Writing is without doubt a changing art among the times. With the current networking styles and electronic conveniences that don’t even require much applied pressure, it’s said that Americans are writing more than ever, but their grammatical structure and creative impetus are more than lagging — let alone productivity. The writing taking place often never leaves the neon glow of an under-desk text message during school hours and has long replaced the art of a meticulously folded, passing-period note. With that said, please allow Parlé to change your possible, current direction by introducing you to two great N.Y. writers that could quite possibly be the last writing duo of the state, the Pen Up Girls, individually known as Fendi of New York and Natalie of New Jersey. We at Parlé feel it safe to say that these two young ladies are on the rise, changing the median in which a writers work begins and ends. The Pen Up Girls were kind enough to speak with us at Parlé about their accomplishments, current endeavors, learned lessons and future plans, but before we get into all of that, let us get better look at how the Pen Up Girls work.
“We never write anything down, that’s not our style. We vibe off each other in the studio, we don’t get lost in the paper.”
Fendi, a former member of J Records’ vocal trio, Lyric, produced by Clive Davis, and Natalie a songwriter of Jersey met through a mutual vocal coach by the name of Troy Randall. Just out of fun in the range of common interest, Fendi and Natalie began writing their first song together one casual afternoon, late 2007. “All I remember is the two of us trying to just show the other how raunchy we could get with it,” Natalie said laughing. “Of course the song “Touch Me” never officially came out,” Fendi concluded, jokingly. Then after, the two wrote “Can’t Find the Words,” a song from Def Jam’s Karina Pasian’s album First Love of 2008. Early 2008, the Pen Up Girls became official. “The name is pretty self-explanatory and didn’t take much debate — we pretty much said it at the same time,” said Fendi.
Having since been picked up by Sony ATV/Hitco Publishing, the pair went onto describe the typical ingredients of a productive writing session. “Working at home is comfortable, but it’s just that: there are so many distractions and openings for things to get in the way of actually writing. We always work best in the studio,” said Natalie. Fueled by Red Bull and never too far from a piano or acoustic guitar, the two are also good friends that have a easy flowing of personable understanding and over their ideas. “Writing together is never hard, but of course a great deal of a song depends on its producer.”
The writing duo has written songs with some of the hottest producers of the generation with names such as Rodney Jerkins, Los Da Mystro, Krucial Brothers, Drumma Boy and J. Remmy. The girls’ most memorable session was working with Charlie Wilson they agreed. “Working with Charlie Wilson was an overall amazing experience,” Natalie said. “He’s humble, has very easy-going attitude, and doesn’t mind singing take-after-take to get the vocals just right. He’s a great example of an amazing artist.” From that session the record titled “Back to Love” was recorded and found a home on his latest album Uncle Charlie.
The Pen Up Girls have come a long way with their talents. Natalie having wrote songs since she was in preschool and Fendi writing songs over the instrumental of old tapes as a child, it’s truly inspiring to see how the two have not set a single foot outside onto the sidewalk, but have ran block-by-block into the world further than most ever dream, working nationally and internationally. Songs the two have wrote have been featured on broadcasts such as C-Span’s Unveiling of the “Sojourner Truth” statue with the track, “Nothing But The Truth” as performed by Dorinda Clark (Gospel group, Clark Sisters) and Yolanda Adams. Attendees at the event included Michelle Obama, Nancy Puloski and Hilary Clinton. In addition, the ladies have penned Bobby Valentino’s “Hands On Me” and “Butterfly Tattoo” off the 2009 Rebirth album. Their latest embarkment is on R&B artist Monica, Still Standing album. The ladies penned the second track “Once in a Lifetime.” The girls even have their share in the commercial-song-writing business.
Sticking by their statement “It’s always great to be competitive, but better to stand together” proves they have a clear understanding of team work. Working internationally, the Pen Up Girls are in works with Korean artists the Wonder Girls as seen on “So You Think You Can Dance” and the Wendy Williams show. Also, the girls recently landed a toothpaste commercial in Poland with singing sensation Tatianna Okupnik . The Pen Up Girls are excited to work with brand new artists and writers because they believe “You never know where the hit is going to come from.” Though working with an already established artist is privelege, there is a different kind of gratification that comes from aiding a creative project from its inception to its success.
As many names involved to keep up with, the Pen Up Girl’s ambitions don’t end there — not even quite. Also having plans for advice segment on television, more international artists on their way, and many plans under-wraps for the future, the duo has proved their heels are dug-in and have no intentions of budging. With strong beliefs of women empowerment, the girls are always looking to work with more female artists and look forward to showing how they will stop at nothing short of their dreams. With that said, perhaps you should drop by the nearest store and grab a composition notebook. As you can see, you never know where the little things that come to you can take you. The Pen Up Girls are next and everywhere else you could possibly imagine. Parlé’s stands behind that statement.