Porcelain Black, grew up on the streets of 8 Mile, before moving to Sterling Heights MI and later to the cookie-cutter metro area of Rochester MI following her parent’s separation. “My mom really wanted me to fit into that,” Porcelain recalls. “It made me feel corrupt.” Growing up on the gritty streets of Detroit’s 8 Mile, “Makes you have tough skin,” adds Porcelain. “I’m proud of that.”
Coming from humble beginnings – “We were really poor” – Black recalls hopping from the Magic Stick to catch rock shows to City Club for goth acts while donning Chuck Taylor’s, “with duck tape around the torn-to-bits toe because they were the only shoes that I had.” Determined to broaden her horizons, Black found inspiration in the success of fellow Michigan natives Madonna and Bob Segar. But, declares the singer, who has Detroit’s moniker ‘ROCK CITY’ inked across her knuckles, “I’m continuing the Iggy & The Stooges and Motor City 5 Detroit rock tradition.”
At 15 Black discovered her father had cancer and was kicked out of two high schools in three months. “I never fit in,” she says. “My dad was dying of cancer and people were treating me like shit. I was a loner.” At age 16 her father died, but not before leaving a lasting musical mark on his daughter. “My first concert was ACDC with my dad,” she remembers. “We’d listen to Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix.” A hairstylist who occasionally worked for Vogue, Black’s father took his daughter backstage at fashion shows and along to photo shoots. “He owned his own salon and while his clients’ hair would set he’d turn on a Marshal amp and put on his Kurt Cobain wig and jam out to Nirvana on his guitar. It was rad.”
Also inspired by dancing, Black took jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet. “I was training to go on Broadway or come out to L.A. and be a backup dancer,” says the singer, who was then know as Alaina Marie Beaton, and used to buy vintage clothes and re-sell them to make ends meet. “But I was wasting my time. I knew I wanted to do music.”
She was discovered in The W hotel in NYC by her manager Marvin Howel and then moved to Los Angeles, California a month later where she got signed to Virgin Records (under Porcelain and The Tramps) the day after she moved. However, disagreements over musical direction with Virgin prompted her to leave the label and sign with producer RedOne’s 2101 Records Universal Republic imprint late in 2009. Beaton changed her name to Porcelain Black because it caused confusion to people who thought Porcelain and the Tramps was a band. She had been busy writing and recording in the studio with John Lowery (AKA John 5 – current guitar superstar and song writing partner for Rob Zombie, and former guitarist for rock group Marilyn Manson) and a few others.
While visiting RedOne’s studio in November 2009 Black’s vibe and epic vocals made an instant impact. “I wanted to sign her on the spot,” RedOne (Usher, U2, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Lady Gaga) recalls. “She reminded me of Joan Jett. She’s got it all: the attitude, the talent, the look. She can scream and do things with her voice that nobody can do. She is uncompromising in pursuing her own creative vision. She’s taking everything that’s old and making it futuristic and bringing rock and roll back in her own way.”
“Everything that I do is a mix of light and dark,” she says, be it her personality, her style and her music. Fusing hard-hitting rock roots with the sticky, pulsating beats of 2101 label head and producer RedOne, Black created a sound she likened to the would-be offspring of Marilyn Manson and Britney Spears. “My music is like if Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson f*cked and had a kid, it would be me,” explained Black. “It’s industrial, dark, danceable pop. Bad ass and positive.”In late 2010, Porcelain Black joined Lil Wayne on his I Am Music II Tour. Her first single “This Is What Rock N Roll Looks Like” (feat. Lil Wayne) was released on March 29th 2011. “Naughty Naughty”, her second single was later released at the end of 2011.
A fierce female with one hell of a wail, Black has no apologies. “Embrace the fact that you’re different,” she avows. “I want people to feel empowered. When somebody pisses me off, that’s when I’m really inspired. Rock and roll is about attitude, what you say and how you say it. “During the summer of 2013, Porcelain Black performed a private gig in West Hollywood, featuring all new material including the songs “Rich Boi” and “Mama Forgive Me” which received critical commentary. 2101 Records later released five songs and videos to YouTube from that performance over five weeks beginning with “Mama Forgive Me” in August of 2013. In 2014 she released the track “One Woman Army” to great response from fans. However, due to extenuating circumstances beyond her control as well as creative differences, Porcelain Black’s long anticipated debut album titled “Mannequin Factory” was never released and she has since parted ways with RedOne.
Currently, Porcelain Black is working as an independent artist, and focusing her creative efforts and talents on a new brand of hip-hop/R&B, but with that Rock and Roll attitude she is known for. A debut album is in the works, so stay tuned for updates because Porcelain Black is back and here to stay!