dolls took notice when they heard the girls rehearsing at Camp Street Studios; Amanda and Brian invited them to perform “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” and a PG version of “Sing” at the Orpheum last spring. They even appear in Jake Brennan’s new music video as a gaggle of heavies who pretend to beat up the local punk songwriter’s former guitarist.

Behind the scenes, there’s a team at Rounder and some industry A-listers pushing the Girl Authority concept. The group are managed by Michael Pagnotta, who worked with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for nearly 14 years. And after the girls sing for me a cappella, I get a candid impression of how capable they are and how much farther they could go. Whether they have what it takes to achieve Olsen Twins–level success remains to be seen. But in my mind, they already trump MK&A (whom they worship, of course) when it comes to personality — I doubt any of these girls will wind up posing in publicity photos like zombie dolls who can’t remember how to relate to anyone who talks with a Michelle Tanner lisp.
As Girl Authority prepare for a nationally televised ad campaign on Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network, as well as a summer tour, they are aware of how important it is to be role models, to be and not just appear relatable. Still, their individual ambitions are what one might expect from any girl who’s watched enough MTV to realize that most of the people on television aren’t as talented as she is. “I love singing,” 14-year-old Carly says. “I feel like there’s nothing else I could ever end up doing my whole life. I don’t see myself becoming an accountant.” She wrinkles her nose and almost gags over the word. The rest of the girls laugh hysterically. Thirteen-year-old Gina talks about going to Hollywood as if nothing else could be an option. At a time when the pressures of fame and celebrity have caused one of America’s biggest pop princesses to shave her head and check in and out of rehab twice in as many days, the notion of these innocent girls being thrown to the wolves of fame seems terrifying.

But Girl Authority don’t seem the least bit concerned. They tell me over and over how much fun they are having — so much fun, no matter how much they’ve had to give up to make room for grueling rehearsals and hours spent learning choreography. What stresses out 14-year-old Alex the most over the course of the evening aren’t my questions about her future but whether she should get the Click Five to autograph a T-shirt she has in her bag so she can sell it on eBay. The girls debate this issue passionately. At first, it was hard to say which way things would go. Then I saw the look of weak-kneed adoration on Alex’s face when the Click Five appeared. That autographed shirt isn’t going anywhere. Why sell yourself short of the experience of a lifetime?


- The Boston Phoenix


Hit the road with the princesses of pop, Girl Authority, and their second CD. Five origional songs as well as 14 classic covers are sung by tweens for tweens - no adult pop thems here! Hits such as "Dancin' in the Street" and 'Life is a Highway" will put your child in gear to move. - Scholastic Parent & Child


Discography

Road Trip (2007)
Girl Authority (2006)
Santa Claus is Coming To Town (Single)

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Bio

Rounder/Zoë Records’ tween girl singing sensation GIRL AUTHORITY — one year older and a little bit savvier — is back with Road Trip, their sophomore CD.

All the elements that made GIRL AUTHORITY’s eponymous debut CD such a success (100,000 copies and counting sold to date) remain firmly in place: the nine cute, bubbly girls who sing, dance and have personality to spare; the nicknames designating each girl (i.e. Rock n’ Roll Girl, Boho Girl, Country Girl) with fashion-forward clothes to match; the covers of classic hits and today’s chart-toppers, sung with the same fun and enthusiasm that have attracted a legion of devoted fans across the country; and the groove-infused backing tracks, played by some of today’s most gifted musicians. But there’s more this time around, and this “something more” very well could catapult GIRL AUTHORITY into superstardom with the release of Road Trip.

In addition to the upbeat, family-friendly covers — including “Car Wash” (complete with a GIRL AUTHORITY-themed rap in the middle of the song), “The Loco-Motion” and “Life is a Highway,” Road Trip contains five original songs, hand-picked for their positive messages and girl-power spunk. Eminent songwriters like Vince Clarke of Erasure (and formerly of Depeche Mode) and Tanya Donelly (formerly of Throwing Muses, The Breeders, and Belly) penned songs for the girls. “I’m one of the lead vocalists on the song ‘Let’s Get Together’ [written by Vince Clarke],” says Fashion Girl Alex. “It’s so catchy, and it has this peppy energy. It really suits us, because it’s all about having fun with your friends.”

GIRL AUTHORITY producer Scott Billington states: “The girls were ready for some great original material. They just took it in, put their own stamp on it, and came out with some terrific, radio-ready songs. These are tracks that will thrill their old fans and gain them many new admirers.”

Also of note is the fact that Cyndi Lauper personally suggested that GIRL AUTHORITY cover her inspirational ballad “Shine” on Road Trip. All-Star Girl Jacqueline, who sang Lauper’s song, enthuses, “‘Shine’ is gorgeous, and it meant a lot to me to record it for our new CD. I hope I can sing it with Cyndi someday — you’d have to pinch me if that dream came true!”

Rounder/Zoë Records put a great deal of thought into the track list for Road Trip, undergoing a months-long selection process in which the girls played an integral part. Elissa Barrett, Rounder V.P. of Strategic Marketing, explains: “We had two conditions for any song being considered for the new record — the girls had to love it, and it had to be lyrically appropriate. If the girls loved it, we knew the fans would love it, too. And,
as a label, we’re concerned that a lot of popular music out there exposes kids to elements pushing them to grow up too fast. GIRL AUTHORITY is all about celebrating the tween years in a cool yet safe way — we were adamant that every single lyric of every song be age-appropriate, songs you’d have no qualms about letting your kids play over and over.”

GIRL AUTHORITY manager Michael Pagnotta echoes Barrett’s emphasis on the family-friendly nature of the group. “The girls themselves are real kids. They go to school, Girl Scouts, cheerleading, sleepover parties — they aren’t sophisticated, ‘show-biz’ kids, and that’s a large part of their charm. We’re determined to protect that innocence — to keep the girls grounded, real and well-rounded. The neat thing about this project is that the quality of music isn’t compromised in the least. The girls are refreshingly normal, but they have enormous talent.”

GIRL AUTHORITY is: Rock n’ Roll Girl Tarr, age 14; All-Star Girl Jacqueline, age 14; Fashion Girl Alex, age 14; Glamour Girl Carly, age 14; Boho Girl Jess, age 13; Urban Girl Gina, age 13; Party Girl Kate, age 12; Country Girl Crystal, age 12; and Preppy Girl Zoe, age 9. And what do the young recording artists think of Road Trip? “Every song came out so great!” says Glamour Girl Carly. “When we listened to the tracks together for the first time, we just kept hugging and screaming and congratulating each other. We were so excited!” Adds Urban Girl Gina, “We want our fans to have as much fun listening to the CD as we had making it.”