In the music video for Cady Groves' debut single, "This Little Girl," the pint-sized pop singer enlists binoculars and various hiding spots to watch her boyfriend canoodle with another girl behind her back. Eventually, she duct-tapes the guy to a wall in her apartment. "This little girl is capable of murder, because you hurt her," Grove sings.
The seething sentiment doesn't exactly match the sunny pop-rock arrangement of "This Little Girl." But the single is catching on -- the video counts 48,000 views on Vevo since its Sept. 26 debut -- while unveiling the spunky 22-year-old Oklahoma native's real-life heartbreak story. After signing to RCA Records in May 2010 and moving to California, Groves became romantically involved with one of the songwriters working on her debut album. That is, until she discovered he had a secret girlfriend.
Devastated, Groves scrapped all the material she had previously written and decided to start anew. "It was hard to even write at that point," she says. "I just wanted everyone to leave me alone, to hide away. What was great was the label saying, 'We understand what's going on, but we see something that you can't see. There's a silver lining in you writing right now.'"
So Groves pressed on and delivered an album set for early 2012 that balances her anger and natural poise: "This Little Girl" and "Your Window" are full of vitriol, while "We're the Shit" is a loving shout-out to her fans. RCA senior VP of marketing Aaron Borns says the upcoming promotion campaign will involve amplifying Groves' natural pop appeal without keeping her pissed-off lyrics at the forefront.
"It's coming from a genuine place," Borns says. "Even if some of the subject matter isn't as light as the sound of the songs may allude to initially, that only makes it more interesting for people."
"This Little Girl" will continue being pushed to top 40 formats, with Groves spending the rest of the year doing promotional radio tours and attending press events. Borns says the main marketing focus is the song's video, which features a cameo by country star/"The Voice" coach Blake Shelton. Groves says she got in touch with him through Twitter, where the two initially bonded over "being crazy funny and inappropriate."
Shelton (@blakeshelton) has since helped promote Groves on the social platform and posted links to the "Girl" video for his 709,000 followers.
Groves, who has 32,000 followers (@cadygroves), tweets dozens of times per day and often laces her musings with profanity. Though she may look like an innocent teenybopper, the singer/songwriter wants to be taken seriously as an adult talent.
"I get enough crap for looking younger than I am," she says. "That's not what I'm going for."