Imagine being brought up around one of this generation’s most successful female R&B groups and being close friends with today’s most recognizably talented sisters. In entertainment’s hardest industry, however, close acquaintances do not always promise a sure foot in the door. Confucius said that you are who you surround yourself with, and for the budding singer, song writer Coline Creuzot–who is equal parts talent and beauty like the Houston girls with whom she grew up–having a best friend who’s already got a firm grip on the business does not curtail her hustle to pursue and evolve her own passion.

As a backup singer for Solange Knowles, Coline is steadily making her mark around Houston, Texas as a solo artist. The 22 year-old recently appeared in Solange’s video “I Decided” and has since been promoting her own music at local venues and radio stations; her song “You Changed” has been in rotation for the past few months. “I had a meeting with a local DJ, and I was lucky enough to have them play my music,” Coline says. Though not Los Angeles or New York City, Houston is emerging into what Coline calls a cool and supportive city. “The music scene is pretty cool and definitely evolving. I’ve gotten a lot of support from rappers here,” she says.

In fact, the hustle mentality of the aspiring songstress is not unlike that of a rapper where promoting one’s own music is essential. “I’ve had to pass out my mix tape Head Turner and create a buzz of interest much like the rappers,” says Coline. “I’ve had to learn that you have to be your own number one fan, push yourself and make people believe in you.”

“I’ve had to learn that you have to be your own number one fan, push yourself and make people believe in you.”

So what’s been the driving force behind Coline’s determination? While singing in church and in competitions since the age of three and having a mother who sang as well, Coline also accredits growing up around Destiny’s Child for her interest in the music business and going after her own dream. “It’s a lot harder,” Coline says about the transition from singing backup to becoming a solo artist. “You have the pressure of really shining and being creative. Presenting yourself to the industry is hard.”

Coline’s music, which she writes and co-writes herself, is a mix of R&B, soul and pop, and although she claims it to be more commercial and versatile, the singer says to have been inspired by the music of Donny Hathaway and Sam Cooke. “My music blends R&B, rap and pop but I like to dance, so of course I have some records to shake it to,” Coline says. “But my main passion is R&B…those soulful melodies.”

Ms. Creuzot intends to keep pursuing her music in the New Year and doesn’t plan on slowing down or letting up. “I believe the sky is the limit,” she says. “I’ve been to the labels and back. I’ve had a lot of challenges last year, and although radio play has opened a lot of doors for me, there still are some people who do not like my sound. Despite that, I don’t want to sacrifice myself. I want to be who I am, not a manufactured version of myself.”

For more information on Coline Creuzot ,please visit www.myspace.com/colinecreuzot.

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