Singer/Songwriter ANTONIQUE SMITH is preparing to release her second single, “Higher”, produced by superstar hit-maker DR. DRE from her upcoming EP “Love is Everything” on 9:23 Music Group.
From Kickstarter to Grammy’s! Touted as “The Little Indie That Could”, ANTONIQUE SMITH received a Grammy Award nomination for her debut single “Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo)” in the “Traditional R&B Performance” category. ANTONIQUE’s dynamic voice channels the soulfulness of Aretha Franklin with a pop sensibility à la Celine Dion – two of her biggest influences alongside the legendary Whitney Houston. This critically acclaimed singer/songwriter is set to become one of the leading artists of our era.
ANTONIQUE SMITH, who will be listed in the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, is currently involved in UNICEF “Every Voice Counts” campaign alongside David Guetta, Angelique Kidjo, Katy Perry and several other superstars. UNICEF campaign, #IMAGINE, was established to draw attention to the challenges children face around the world and help raise money for the organization. Yoko Ono, Hugh Jackman and ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus presented it to the UN General Assembly at the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20th.
Love Is Everything arrives April 14, 2015 via independent label 9:23 Music Group and boasts production from Toby Gad (Beyoncé,Fergie), Danja (Justin Timberlake, Usher), Jukebox (Willow Smith, Eve) and the elusive icon Dr. Dre. “It’s an album that walks you through the full Love Experience.” says ANTONIQUE SMITH. “The songs (on “Love is Everything”) show Love in different forms, Humility, Compromise and a bit of Tough Love too! I’ve experienced quite a few things and gained a little bit of wisdom. I’m trying to drop some jewels for both women and men as we navigate our way through Life and Love.”
ANTONIQUE SMITH is also heard on the album HOME, a project presented by the Hip Hop Caucus to raise awareness about climate change and “expand the climate movement”. ANTONIQUE SMITH recorded a version of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me”, which serves as the album’s lead single. The collection is currently available on iTunes with additional contributions from Common, Ne-Yo and Elle Varner.
ANTONIQUE SMITH, a native of East Orange, NJ, first garnered attention in her buzz-worthy leading role in “RENT” on Broadway as Mimi Marquez. She is most known for her portrayal of Faith Evans in the hit film of the life of the Notorious B.I.G., “Notorious” where she received rave reviews and universal critical acclaim. ANTONIQUE SMITH also starred in the 2011 indie drama “Yelling To The Sky” opposite Zoe Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe and the action film “Abduction” opposite Taylor Lautner and Alfred Molina.
How was your first Grammy Awards experience, as a nominee?
It was magical! I honestly felt like I was in a Disney movie. I felt like Cindarella! It was a moment I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl.
How do you think being a Grammy Award nominee is going to impact your career?
It’s already raised more awareness of my voice and my song. I believe it’s going to continue to open new doors and bring more ‘dream come true’ opportunities.
Do you meet any of your idols during the Awards?
I didn’t get to actually speak to her because I was afraid to say anything, but I was a foot away from Madonna. She’s amazing.
Who were you hoping to meet for the first time?
It would’ve been amazing to meet Paul McCartney. I’m a big Beatles fan and Let It Be is one of my favorite songs of all time. I loved his performance with Rihanna and Kanye that night. Also, Annie Lennox killed it that night!! We need more Annie Lennox in our lives.
We cover fashion, who did you wear on the Red Carpet? You looked amazing.
Awww! Thank you so much!!! I wore Cache’ and I felt so beautiful.
What is your go-to fashion staple?
When it’s cold, I go to skinny jeans and leggings because they can be sexy and stylish when paired with the right top and heels. And when it’s warm, I love rompers!!! They look like cute, sexy dresses but with extra comfort.
Did you do any crazy diets or exercise regiments to get ready for the Grammy Awards?
Ha! No crazy diets, but my trainer Martin Smith kicked my butt, as always! That’s how my tummy was flat and ready for that crop top.
We love your last single “Hold Up Wait a Minute (Woo Woo). What is your next single?
Thank you!! It’s an aggressive ballad called Higher. It’s about that moment at the beginning of most relationships where guys are afraid to commit and when that happens, us ladies tend to ask questions and say things that make guys run away faster. Higher is a solution for that problem that will actually make a guy look at you differently and want to commit to you.
When does your EP come out and what is its title?
I don’t have a release date just yet because I’m still putting the finishing touches on it but it’s called Love Is Everything and it’s about all the different experiences of love.
What do you believe is going to make you stand out from the multitude of female recording artists who are out now?
Besides my voice, I believe my message will continue to make me stand out. I’m hoping to continue to inspire people to think about their situation and make different choices.
Any touring plans?
Yes! My manager Darryl Farmer is in talks about a few different tours. I can’t wait to get out there and touch the people.
Last question…what is the origin of your name “Antonique”?
Ha! Funny story. My dad’s name is Anthony and they wanted me to be a boy. I was supposed to be Anthony jr. So, when i came out a girl, they wanted my name to be unique so they combined Anthony and unique and came up with Antonique. They thought they were being creative but it’s actually a French name. They didn’t know that though.