Caitlin Cardier grew up in the 1990s listening to SWV, also known as Sisters With Voices. Now the 21-year-old Oregon singer will open for the rhythm-and-blues group at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
“I’m so excited, I can’t wait,” Cardier said during a phone interview from her Bend, Ore., home. “It’s going to be an honor to share the stage with them.”
Cardier will perform a three-song 15-minute act, along with a lineup of the popular 1990s acts SWV, Bell Biv Devoe, Jon B and Al B Sure at the Ladies Night Out, Volume 2 concert.
Expected to draw big crowds, the concert takes place 8 p.m. Feb. 10.
Cardier’s name may not be a household word just yet – but her fan base is growing. She has performed at small venues in Portland, Bend and other Oregon cities as well as a few spots in California.
But Ladies Night Out promoter Steve Brown, who runs Ocean Records out of Lakewood in Pierce County, expects Cardier’s career to begin taking off.
“I plan to put her on my next show, send her to Los Angeles to work with a producer and shop her to the (record) labels,” Brown said.
So, her Kent performance will serve as a chance to hear an up-and-coming star.
“I think a lot of people will be pretty shocked,” Brown said of the performance Cardier will deliver. “I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing her live. I’m pretty confident she’ll do a great job.”
Brown booked Cardier to open the concert after hearing a demo tape. The two met last November in Bend where Cardier works as a gas-station attendant pursuing a singing career.
“He (Brown) came to the station on his way home and told me I looked familiar,” Cardier said. “I told him I’m a singer on the side and maybe that’s how he knows me.”
Brown asked her if she was a country singer, so Cardier quickly knew he didn’t know her from her R&B roots. She gave him a demo tape and didn’t really expect to hear from him again.
“I was driving down Highway 97 and popped the tape in my player,” Brown said. “I was blown away. She’s got something. With the right producer and little tweaks, she has the potential to be a superstar.”
Brown shared the tape with his children as well as friends in the music industry, and discovered he wasn’t the only one who liked Cardier’s sound. That led to the call asking her to open in Kent, for the bands she listened to in her younger years.
“I’d love to, what an honor,” Cardier responded.
More than 6,300 fans packed the first Ladies Night Out R&B concert Dec. 10 at the ShoWare. Brown expects another major turnout for the second concert.
Cardier is excited at the prospect.
“This will be the biggest show I’ve ever done,” the singer noted. “It’s a huge event for me. It will put me in position to show off my talents in front of a lot of people.”
And what will she share?
“I would say I’m a R&B, jazz and a little hip hop,” Cardier said of her style. “But it’s hard to explain. I’m not off the wall. It’s really more of a passion than anything.”
Her musical influences include Whitney Houston, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu.
“I remember being 4 or 5 and blasting Whitney Houston around the house,” she said.
Cardier, who writes her own songs, hopes to release her first CD this summer or fall. She has a solo “U Were My Only” that appears on the “Cut Em Or Pay Em” album under the name of Northe’n Lights and is a compilation of several Pacific Northwest artists. That song can be found on iTunes under the Northe’n Lights listing.
Meanwhile, Cardier has an opening act to work on before SWV takes the stage.
“I grew up a huge fan of SWV and the other groups,” Cardier said. “I love it. And I strive to create 90s music because it’s what I enjoy.”
For more information, go to www.caitlincardier.com.
If you go
What: Ladies Night Out, Volume 2 R&B concert
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 10
Where: ShoWare Center, Kent
Cost: $57, $52, $42 and $32
Tickets: www.showarecenter.com or call 253-856-6999