This week’s episode of Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, kicks off with our pals Hunter Valentine. The band is actually talking and not calling each other names for a brief while, which is refreshing. The women are trying to figure out where they fit in in the music scene. Can they keep it together in order to let Linda work her magical terror/terrifying magic? When it’s Hunter Valentine’s turn in the studio, Linda jokes that she thought they would probably stumble in drunk? Hahaha…but seriously. Kiyomi knows that she can be stubborn, but is open and willing to take Linda’s advice for the betterment of the band. Linda sits them all down and asks for their back story. They’ve been doing tons of touring, working hard, but not hitting the big time. Linda questions if perhaps they simple haven’t been writing the right songs. She thinks Hunter Valentine is charming as all get out, but you can’t sing along to charm. Linda, as is her way, is blunt. The songs are a little stale. She challenges the band to just start playing and writing something fun. Hunter Valentine is nothing if not game to try, so they start jamming away. Linda pulls Kiyomi away from making the melody follow along with the chord changes and it makes a big difference. Once they get into, it really works. Linda encourages them to continue to not be afraid to make mistakes. She also tells the camera, but not the band outright, “they need a break from themselves.”
After their big jam session, Aimee is inspired, so she starts writing a new song just for herself. It’s her birthday, so naturally the band decides to celebrate by getting her a stripper. “A red head with big boobs,” Kiyomi and Lauren request.
Vanjess, the two sisters Ivana and Jessica, work together at the keyboard and have an amazing blend. They say that their home country Nigeria still influences their sound, as does Beyonce. Linda loves their harmonies, but wants a more distinctive sound. In the past, the sisters survived terrible atrocities in Nigeria and fled to the safety of the United States. However, they struggled to fit in in their new home of California, and their bond grew from their shared experience. Linda suggests the bond is codependent and the sisters need to start defining themselves separately. Linda has the band lay down a funky track, and invites VanJess to join in. Jessica leads off with a really nice R&B vocal, and when Ivana joins in, she brings the soul. Combine that with their lush harmonies and it’s magic! Linda loves it. I have to agree with Linda on this. Both sisters are talented in their own ways and pulling those differences out, rather than trying to create a seamless sound, is the way to go with these talented ladies.
Hunter Valentine gives a big toast to Aimee’s birthday, and the whole cast has a dinner party. A handful of their friends are also allowed to come. Kiyomi and Lauren present Aimee a hand drawn card, with both a massive drawing of a penis and the words, “p.s. don’t leave us.” Of course, they did indeed pull through with a Burlesque dancer. Aimee is completely embarrassed but tries to live in the moment rather than flee which is her impulse. Later on, Laura, the manager of the house and studio, mentions to the camera that she’s been watching Hunter Valentine interact and pulls Aimee aside to talk one-on-one. A major truth bomb is revealed: Aimee doesn’t want to be in the band anymore. She’s had reservations since the beginning but has been too afraid to hurt Kiyomi and Lauren so she’s kept quiet. Well, that explains the bubbling resentment.
Mackenzie, the youngest of the musicians, gives off a sweet Colbie Caillat-type vibe, as does her music. Linda has all the musicians sit down to listen to each other acoustically. When Mackenzie busts out her peppy guitar chords and lady whisper voice, Linda isn’t into it. She’s too sweet. Linda wants her to rough it up a bit. Considering Mackenzie is wearing the same hat that made Debbie Gibson a ’90s fashion plate, I can’t help but worry for the girl. Linda wonders if maybe it’s possible that Mackenzie doesn’t have the ability to be rough. Linda doesn’t think MacKenzie’s hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits transfers into life experience, and in a way she’s right. When fellow singer Anjuli lends an ear to Mackenzie later on, we find out she’s never been in love. “Maybe you need to go fall in love with Noah or something,” Anjuli suggests.