Just last spring, Benni Cinkle was an eighth grader from Anaheim Hills, Calif. who loved hanging out with friends, being online, doing charity work, and spending time with her family. Back then, few people on the Internet knew who Cinkle was, but all that changed when she accepted an invitation from her friend, Rebecca Black, to be in a music video called “Friday.” Six short months later, Cinkle has become a world-recognized Internet meme with big aspirations and an even bigger fan base. It's in response to repeated requests from her fans that Cinkle will be releasing her début single, "Can You See Me Now" and a compelling music video on September 1.
"It's amazing how quickly everything happened," Cinkle commented recently of her growing popularity online. "People from all around the world on Facebook and Twitter were asking me to dance again, so I did a little flash mob dance at the mall to raise money for Japan Relief. But then, they started asking me to sing, and I thought maybe the time was right to tell someone about my song."
Cinkle is referring to a song she had written in 2010 after reading what kids her age were posting on www.sixbillionsecrets.com , a non-judgmental website where people write anonymously about their deepest secrets. Their stories of child abuse, sexual abuse, depression, bulimia, and so many other teen issues moved Cinkle and inspired her to write her message of hope for troubled kids and teens all over the world. She said the song just came to her “all at once.” Not knowing what to do with the song, she tucked it away. It wasn’t until after Rebecca Black's "Friday" went viral and fans were asking Cinkle to sing that she pulled out her song and put the finishing touches on “Can You See Me Now.”
“This has been a crazy summer, but the biggest surprise came when Benni told me she had written a song,” said Cinkle’s mother, Pati Cinkle. Not being in the entertainment business, she says she made a few phone calls after hearing Benni’s song and was quickly pointed in the right direction. “We are so fortunate to have the support of some very talented industry professionals," says Pati Cinkle, referring to the producers at Serenity West Studios in Hollywood who have turned out smash hits for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna, among others; video director Nick Spanos, who has worked with Jason Derulo, and American Idol contestant Elliott Yamin, among many others; and choreographer Miguel Zarate of Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed” and "America's Got Talent." All have been working throughout the summer to help Cinkle deliver her message. The result is a single with memorable lyrics intended to send a message of hope and empowerment to kids who need it.
On September 1, when Cinkle releases "Can You See Me Now" on YouTube, her faithful Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and the rest of the world will decide whether or not Cinkle's début will lead to a follow-up single. But if her track record is any indication, chances are good that Cinkle is in it for the long haul.
Beyond her musical aspirations, Cinkle has captured the attention of millions around the globe and used her platform to raise awareness for causes she is most passionate about. To date, she has released an eBook for teens dealing with cyber-bullying (available in English and Spanish as a free download on www.thatgirlinpink.org ), danced to raise funds for Japan, and received the Grom Award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for organizing a team of international walkers for their Great Strides annual fundraiser. She also formed a non-profit organization in order to raise awareness, involvement, and donations for issues that affect children and teens.
“Can You See Me Now” will be available for purchase on iTunes.com on September 1. 20% of profits from the single will go to That Girl in Pink Foundation to help charities associated with children and teens.