She’s come a long way from Ohio. While attending a Cincinnati school for the performing arts, Carmen Electra always knew she’d become a star. It was anyone’s guess as to how she was going to get there. The disarmingly attractive enchantress got the attention of legendary recording artist Prince. It wasn’t long before he signed her to his Paisley Park record label and unleashed Carmen Electra’s first hit single.
"Go Go Dancer" had all the earmarks of a hit track, especially emerging from the 90’s cornucopia of dance acts. Her self-titled debut album, released in 1992, didn’t necessarily nab her chart-topping success, but it did solidify Carmen Electra on the pop consciousness. The triple threat would soon appear as a regular on "Baywatch," become one of the most hotly anticipated Playboy cover girls, and continue to charm the country with her snarky sense of humor.
Carmen Electra is now joining the line-up as one of the headliners at one of the Circuit season’s biggest events of the year. She’ll be joining DJs Wayne G and Manny Lehman on Sunday, Mar. 31 when Jeffrey Sanker presents Circus Xtreme T-Dance at the White Party, Palm Springs. "Yes! I’m so excited," Carmen revealed as she and her team rehearsed for the upcoming WP debut of the single "I Like It Loud" which is produced by Bill Hamel. "I’m going to wear something super fabulous," she also promised.
Still Getting Loud
After a very long hiatus from recording new music, Electra has an entirely fresh perspective on her new sound and direction. "This time around it’s happened in the most organic sort of way," she commented. "I realize now how important everything is - I’ve had so much fun this year rediscovering all these new vibes and feelings inside of me." She’s also aligned herself with new collaborators including time-tested and renowned dance producers including Bill Hamel who featured prominently on "I Like It Loud."
To her credit, Carmen Electra was off to a very solid start when Prince discovered her. "That was a very special time for me." Her debut album had Electra competing against releases from Madonna, Janet Jackson and even Prince himself in 1992, but she easily found a slew of "Electra-philes." "I had a very small underground following," Electra revealed. "From that lesson, I learned it doesn’t matter how big your audience is, and I’ve always appreciated my fans."
Asked if she has listened to some of those original recordings, Carmen Electra admitted: "I have recently gone back and listened. Maybe it was a little ahead of its time." The album was infused with the funk that Prince had become famous for, and a hip-hop edge that Electra delivered. She even had a very modest dance track "Fantasia Erotica," which could easily play on today’s EDM-heavy dance floors.
Among those followers has been a very solid gay fan base. She recently and exclusively launched her new music at Mike Ruiz’s annual birthday bash. The event supported the Ali Forney Center and helped raise funds for the non-profit that had been hit very hard after Superstorm Sandy. "I feel like people have really supported me through the highs and lows of my career," the singer said. "I really want to give that all back."
Sex Appeal with a Smile
Electra admits she’s always felt a connection to the gay community and has understood what it’s like to feel like an outsider. "I’ve had moments where I have been afraid." She recently attended New York Fashion Week and shared a moment with a young woman in the midst of her final transitioning from male to female. "We had the sweetest moment," Electra revealed. "She just knew who she truly is - I see people for who they are. I believe in love. You shouldn’t be judged for that."
Bold and beautiful, Carmen Electra has always served up the sex appeal with a healthy sense of humor. "I’m so sensitive that it’s probably my coping mechanism," she admitted. "Having a good sense of humor has just been a part of me. I’m the first person to make fun of myself. It’s a very freeing quality. When you laugh at things, you can take the power out of them - that’s what’s worked for me. I love showing that side of me. That’s just me."
Coming up very soon, Carmen Electra will be revealing more of herself. Her performance at White Party is only the beginning, as she puts the final touches on a new album project into which she is completely immersing herself. "This is what I’ve dreamt of doing for so long. I feel through music I can express myself completely. I want to give it my all and really turn out a great performance." And remember boys...Carmen Electra - she likes it loud!
To catch Carmen Electra live and for more details on Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party in Palm Springs, Mar. 29 - 31 go to www.jeffreysanker.com. Carmen Electra’s new single featuring Bill Hamel "I Like It Loud" is available now for download on most online digital music stores.