It all started when Bahja was twelve years old with the popular and colorful girl group the “OMG Girlz.” OMG, (initialism of “Officially Miss Guided “) their name is play on words; it represents being young ladies “Miss” that are “Guided” in positive ways. The group was formed by Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, formerly of the girl group Xscape. Cottle is also a veteran reality television star of two shows that catapulted the career of the OMG Girlz, BET’s Tiny and Toya and T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. Bahja Rodriguez and her band mates found success together and worked as a group until March 12, last year. At that point the group members made the decision to release solo projects. Of course, all the girls have individual vocal talent, but Badja’s music stands out.
Bahja Rodriguez just celebrated her twentieth birthday on August 2, 2016. She is a young artist who has grown up a lot in just a few years. As a parent, I think we all understand how much young people change in the eight years from twelve to twenty. At twelve years old the child is not yet a teenager, but at the other end we have an adult, ready or not. For Bahja, the growing played out on the stage and under the spotlight of show business. She is not the first one to grow up like this, nevertheless this is her experience.
For Bahja and her band mates OMG Girlz, the music would go from adolescent in nature to adult oriented. Also, for the first time since their start in the music industry, since they now would embark upon solo careers, the music now would be uniquely their own. Of course, at this stage of any young solo career it is difficult to predict how successful an artist may or may not become. However, there may be a few signs pointing toward potential success, although no guarantees.
Last week Weekly Music Commentary featured Nick Jonas. Nick Jonas’ Head Start At the beginning of the post I made a comparison between the Jonas Brothers and the Jackson 5. I analyzed the similarity of both family entertainment acts growing up in the music industry Much like OMG Girlz they got their start as children and then grew up before our eyes. As the group members grew older and after enjoying early success, they decided to embark upon solo careers. That decision to move on from the band is not just born from a desire for creative independence. Recently I was listening to an interview with Jon Bon Jovi where he stated that “musicians are not supposed to stay in bands forever. They eventually will do other things”. So true. There may be various factors for band breakups but many times it all boils down to one member standing out and exhibiting something special.
In speaking with a few fans of OMG Girlz, all spoke highly about the group and members. However, quite a few thought that Bahja was the young lady with that “something special.” Certainly the young and budding star released a good amount of solo material for fans to decide if Bahja is a cut above the rest. In April 2015, Bahja released her first song as a solo artist titled “Jealous Type” which has gained over one million sound cloud plays to date. She went on to release two more songs with videos “Lipstick” and “Next One” each having more than 400,000 plays on sound cloud and more than 1 Million views on Vevo. On November 20, 2015, her highly anticipated EP “It Gets Better” was digitally released. Within a few hours “It Gets Better” had reached #12 on the iTunes R&B chart peaking at #6.
Bahja appears more than ready for a solo career. She sought out the perfect creative team to help develop and bring her vision as a solo artist to life. If any young singers are looking for a start performing R&B, the city of Atlanta is a great place to start. Bahja could surround herself with an exceptional group to help her career get off the ground. Now, we can prepare for the good music.
Once I settled in and listened to Bahja’s music and viewed her videos, I understood why her fans believed she had the tools to enjoy a good career within the music industry. Inevitably, the comparisons to Beyoncé Knowles would arise because of her beautiful appearance, musical start in the girl group Destiny’s Child, and then the major solo success. Most of you know by now I hate comparisons, especially to Beyoncé. I think that is really unfair because that raises the bar incredibly high way too early. Let’s just say that Bahja Rodriguez has the tools that could lead to a good R&B career.
When child stars grow up, the success does not translate because their audience does not grow up with them. I think Bahja might be different because she is now delivering adult oriented music. Her solo material is created for young adults. It means Bahja sings about love and relationships in a way that young adults can appreciate and understand. I also believe that Bahja Rodriguez will attract more fans that did not listen to OMG Girlz.
Bahja Rodriguez has grown up, and her music has grown up too. What’s next? Time will tell.