College concerts aren't usually life-changing events — no matter how awesome the lineup. But for [artist id="3226972"]Colette Carr[/artist], it was the start of her rapping career. The budding star, who is signed to [artist id="1233784"]Nick Cannon[/artist]'s Ncredible Entertainment label, told MTV News how it all began.
"I've been making music for a year," Carr, 19, said. "I started by breaking into a UCLA concert with my sister and jumping onstage. It was a Game concert, and the Game was late."
To kill time while waiting for the headliner, the show's MC asked if anyone in the audience could freestyle. Colette jumped onstage and instantly fell in the love with the performing experience.
Carr's video "Back It Up" has become an online hit, with more than 465,000 views on MTV Music and a spot in the mtvU top 10 videos list this week. The clip captures Colette's eclectic nature, as she wears a straightjacket and frightening green contact lenses and dances in a psychiatric hospital decorated in neon colors. It's also all in keeping with Colette's personal style, which she compares to a "rainbow in the dark."
"I made the video for me. It was kind of a tribute to my uncle — [who] is schizophrenic and we would tell each other these crazy stories — and he passed away," explained Carr, who plans on maintaining this theme for her upcoming studio album, Schizo. "Schizo [is a] tribute to my uncle, to the video ['Back It Up'], that whole movement. I really want to bring awareness to schizophrenia."
Carr gave a preview her hip-hop/pop-electro sound on her mixtape, Sex Sells, Stay Tooned, which she dropped in August. The tape includes a remake of Jay-Z's "Dear Summer" and a remix of the Far East Movement's hit "Like a G6."
The attention she's garnered from Sex Sells has landed her the help of some big-name producers for her debut LP. "I got some pretty dope stuff in the works, working with Frank Musik, Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, Pharrell, Nick Cannon, Space Cowboy and all these really dope people," she said.
So, does the up-and-comer get intimidated in the studio with these "dope" people? "No, I really have a hard time getting intimidated by people" she said. "I see no point in getting nervous or intimidated. I mean, sometimes it might happen, but that's not a good feeling to have; I'm just excited. I just get excited and amped on the energy."