Carmen Reece is on cloud nine; she recently made her first appearance on the Billboard charts when her song, "Right Here," entered at No. 12 on Hot Dance Airplay before jumping to No. 3, and she couldn't be more thrilled.
"It is a really great feeling," the 22-year-old singer/songwriter tells Billboard.com. "We were jumping up and down in our seats. I'm just so grateful for everything at the moment- it's everything I dreamed of."
"Right Here," the lead single from her debut album, "In Stereo," to be released soon on Real FM Limited, was written and recorded in Reece's hometown of London with assist from Wayne Hector (Cher, Britney Spears) and producer Mark Feist (Beyoncé, Celine Dion).
"It was really fluid and very natural and the three of us wrote a part each. As soon as the hook came in and Mark had the skeleton of the track, we were like 'Wow, this really feels like something special'," Reece says about the song, which she says is about uplifting and empowering women. "Working with [Feist] has just been an honor. He really is the driving force behind this project and I'm very humbled that he's working with me considering he's worked with all these divas and big vocalists."
While she credits Feist for most of her achievements so far, it is Reece's own determination and musical abilities that have led her to this pivotal point. After studying the piano and flute for several years, she penned her first track at the age of 12. "It's from a very young age that I've known what I wanted to do. I remember telling my parents that I wanted to sing and perform," she says.
She continued honing her skills throughout the years, and then in the early part of 2008, she flew to Los Angeles to record demos with Feist. After playing him some of the material she'd written, she ended up recording an entire album with him during her stay.
Now, Reece is on her way to superstardom. Recently, she opened for megastar Pitbull during a stop in New Jersey. On Oct. 21, she will be hosting her first New York City showcase; on Oct. 22, Reece will be performing during the FOX Morning Show in Washington, D.C; and on Monday, the 26, she will be back in the Big Apple for an appearance on "Good Day New York" on the same network.
Although she's just getting her feet wet, fans have already nicknamed her "Diva 2.0" for her captivating stage presence. But Reece, who welcomes the moniker, says she simply takes cues from some of her favorites, including Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
"To me, [a diva] stands for someone strong who can deliver, and who is passionate on stage," she says. "Hopefully I can follow in the footsteps of the divas I've grown up listening to."