We’ve been hearing quite a bit of buzz for Keri Hilson, but realized we knew absolutely nothing about this singer-songwriter from Atlanta. After we learned more about Hilson, we came to the conclusion she is one of a few pop/R&B singers that actually deserves recognition. She’s paid her dues, has talent as a singer and songwriter and isn’t just an image conjured up by a stylist. So after the jump, find out who Hilson is because she’s going to be huge, and you don’t want to be left in the dark.1. When she was a child, her teachers would complain to her parents that she hummed while she did her schoolwork, distracting the other students. Her parents started letting her compete in area talent shows to channel her energy and singing talents. At 14, she joined a girl group called D’Sign, which landed a record deal before breaking up a year later.
2. Hilson joined The Clutch, an Atlanta-based songwriting collective, at the age of 17. This collective has penned hits for Omarion (“Ice Box”), Ciara (“Like A Boy”), Timbaland (“The Way I Are”) and a number of other artists. She was even featured as Usher’s love interest in the “Love In This Club” video, and had a writing credit for the remix, “Love In This Club, Part II”. It seems Timbaland was really smitten with Hilson’s work because he signed her to his label Mosley Music Group and is producing her debut album In a Perfect World…, along with Polow da Don.
3. Although her debut album is slated to be released either in December or early next year, Hilson has remained behind the scenes for most of her career. She sold her first song to a Japanese R&B artist when she was only a teenager. Soon after, she joined The Clutch and learned how to run a studio, making a name for herself as an arranger, songwriter and background vocalist. She wrote Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”, and was credited as a writer and backing vocalist for Blackout.
4. It wasn’t until 2004 that Hilson sang lead on a song, Xzibit’s “Hey Now (Mean Mugging)”, which she performed on the 2004 MTV Europe Awards.
5. We’re really excited to hear “In a Perfect World…” because it’s about relationships. “No human is exempt from the realities of life—heartbreak, love, failure, success—I want my album to convey a sense of reality,” said Hilson. “There will always be something you’d change if only you lived ‘In A Perfect World…’ and I’m no different.”
6. Her friends nicknamed her ‘Keri-okey’ because she was always humming or singing in school.