Allure: Through The Fire

When you enter the music industry you take a chance. You work hard to perfect your craft, hope and pray to get discovered – and when you finally get that big break, you never know what tomorrow brings. The ladies of the group Allure – Alia Davis, Lalisha McLean, and Akissa Mendez – took a […]

When you enter the music industry you take a chance. You work hard to perfect your craft, hope and pray to get discovered – and when you finally get that big break, you never know what tomorrow brings. The ladies of the group Allure – Alia Davis, Lalisha McLean, and Akissa Mendez – took a chance. After signing with two records labels that eventually folded, Allure can vouch that the music industry isn’t always glamour and gold.

Hoping to get past misfortune and gain a fresh start, Allure signed with Truwarier Records headed by Indiana Pacer, Ron Artest. When it came time to release their third album, Chapter Three, in November of 2004, things took a turn for Allure. With high hopes that things would be better this time around; the light at the end of the tunnel eventually darkened again. Ron Artest would be involved in one of the biggest brawls in NBA history which would impact Truwarier Records, and affect promotion and distribution of Allure’s album.

In dealing with such adversity, it might come as a surprise that these ladies have been able to maintain a positive outlook on their musical careers. So much has happened, but at the same time Allure let Alternatives know that they plan to stay strong, continue promoting their album, and won’t let hard times keep them down. Alternatives: How have you all dealt with being signed to two other labels that folded prior to Truwarier Records? What’s been your motivation to keep going?

Lalisha: Definitely it’s been challenging, but we feel that we’ve been put here and through these situations for a reason. We didn’t know that when we were signed to Crave or MCA that either was going to fold. Things happen, and God gave us the strength and surrounded us with people to endure and go through these things and still be okay. We feel everything has happened for a reason and it’s made us stronger.

AHHA: What lessons do you think that you’ve learned dealing with both Crave and MCA?

Lalisha: We’ve learned how to pick our team, be it management or an accountant. We just don’t pick people the company wants us to choose just to keep the project moving. We pick people that we trust now.

AHHA: Hooking up with Ron Artest and Truwarier, how did that come about?

Akissa: We had a mutual friend that was working alongside Ron and he brought it to our attention that Ron wanted to open up a label and was looking to sign a girl group. It kind of seemed like it was almost meant to happen, because we didn’t have a situation and he had one that he was trying to open up, and everything pretty much happened from there.

AHHA: Did you have any other deals on the table around the time you signed with Truwarier?

Alia: We were dealing with other major labels, but we thought why not try the independent route. Ron was tying to start the label and he explained that people weren’t taking him seriously because he was a basketball player. He believed that we could all help each other. In turn, we thought being independent we could have more control and maybe then people would start to take Ron more seriously because here we were an established group signing to his label. Things didn’t happen like they were supposed to, and this is just going to be another experience that we learn from. We’re just doing what we have to do to promote our album.

AHHA: The incident that Ron Artest was involved in back in November, when the fight evolved between the NBA Pacers and Pistons as well as fans, resulted in him being suspended for the remainder of the season. Do you feel that it impacted you?

Alia: Definitely. A lot of things have happened to us in our careers that have been out of our control. We thought that any publicity was good publicity, it was then we learned that it wasn’t. We sat down with Ron and discussed how things were supposed to go to with promotion, marketing, and just keeping us out there, but after the incident things didn’t go as planned. We stuck to out part of the bargain, which was deliver a good album on time. We put a lot into it. We wrote about 85% of the songs, stuck with producers that we have a history with, and did collaborations with Joe Budden and Elephant Man. Despite the backlash, if they would have kept to their part of the bargain, we feel that our album still could have been productive. A lot of deadlines weren’t met, so right now it’s up to us to fill in the voids and show everybody how important our album is to us.

Akissa: As far as us being impacted with this whole thing with Ron, that definitely back fired in the most negative way, because now everybody thinks that he’s a knucklehead and they’re pretty much looking at us now like we’re some dumb broads that he’s just rolling with. But that’s not the case, we’re going to have to do what we have to do to make sure our albums is heard and we’re perceived the right way. Throughout this whole situation, we have to thank our distributor Lightyear/WEA because they’ve been very helpful through all of this.

AHHA: Did you have any thoughts about leaving Truwarier or receive any new offers?

Alia: People are offering, but we’re the type of people that like to give people a chance. There’s a relationship there between us and Ron, and we try to show that we’re there for him, but at the same time we’re not going to hold up our careers because we’re trying to be there for him.

AHHA: So what’s next for Allure?

Alia: We recently did a song with Tom Jones, and we’re about to go follow that hit over in Europe. And we’ve just been writing to increase our catalog so that we when start jumping on the bandwagon again we definitely have a large catalog to sell.

Akissa: Pretty much whatever opportunities come along, we just pray that whatever God brings to the table he’ll bring it in time. We’ll still be promoting our album so everybody can hear it, and hopefully that will open up other doors for other things to come in. Honestly we’re just being patient as possible and plan to take things one step at a time.

For more information on Allure and Chapter Three, go to: