The word’s out: The Secret are about to take to the international stage.
The word’s out: The Secret are about to take to the international stage.
After making their much-talked about debut at this year's Singing for Success vocal competition, newly-formed singing sensation The Secret is already planning to take the international music world by storm.

From Tina Turner to Beyonce - these ladies can bring down the house with whatever is put in front of them, inserting their own flavour to some classic party favorites.

They are already taking bookings for local weddings and entertainment functions.

The group's manager, producer Kevin Bean who organizes the Success Series, said The Secret came about when he was asked to put together a list of entertainers for the New Year celebrations in St. George's several months ago.

It was during a group rehearsal one day that he realised that four ladies in particular - Shelita Ingham, Jonae Smith, Cindy Smith and Twanee Butterfield - possessed a unique sound that had to be shared.

Exposure

He soon "talked them into" becoming a group.

Mr. Bean said: "The Secret is a vocal group designed to give young, inexperienced singers an opportunity to gain the exposure and experience that would otherwise not be readily available to them. They will be surrounded by experienced singers to help them learn their craft at a faster rate.

"The Secret is a group of very classy, matured and elegant ladies who will take your breath away with their incredible harmonies and power."

His greatest hope is that they begin to tour internationally on a regular basis and secure a recording contract.

The Secret is already planning to go on tour in November with The Success Series and have been booked for seven events since making their debut at the Singing for Success in March.

Sultry

Secret member Shelita Ingham, 24, said her voice has been described as "sweet and sultry."

"I've been singing all my life," Ms Ingham said. "I've been told I used to hum around the house as a baby. My first solo was at church at the age of eight, and I've been singing mostly in church ever since.

"I am Adventist. Music is a major part of our church. So you name it - choirs and groups - I've done it."

She said her greatest hope for The Secret is to "destroy pre-conceived negativity towards Bermudian artists" and to raise the standard of music in Bermuda in general.

Twenty one-year-old Jonae Smith is the youngest member of the group and works as a trainee customs officer.

She began attending music lessons with Daniel Hill at the age of seven.

Her favourite songs to perfom with The Secret are I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Karma.

"Each person in the group has a uniquely different voice, which makes us special," Ms Smith said. "We have such a wicked vibe between us when we perform....we make our performances fun and can sing any genre of music."

She confessed her greatest hope for The Secret is for them to take their music world-wide and eventually put out an album.

Administrative assistant Cindy Smith, 31, has had an extensive singing career and played Effie White in the Gilbert & Sullivan stage play of Dream Girls in 2007.

She describes her voice as "a strong alto and lazy soprano."

She also sings with Dainavon Tuzo & the Purpose Project, LA Crew and New Season Choir.

"One of the strengths of The Secret is our bond," she said. "We all get along great and know each other's personality. So if one of us is having an off day we know how to deal with that person."

Elegance and fun

For anyone looking to hire performers for any up-coming nuptials, Ms Smith said that The Secret will bring added "elegance and fun" to the event.

"We have a wide range of songs from R&B to old school," she said. "If the client can afford a full band than we have the best band on the island, lead by Mr. Robert Edwards, but we will also sing to tracks as well."

Her favourite songs they perform are To Be Real and If I Were a Boy.

Twenty three-year-old Twanée Butterfield, who works in network administration is also certainly no stranger to the stage.

She has opened for a variety of celebrity artists including Alicia Keys, Aaron Neville, Seal, Gyptian, Jennifer Hudson and Snoop Dogg.

She has also been a recipient of several awards, most recently, the Singing for Success competition in April 2008 where she was awarded a $10,000 scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music.

Ms Butterfield said: "What makes The Secret different is we are a group of four individuals that all have the option of being wonderful solo artists. With that advantage we're able to sing any song with four completely different astonishing voices to choose from for leads. There is no lead singer in our group, we're all headliners as well as background vocalists.

"Due to novelty, our goal is to become greater entertainers as a unit and as individuals."