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-- Shaheem Reid

When P. Diddy's latest right-hand man, Loon, finished laying his vocals on record mogul Clive Davis' newest find, he could smell a hit. "Yeah, and another one," the Harlem native gloated with a smile.

As Loon brushed his hands off after a job well done, the three ladies Davis has been bragging about finished up the breakdown verse to "Young & Sexy," the first single from Lyric's upcoming self-titled debut.

"Look at your face, your pretty haaaiiir," Jackie sang in the booth, while her partners Fendi and Thema sat in the studio with pads and pens in their hands. "Look what you do to me, and you're just standing there/ When I look at your eyes, its just not faaaiiir."

Like Loon with Arista years ago, the girls auditioned for Davis, now head of J Records, and were quickly spun into a whirlwind of activity when the mogul jumped on their bandwagon.

"With Clive, he usually just sits there, but you can tell you're getting a vibe from him," Fendi, a Brooklyn native, said later.

"He starts grooving a little bit," Thema confirmed.

"He starts doing this thing. That's when you know he's really vibing to you," Fendi continued. "So we just ran with his energy and brought it even higher by the end of our performance.

"It was so unexpected. We just went in and had a whole dance routine, and he was like, 'OK, can you do it again?' " Thema said.

The trio that was twice as nice for Davis was once a duo. Urban Legends, whose members include Thema's brother, produced cuts on their LP and brought the first two gals together. Fendi, who has written lyrics for Boyz II Men and fellow newcomer girl group HerSanity, was penning words for the Legends when they thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to the Detroit-born Thema. Meanwhile, a search was held for a third member, and word got all the way to Jackie in Los Angeles, who auditioned and was chosen.

"We immediately clicked and knew she was the right one for the group," Fendi recalled.

Being right for the group meant being able to relate to her compatriots' affinity for comfortable clothes, like Timberland boots, Air Force One sneakers, baggy pants and fitted ball caps and Kangols instead of form-fitting eye-candy wrapping like dresses and sandals.

"Basically 'Young & Sexy' is our definition of sexy, 'cause usually right now less clothes is sexy," Fendi explained. "We are trying to show you can have on your baggy clothing , you can have your Timbs on, and still be sexy. There's all different types of sexy, you know?"

If the thump-laden "Young & Sexy" takes off as Loon predicts, the girls feel they have enough songs in the chamber so the fans won't be let down. One of them, "Sunny Day," owes a lot to a children's television show.

"It's basically an inspirational song, talking about ... individually we have our own vibe, and where we came from to now," Fendi said of the track, which borrows from the "Sesame Street" theme song. "The clouds are away, and now we have sunny days. It's from the heart, all three of us. So it's very important to our album."

As for Lyric's debut, the girls said it'll be here in an eye blink, as long as Fendi doesn't become too much of a bugaboo.

"We're pretty much done with all the songs," the songstress said. "It's been a lot of fun, because we all write together. ... We just jell really well. We're like sisters. I'm the annoying one, though. I'm the annoying sister, because I'm an only child, so I never really had girls around all the time. 'Let's go out, let's do this, let's do that.' They're just, 'Let's just stay and watch TV.' I'll annoy and bother them the entire day."


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 "Young & Sexy"
(J Records)
   Photo: J Records


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