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by Aneta Tadeusiak
She's the Backstreet Boys' first discovery yet she claims to be something totally opposite from the camp Britney type of artist. She records catchy pop songs that gain her thousands of fans yet she looks like a punk. She's only 19 years old yet she writes her own material and plays the piano, guitar, flute and drums. So who is she?
Krystal Harris, hailing from Indiana, USA, was the first artist to be signed to KBNHA Records (do the names Kevin, Brian, Nick, Howie, AJ ring the bell to you?), and looks like a new industry experiment, with her rebel looks yet sugary vocals.
It seems somehow weird that a boy band, who gained their success thanks mainly to the nice-looking-guys image, has put forward an artist whose image screams "I'm the anti-pop princess". Let's be honest, the music of the Backstreet Boys' upbeat tracks, or Krystal's herself is not totally different from Britney Spears', who is the sugary blonde pop princess.
However, Krystal may help to make the teenage audience realise pop music should be about music first, not image. The notion that you can enjoy hard-hitting chart music simply because it's fun, not because you've been enchanted and manipulated by someone's image. Surely this young performer will make Britney & Co look pale in comparison, bring some quality to the market, and make people think in a slightly more sober way.
Maybe it really takes a radical image to make people notice the talent? Take Destiny's Child, Craig David or Debelah Morgan for example. All you hear about them is how good looking they are, or how good their vocals are, never that they actually write their own material or play any instruments. Then take Dido whose looks are never mentioned, as her career clearly isn't based on image, but whose writing skills are constantly highlighted by the critics.
The career of Krystal Harris looks bright. Her album ambitiously entitled "Me & My Piano" has the influences of Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder... and the Backstreet Boys. The album, as well as the debut single, "Supergirl", is set to appeal to young fanbase and is definitely no worse than the best selling artists of the genre, such as NSync, Jessica Simpson or Britney herself.