Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Magruder grad’s first CD coming in March

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Naomi Brookner⁄The Gazette
Clarksburg resident Quanisha Wathington’s first CD, titled ‘‘Quanisha,” will debut March 18.
Eighteen-year-old Quanisha Wathington warmed the hearts of Clarksburg residents with her voice during two community events in December. Her fans will soon be able to hear more of her when her debut CD is released in March.

Wathington, a 2007 graduate of Col. Zadok Magruder High School and the daughter of Paul Thomas and Tanita Wathington, is a soulful rhythm and blues singer who has been honing her craft since the fourth grade. She was inspired by her grandfather’s R&B group, the Wathington Brothers, which performed frequently in Matawan, N.J., years ago.

Her CD, slated to drop March 18, was produced by Leni Law, a former member of the rap group KSL who lives in Atlanta. He met Wathington in December 2006 at his recording studio, Midi Lab, then located in Gaithersburg. Wathington went to the studio to support a friend who was singing, but when Law heard her voice, he was impressed.

‘‘Quanisha is, on the surface, very laid back, reserved and humble,” Law said. ‘‘Inside is a singer that just can’t wait to get out there and be able to show, not just to the audience locally, but to people all over the world, what she is able to do. Quanisha is very capable of doing that.

‘‘The first thing I noticed was she had great control,” Law said. ‘‘A lot of times younger singers don’t have as much control as Quanisha does. Her pitch was very good.”

Law’s production company, Buttaphat Traks, produced Wathington’s CD. Three other companies are vying to distribute the CD, Wathington said.

The CD, titled ‘‘Quanisha,” features a cover of ‘‘Make Me Say It Again Girl” by the Isley Brothers, which is renamed ‘‘Make Me Say It” on the album. Wathington wrote most of the 13 songs on the album.

Her first single, ‘‘Hott,” was released in the fall and it is available on her MySpace page.

Wathington said she wants to prove that singers can become successful and still maintain their dignity.

‘‘A lot of young ladies in the videos are doing whatever just to be seen,” Wathington said. ‘‘I don’t think they should have to do that.”

She will major in entertainment law and recording engineering when she begins her first semester at Full Sail, a multitechnical school in Winter Park, Fla., in September.

Gordon Taylor, the owner of Upcounty Fine Wine & Beer in the Highlands of Clarksburg shopping center, where Wathington works, said she has a lot of tenacity, which he thinks will help her pursue her music career.

‘‘What I saw in her from the beginning was someone who is working her way through school and was pursuing a very difficult career path, but at the same time doing it the right way by including an education,” Taylor said.

Wathington’s mother remembers the day she first heard Quanisha singing as a fourth-grader at Langford Elementary in Hartford, Conn.

‘‘There were 25 kids in the group, but one voice stood out,” she said. ‘‘It was Quanisha’s.”