Breaking & Entering: Richgirl

Two years ago, Audra, Brave, Lyndriette and Seven were just four up-and-coming singer/songwriters trying to break into the music scene. Today, thanks to producer Rich Harrison (Beyonce's "Crazy In Love," Amerie's "One Thing") who discovered and signed them to his Richcraft Records in 2007, they are well on their way.

Now, the ladies, known as the R&B quartet Richgirl, are prepping the late summer release of their self-titled debut, which Seven describes as "motivational, empowering, fun and honest." First single, "24s," featuring Bun B, entered at No. 83 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs this week.
Other songs like the confidence-booster "Pimp Cup," the ballad "Back To The Club" and "Millionaire," a mid-tempo with heavy snares, will also appear on the album.

"Millionaire is one of our favorites because it has nothing to do with financial stuff," says Audra. "We're talking about how we can still be broke but be surrounded by love... and that's exactly what being a Richgirl is all about."

Aside from the opportunity Harrison presented them with, it was the girl's undeniable love for music that got them down this communal path. Lyndriette, who hails from Gastonia, North Carolina, got her start singing for her local church choir at the age of six. At age 16, after signing her first deal to a production company in L.A, she met Harrison and they kept in contact ever since. When he decided to start the group, he immediately reached out to her and offered her a spot. "He knew me so by the time the idea came to him, he had me in mind and offered me the position," she says.

Baltimore-bred Brave, who got her start doing spoken word and doubles as an MC for the group, shares a similar story. She met Harrison at age 16 as well, and signed to his label then as a solo artist. Although a year later they went their separate ways due to creative differences at the time, they encountered each other again a few years after, at which point she became part of the group. "The good thing is that in the group I can rap and sing," she adds.

Seven, from Haines City, Florida, was discovered via a social networking site. "I had been singing at church, did the Apollo and all sorts of talent shows," she says. "At 15 I had my first deal situation through Interscope, but that fell apart quickly. Some time later, Rich [Harrison] found me on Myspace."

And Audra, who comes from San Diego, Calif., and had relocated to Los Angeles in hopes of launching her solo career, auditioned for the group and made it. "I was waiting tables by day and singing at night, that's when I found out about Richgirl," says Audra. "I was the only girl they found through the actual auditioning process."

To promote the album, the girls recently wrapped up a college tour with label mate Raheem Devaughn and are in the beginning stages of a small venue tour slated for later this year. They're also readying to release a remix of "24s," featuring Brave's rapping alter-ego, Jim Jones and Lloyd Banks.

They are also very hands-on with the project, doing their own vocal arrangements and writing on it, although they "didn't get an opportunity to write as much as we all liked only because it was a little rushed, and the label was pushing us to get it done," says Lyndriette.

Still, the girls assure the album is extremely tight, regardless of the amount of time they were allotted to work on it, and their Billboard chart entry is proof of it. "It feels so stupid to be on the charts!" says an excited Lyndriette. "I even made a necklace of the chart and wore it at the airport this week," adds Brave. "It's just unbelievable," continues Audra. "Billboard is like winning a Grammy," concludes Seven. "We will always be able to tell our kids when we get our Grammy, God willing, and that we were on the charts. This gives us bragging rights for life."