“My style is really more cool and laid back,” Fallon says. “I’m the lowest note out of the group and I have sort of a soothing, airy feel to my voice. Farrah’s the sophisticated one in the group. Felisha and I are kinda tomboyish while Neosha is the sexy one. She’s the soprano. We all have our unique sound.”
Having penned most of the songs on Unappreciated, their first album for Sho’Nuff/Capitol, each member of Cherish brings her own flavor to the group, resulting in a knock-out musical presentation that ranges from sassy to sensuous to crunk. “We write the music that we can relate to, that we want to dance to and get crunk in a club to,” Felisha says. “It’s definitely a good thing when you can portray your style and what everybody else your age, older or younger, is listening to.”
The infectious lead single “Do It To It,” produced by Don Vito (Jagged Edge, Mya), finds Cherish coming out the gate fresh and sassy with a sexy street sizzler that is a sure bet for the clubs and the airwaves. “All four of us put our heads together for this song,” Felisha says of the cut, which features a guest rap from Sean Paul of YoungBloodZ. “We put our ideas down and thought about what young people wanted to hear nowadays. Being from Atlanta, we had to add that A-Town feel to it. We gotta represent where we’re from.”
Also on Cherish’s musical menu are a variety of ballads and uptempo joints that talk about life, love and relationships from the perspective of young women documenting the various stages of dating. The enticing ballad “Whenever,” produced by Jasper (Nelly, Christina Aguilera, Monica), for instance, features Cherish detailing how a friendship can eventually lead to romance. Then there’s “Ohh,” which addresses indecision about how seriously to take your relationship. “This is the song that is basically saying you don’t know if you’re ready or not,” Felisha says. “Show and Tell” wraps it all up. “This song is saying, ‘Okay I’m ready. No more talking about it. Show me what you got,’” Felisha explains.
“Chick Like Me” finds Cherish chopping it up about their taste in guys. “We’re all explaining the type of guy that we like,” Fallon says. “East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Down South. It’s a young song, one you can ride in your car and get crunk to, but on a laid-back tip.”
Cherish switches sonic gears on “Moment in Time,” a sweet ballad where the understated musical arrangement makes the girls’ vocals shine. “‘Moment in Time’ is our love song,” Felisha says. “We’re basically saying that we know we are always gone and always busy, but we want him to still be here no matter what.”
On the other end of the spectrum is the Jazze Pha-produced “Stop Calling Me,” a matter-of-fact mandate to an overly persistent suitor. “ ‘Stop Calling Me’ is exactly what the title says,” Felisha says. “You meet this guy under crazy circumstances so you give him your number and he continues to call you constantly. You even take the time to change your number and he calls your mother to get your new number. So basically he's a stalker and won’t leave you alone.”
“That Boi,” also produced by Jazze Pha, is just the opposite, Felisha says. “We checkin’ out this guy on the dance floor. We’re liking the way he moves, liking his whole swagga. You giving him hints and he’s playin’ it cool, but you like him anyway and you’re gonna get him no matter what it takes.”
And on yet another tip, the infectious title track is a frank testament from a lover who is being taken for granted. “This song is about feeling unappreciated because baby boy ain’t treatin’ us the way he used to,” Felisha explains. “He forgets our anniversary, he leaves home when he feels like it, and he doesn’t know that he’s taking our love for granted.”
Complementing Cherish’s distinctive, far-reaching sound is the production handiwork of super producer/Sho’Nuff CEO Jazze Pha, as well as Dre & Vidal, Jasper, Don Vito and Adonis. The girls say they typically look for producers who can build songs around their concepts. “Because we write so much, we like producers that can build a song around what we do,” Fallon reveals. “If they can produce around our ideas, that is wonderful, perfect chemistry. We like people that bring heavy beats. We love the chemistry that we have with the producers on our album.”
No strangers to R&B fans, Cherish first hit the scene in 2003 under the wing of producer/label exec Jermaine Dupri. The girls’ super tight harmonies and fresh flavor made fans take notice. Still, the world only tasted a tiny morsel of the smorgasbord that Cherish can bring to the table the first time around.
“The difference is that now we’re older,” Farrah says. “Our music sounds a little bit more mature.” “On the first album we didn’t write the way we wanted to,” Felisha adds. “On this album, it’s different because our music is actually coming from us in every aspect, in every way.”
And that’s something the group can certainly Cherish.