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    Living the Musical Dream, Part II - An interview with Rosanna Tavarez of Eden's Crush

    By: Divina Peñaloza
    Dec 3, 2001

    (Courtesy of London-Sire)

    It's late in the afternoon and Rosanna Tavarez of Eden's Crush is walking down a New York City street. Even after the September 11th tragedy, she tells me that she's decided to keep charging forward like the rest of her fellow New Yorkers.

    "I'm doing my stuff day to day to make sure that I leave an imprint. You know what I'm saying? That I leave like, okay ... Rosanna did this in her life and she was successful at it. See what I'm saying? You have to keep going," Tavarez says.

    "You know, if it wasn't for me believing in that, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now. And I think that's why I love New York. Everybody here is like, 'we're going to go back to work. We're going to do our thing.' And that energy has sustained nations."

    Tavarez's strength in character also helped her through weeks of auditioning for last season's WB reality series, "Popstars." She advises the importance of having a strong sense of self when going after a dream.

    "It's something that you cultivate over the years with people that surround you and support whatever it is you do and it's just something that will root you no matter what it is you choose to do in your life."

    A year has passed since Ana Maria Lombo, Maile Misajon, Nicole Sherzinger, Ivette Sosa and Tavarez beat out thousands of females pursuing their own dreams of becoming one of five chosen to form a new musical act in front of a national audience.

    Over the summer, Eden's Crush (www.edenscrush.com) toured with N'SYNC and Jessica Simpson and most recently appeared in the Hollywood Christmas Parade on the American Red Cross Float performing their second single, "Love This Way."

    When asked what the group needs to do to keep the fans interested, Tavarez says a continued evolution needs to be done.

    "I think everyone in the music business and in life needs to continue to evolve and grow and change, because you become a richer person for it and a richer group for it.

    "I think that we should be a pop group. I think that we should be a Latin group. I think that we should be a Hawaiian group. I think we should embrace every single facet that we have and try to put it out there. Try as much as possible to relate to people in that way. Definitely, I think we're much more than all those things, but we're also a combination of those things."

    Tavarez, who is of Dominican descent, says there's also diversity in the fan-base, which is especially apparent in cities where those populations are the highest, such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

    "We see a lot of girls come up to us and I was so happy to see Dominican girls coming up to me, especially being like, 'I'm Dominican too girl. You go!' You know that sort of support is something you hope will be out there, especially from your people and it was. That was extremely satisfying."

    Tavarez uses her official message board (www.wearenow.com/rosanna) to keep in touch with her fans that have posted messages of love and support. The group members have also emailed or called fans personally to thank them for their continued support.

    She had a feeling people would get a good impression of the group from the show because of how down to earth and accessible they appeared. Still, she never expected to become an idol.

    "I don't perceive myself that way, so it's weird to get letters where people are like, totally praising you and giving you all these compliments. It's a beautiful, beautiful gesture but it's also a little surprising."

    Tavarez also acknowledges the group's online community as a dedicated fan-base supporting all five of the members. She recognizes their efforts to keep positive attitudes on the message boards.

    "I check it once in awhile and I notice if anyone comes in there with a negative comment they are like 10 comments that say 'Listen, if you can't say anything nice about the girls or about what they do, please don't write here. This is a positive message board,'" Tavarez says. "I think that's really wonderful, especially with all the criticism that's out there."

    The multicultural group, comprised of three Latinas and two Hawaiians, also comes from an eclectic mix of musical backgrounds. Lombo performed with her family's band, Pazport, which opened for such recording acts as Jose Feliciano and Poncho Sanchez and shared the stage with Blaque and Christina Aguilera.

    Misajon joined the International Children's Choir at age 5, performing for former President Ronald Reagan. Sherzinger toured and recorded backup vocals with Days of the New. Sosa performed in regional theater productions as well as a production of "West Side Story" at the famed La Scalla Opera house in Milan. Tavarez attended Miami's New World School of Arts, studied dance at the University of Michigan and was only one project away from a graduate degree in dance studies from The Ohio State University.

    Although she's danced her whole life, she also nurtured her singing talent by doing karaoke while at OSU. It was at that time she started to think about pursuing a singing career.

    "I think people walk around their whole life trying to do what's expected of them and I think it's because they lose perspective on what it is they love to do and it's just not fulfilling at all."

    Tavarez credits her mother's support for helping her get through any self-doubts. She recalls a particularly tough period in her life when her mother would always have comforting words to soothe her worries.

    "She'd go down all my wonderful traits and she'd be like, 'There's nothing you should be sad about. All those people could disappear. You're still going to be yourself and your still going to be special,'" Tavarez says. "And I thank my mother for saying those things to me. She made me such a strong person because of it. If I ever feel like crap, I call my mom. She gives me the spiel and it always works and every year it changes. Like, if something comes up. She's like 'Look! Look at all the things that you've accomplished. She's a wonderful woman."

    That love and support was also there when Tavarez had to share a house with the four other members, with only a few months to record their debut album. Tavarez says she noticed how nicely their voices blended on the very first day in the studio, recording "Promise Me" with David Foster.

    "I think that was one of the moments where I felt like us as a group was really beginning to crystallize. I was like we all have our own qualities but the blend is just right."

    The group soon formed a natural chemistry and energy as they continued to work and live together, creating a surprisingly cohesive album.

    "You know, from living in the house to recording an album to being on tour with N'Sync, those are all moments that provide bonding between the group. I think everything we've been through has allowed us to come closer together." The group's unexpected seasoned sound make the common theme of strength and empowerment in the group's debut CD an enjoyable listen.

    Their first single, "Get Over Yourself," went gold and debuted at the top of the Billboard charts. The five vocalists, three of whom are bilingual, also handle Latin influences on the album with ease - singing "1000 Words/Mil Palabras" and the Spanish-language versions of "Get Over Yourself/Solo Pienses Enti" along with their newest single, "Love This Way/Se Que Tu Tambien" effortlessly.

    Some of Tavarez's favorite Latin artists are Juan Luis Guerra, Celia Cruz, Luis Miguel and Marc Anthony. She grew up surrounded by Latin music and says she's captivated by the richness of the melodies and the rhythms.

    "Latin music has been around for a very long time and I think the only reason that it was an explosion was because it crossed over into the mainstream in America, but it's something that has been around, is around and will always be around. Whether or not Americans choose to listen to it or not listen to it, that's the reality of it. It's a very rich music with a long tradition and I don't see it going anywhere. It's here to stay."

    Tavarez remembers going to a Cruz concert at the University of Michigan where the audience was just sitting down and watching the performance. She ended up leading four of her friends to the edge of the stage, started dancing in front of the singer and actually requested some songs.

    "It's just that kind of music that just makes you want to move and makes you want to sing. It has a spirit. It has a spirit that goes way back."

    To maintain her own spirit, Tavarez knew she had to keep her head together. "Well first and foremost my goal was to keep myself really balanced and really grounded considering that I knew I would be in for a lot of the unexpected and I didn't want to lose myself. I spent so many years establishing such a strong character; I didn't want to get lost in the whirlwind."

    That whirlwind of touring offered a different kind of seclusion for the group, which endured a long isolation from the public before their identities were revealed on network television. Tavarez says touring was like watching the world pass by through a window.

    "You know you're always on the go. So, you're inside a bus or you're inside of a train or you're inside of a plane; you see everything pass you by. And people are like 'Isn't it wonderful to go to different states and go to different cities and see all the different people?' And yes, it's wonderful to see the people, but if you ask me the difference between what each state was, all I could tell you were the trees.because you don't really get to experience them. There's not enough time."

    Touring also provided the challenge of sharing close quarters, leaving little personal space or alone time.

    "You're accustomed to having your own space. When you want your own space.it was definitely challenging to be in close quarters with four other females," Tavarez says. "The thing that kind of got us through was that we' re good at compromising. We're good at communicating and if anything arose, we'd discuss it and try and work it out. We kind of work like sisters. You know what I mean? We fight like sisters. We get along like sisters and that's kind of the way the dynamic is between all of us."

    From email and online posts, to meet and greets and performances on stage, Eden's Crush makes sure they touch their fans.

    "I think that no matter where you play people definitely want to feel like you're interacting with them," Tavarez says. "They want to become part of the performance aside from just watching you sing and dance. They wanna come away with that feeling of connection and I think that's what we always aim to do."

    Photos by Divina Peñaloza

    Listen to RealAudio soundclips from Eden's Crush debut album, "Popstars." (courtesy of London-Sire)
    What's Good 4 The Goose - Glamourous Life
    Anywhere But Here - Promise Me - Se Que Tu Tambien

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    Related articles:
    | Rosanna Tavarez & Eden's Crush (2001-12-03)



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