Dance/pop powerhouse Kristine W celebrates her past and looks to the future with her latest release, New & Number Ones, a collection of some of her 16 chart-topping dance hits, as well as new original songs, remixed hits, and covers of two of her music idols’ songs.
Perseverance has served Kristine well as she began her career over a decade ago and landed her first of 16 No. 1 hits with “Feel What You Want” in 1994. By the end of the 2000s, Kristine had tied Mariah Carey for third-most chart toppers on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart. Kristine W now has 16 No. 1’s and Carey is at 15. In December, 2009, Billboard published both their Year End and Decade End charts announcing Kristine in the third place position on the Decade’s Best of 2000s Dance Club Play Artists list, trailing only Madonna and Beyoncé.
“When I was named one of the top 3 artists of the decade by Billboard, that freaked me out,” she laughs. “But, it’s been great that I’ve been able to do this career and have a life and be a mom.”
New & Number Ones, which was released last month on her own label Fly Again Music, made an impressive debut in the Top 5 on the iTunes dance album chart. The collection, which includes 15 songs for the CD version and 17 total for the digital edition, also clocked in on Billboard’s Electronic Albums Chart and Heatseekers New Artists Chart. Meanwhile, the first single from the set, “Everything That I Got” is impacting now.
“With every new album that comes out, you get some new fans and some of those people have not heard of my earlier hits, so this was a way to introduce the new fans to the songs from the beginning of my career and to give the fans who have been with me a new take on that material, as well as some new songs,” says the Las Vegas-based artist.
The album is also dedicated to the late great Donna Summer, the dance icon who passed away earlier this year. To honor the legend, Kristine recorded a house-ified cover of “Sometimes Like Butterflies.” “I was racking my brain about how to pay tribute to her and somebody had told me about this obscure song and I just found the story in the song very haunting,” she says.
Of Summer’s influence on her own career, Kristine says, “Growing up, I always loved dance music, but when I first heard her voice, there was something in it that was so real, very emotional and rich. Her songs always went somewhere. There was always meaning behind it or a story and that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write songs like that. She gave me somebody to look up to.”
New & Number Ones also features a cover of Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire”; new original songs, “I Get Up,” “So Close to Me,” “Busted,” and “Glow On”; brand spankin’ new arrangements of four of her hits, “Land of the Living,” “One More Try,” “Feel What You Want,” and “Lovin’ You”; and remixes of other hits by an eclectic array of European producers, including Chus and Cebellos (Spain), Soulseekers (U.K), Bitrocka (U.K.), JRMX (U.K.), DJ Howard D (Netherlands) and Digital Dog (U.K.), as well as U.S. hit-makers, Tod Miner, Jamie J. Sanchez, and Dave Saronson.
Like her idol Donna Summer, Kristine also takes the listener on a journey through her storytelling on songs. The first single from the record, “Everything That I Got,” is the story about pursuing your dreams.
“You kind of glamourize being your own boss and doing your own thing in your mind, but then you can’t believe how hard you have to work and what you have to go through to do that. My fans and I talk all of the time and it seems like these last couple of years have really hit everybody hard. It just seemed to be something everyone was feeling. This song is about persevering and not giving up,” she explains.