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Crystal Waters



Crystal Waters Bio

Crystal first burst onto the world of music in 1991 with her global smash hit “Gypsy Women”.

The memorable chorus of La Da Di, La Di Da and the social commentary that her lyrics provided – about the day-to-day life of a homeless woman – touched the right chords with club goers and radio programmers alike. Subsequent crossover hits such as 100% Pure Love and In De Ghetto have made Crystal an undeniable star. In 2001 she returned back with a new album and a new single that samples the familiar The Price Is Right theme; Come On Down became another smash hit.

Waters was born just outside of Philadelphia into a family of musicians. Her father, Junior Waters, travelled all over the United States performing in a jazz group; her older brother was a bass player and her older sister modelled and sang.

Crystal first found her voice as a child writing poetry, but because she was shy and quiet at home, no one knew she wrote creatively until her mother found her book of poems. At the age of thirteen she submitted some of her works and had them published by the American Poetry Society. She graduated from high school when she was only sixteen and went on to study computer science and business management at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Soon after she started singing background vocals in a studio with a West African group that asked her to write songs for some dance tracks. “They gave me several tracks. I wrote ‘Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)’ sitting at my dining room table. There was something about the baseline and the melody I came up with – La Da Di, La Di Da – that just went so well together. But I was struggling to look for words to fill it, so I just left it there and figured I would fill it in later.”

The Basement Boys shopped Crystal’s demo to Mercury Records through record executives at A&M Records. By 1991 Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) topped the dance and pop music charts and was certified Gold in several countries. Her debut album Surprise was also certified Gold and spawned several other dance hits, including the title track Makin’ Happy.

Crystal’s 1994 sophomore effort Storyteller was also certified Gold and yielded several more dance hits, including Ghetto Day, What I Need and 100% Pure Love. Her 1996 eponymous third album offered the reggae-flavoured dance hit In De Ghetto, which was followed by the release of a greatest hits album, The Best of Crystal Waters.

After that recording session, she found a keyboard player by placing an ad in the local paper. They wrote three or four songs together and shopped their demo around until she met the Basement Boys in 1987. Crystal says that the first songs she wrote were “more laid-back jazzy in the style of Sade”.

In 2001 Crystal signed with Strictly Rhythm Records releasing the single Enough in 2002. Her more recent collaborations and releases include the singles Dancefloor ft. Speaker (2008), When People Come Together ft. Bellani & Spada (2010) and Say Yeah ft. Fred Pellichero (2011). Influenced by her favourite artist, jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, Crystal would like to do a jazz album someday. “Not that I want to be a jazz artist, but I just want to do it for myself – more of a labour of love. Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) has sort of a lazy jazzy feel to it.”

She also hopes to write and publish her own book in the future. But for now, she is writing and producing her own music. “I just like people to know that I write my own songs. I am a songwriter and a singer.”