" Judy Torres "
by: Ivan Diller
"Ivan Diller writes a monthly column, "Ivan's Den," for the
New York-based club guide "Twist Magazine."
Contact Ivan Diller at: IDiller@aol.com
No Reason To Cry For Judy Torres
With Her New Release, Shes "Back In Your Arms Again"
|It's 3:30 P.M. on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the middle of August, and while most people are out enjoying a leisurely afternoon, Judy Torres is working hard in a midtown rehearsal studio auditioning dancers for an upcoming show at New Yorks Roxy nightclub. Along with Judy at the studio, which looks incredibly similar to the rehearsal spaces seen on television's "Fame," complete with mirrored walls and baby grand piano, are her choreographer Dwayne Chattman and Executive Producer Jimmy Folise of Third Millennium Entertainment.|
Holding a closed fist to her mouth as a mock-microphone, Torres is dancing and singing along to a track of her new release, "Back In Your Arms Again," while the three prospective backup dancers take direction from Chattman. "And one, two, three, four," yells Chattman as the dancers pound their fists on the floor in what looks like an African tribal dance.
The new song, written and produced by Brinsley Evans, who also wrote and produced the hits "You Make My World Go Round" and "Ain't No Need To Hide" for Sandy B., is quite different musically from the freestyle music that Judy is best known for. "The whole idea was to take Come Into My Arms and create a sequel to it," says Folise as the audition winds down and the dancers are told theyd be called, "that's what Back In Your Arms Again is."
Over grilled chicken salads at a restaurant close to the rehearsal studio, Judy Torres is confident, relaxed, and eager to speak about her upbringing, her earlier success and releasing "Back In Your Arms Again," due to hit stores on September 29th .
The eldest of five siblings and raised primarily by her mother in the Bronx, Torres knew from an early age that she wanted to be a singer. "Around the time that Solid Gold was on the air, I made the decision, at ten, that I was going to be a singer," remembers Judy. "I wrote my first song in the sixth grade because my Mom was going to spank me," she recalls with a smile. "So I wrote a song called Mama Don't, and she loved it so much that she didn't punish me."
With such an early focus on singing, Torres joined the glee club, and became involved in musical theater while attending Aquinas High School. Later, while studying at Lehman College, Torres learned how to read music while simultaneously entering any local talent show she could find. It was from one of these shows that Judy met her first manager George Vascones. With his promise of a paid show within six months, and a repertoire that included songs by Whitney Houston and Irene Cara, but without any original material, Vascones arranged for Judy to audition for Mickey Garcia, who was looking for a singer for a song he had written called "Love's Gonna Get You."
"Mickey gave me Love's Gonna Get You, and gave a girl named Vicky Ryan a song called No Reason To Cry," Judy recalls. "Vicky said No Reason To Cry was the worst song she ever heard, and I thought Love Is Gonna Get You sucked. So behind Mickey's back we switched." And the rest is, as they say, history. Judy was signed to Profile Records originally for one single, but Profile re-thought that deal as "No Reason To Cry" was a huge success. Judy's second single, "Come Into My Arms" was equally as successful as its predecessor, and soon after, Judy's debut album entitled Love Story was released. Love Story spawned three additional singles: the title track, "Please Stay Tonight," and "Love You Will You Love Me."
|A second album, My Soul, was released as the popularity of freestyle was winding down, but it nonetheless helped solidify Judys position as a "Freestyle Legend." "Hearing myself called a legend is a compliment, but at the same time it's not," she explains. "It implies that freestyle is all I'm ever going to do, but it also says that I'm someone special, someone people are going to remember. So there are both feelings to it."|
Well aware that her fan base consists of freestyle lovers, Torres has no intention of alienating the core group, but hopes they will grow along with her and accept that she's trying a new style with "Back In Your Arms Again." "I've been performing the new song at almost every show," states Judy. "I was trying to create a mystery around it, but I can't help it. I've been doing it, and the reaction has been great," she says proudly. Attests Folise, "You see Judy perform, and her talent, and what she wants to give to her audience, and you have a star on your hands."
Torres continues, "I love the new song so much because I feel special. It wasn't like someone came to me and said, Here Judy, sing this song, which is what happened to me with the other songs. Brinsley went to Jimmy and said, Can I get her CDs so I can hear what she sounds like? Then he said, Okay, she was eighteen then, and she's this age now, so if she still sings well, then this is about her range. Brinsley wrote Back In Your Arms Again based on that, and I feel like for once somebody wrote a song for me, with my song, and with my voice."
Ready to embark on a promotional tour for the single, which includes mixes by Brinsley Evans and Eddie Baez, Torres and Folise have high hopes. "We hope we're going right to radio once it drops," says Folise. "Judy has the ability to walk into any dance station in the country and they know who she is." On August 18th, "Back" was officially picked up by New Yorks dance station WKTU, where Judy hosts her own show on Sunday nights. Of her new position at KTU, Torres notes, "It's a lot of fun. It's so much fun that I pray in my heart that I can do it regularly."
In addition to flooding radio stations with the new single, Torres will be orchestrating record release parties throughout September and October in nightclubs where she has performed consistently for ten years. "I want to perform in places where I feel at home," says Judy. "Of course I want to reach out to new people, but I want to feel like I'm at home." For more information on "Back In Your Arms Again," live performances, and fan club information, see Judys website at www.JudyTorres.com.
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