Whether it’s singing, songwriting, running her boutique or showcasing her life on the insanely popular Bravo reality show ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’, she does it all. Kandi Burruss from the platinum selling group Xscape and Grammy Award winning songwriter chatted with The NYLA Report as she discussed deets on her new album, “The Ring Didn’t Mean A Thing” vs. Kim debacle and spills the beans (well, sorta) about a new show in the works!
Hi Kandi! How are you?
I’m doing good.
I’m glad you were able to chat with us at The NYLA Report! First of all, I wanna say congrats on releasing your album, “Kandi Koated”. For those who haven’t scooped it up yet, describe your sound and inspiration for the album.
Ummm…basically it’s a real R&B album. I would have to say it has a hint of the 90s R&B to it. It’s sexy, but it still has a youthful vibe. Most of the album is about love and relationships and there’s a couple of anthems on there, but the album is mostly about relationships – the good, the bad…all that! Yeah, grown and sexy R&B with a little hint of 90s.
Is there anyone on your music collabo wish list in the future?
Ummmm….well, I do like Kanye [West]. I mean, I feel like he’s out there and the way he thinks is so different. I love people who are different and who come with unique stuff. I guess I would pick him. I don’t know him personally, but it would be kinda cool to sit in the studio with him to see how he thinks.
In regards to ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’, out of all the cast members, you’re the most sane person on the show. How do you stay so grounded with all the drama?
The thing that you have to realize–we all don’t tape together majority of the time. Most of the time, it’s either you tape by yourself with your family with your own personal things going on or you may be with one of the girls, but you hardly ever see all of us together in the same time unless it’s a major event. So it’s not like I’m dealing with the crazy drama all the time and then, we don’t know what’s going on with the other people and we don’t even know what’s happening until we see it on television most of the times. So, for example, if people are saying crazy stuff about you behind your back, you don’t even know it’s going on until you see it later. [laughs] You get what I’m saying?
Right, exactly. Outside of taping, are you close with anyone or do you hang out with anyone in particular?
This year, I haven’t really been hanging out with the girls that much, but last year, Kim and I hung out a lot. We even did a lot of family vacations together.
So, Neyo made an appearance on ‘Housewives’ earlier this season and it seems like you guys were really close. Describe your relationship with him.
That was honestly our first time ever working together [laughs]. And honestly, I never knew him like that. I mean, he was person that I would see out in different circles just on some hey or bye basis, but never had a real conversation before we got in the studio together. I didn’t know what he was going to be like going in the studio because the label came to me and said they wanted me to work with some different people and they picked him. In my mind I was thinking, “uh oh, how is this gonna be” because I knew Ne-yo was a strong songwriter and I’m a strong songwriter…so is he gonna try to tell me what to do? You know what I mean [laughs]? I didn’t know what to expect, but when we got into the studio together, it was all mutual respect. I guess we can relate on so many levels because he’s an artist and he’s a songwriter, so he gets me and what I’m thinking and what I’m going through as far as business is concerned. So, once I got there and I got to know him and he didn’t have an ego or anything because somebody like him who has as many hits as he does–he could have a chip on his shoulder, but he doesn’t. He’s real cool, laid back – I like those type of people. Obviously, being in the entertainment industry, you are gonna cross some people who are cool and laid-back, then you’re gonna run across some people who let their fame get to their head and they’re extra all the time [laughs]. He’s [referring to Ne-yo] definitely not that, even with all his success, he’s really cool. We got along really well in the studio and I love the song he did for me – it’s hot!
Yeah, I totally agree with you. I met Ne-yo a few years ago in Detroit and he’s such a sweetheart and very humble, but let’s switch gears. Let’s talk about Kim. I know there was a situation with “Tardy For The Party”, but did she make any efforts to pay you for “The Ring Didn’t Mean A Thing”?
She [Kim Zolciak] just hit me up recently and asked me for my attorney information, so we can work out the things on the song. It’s gonna get worked out. I mean, I just went into it and decided if we didn’t work out the business on “The Ring Didn’t Mean a Thing”, then it would never be released–that’s how I looked at it. I don’t like to fall out with friends about money and business, ya know. Well, the first situation [referring to "Tardy For The Party"] didn’t necessarily go the way I wanted it to go, but I should have handled my business differently. So, going into the future, I just know better and I won’t repeat that mistake again. I guess she [Kim] saw how I felt after watching the show, so she contacted me to work out everything for The Ring Didn’t Mean a Thing. I gave her my attorney’s info, so hopefully it’ll get worked out.
Good, I’m glad everything’s getting worked out. Aside from your music, you have your own boutique called T.A.G.S. based in Atlanta. Where do you find the time to fit this in your schedule and why did you open a boutique?
Well, I have a friend—who is my business partner, her name is Peaches—and we’ve been friends for years and she used to own a couple of stores a while back that were successful and she was also a stylist in the industry. She used to always find me cute clothes, but they were never expensive and very reasonable priced. I was thinking we needed to open a store and it should a place where people can find fly stuff, but don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money. I kept asking and kept asking and she finally gave in to start. For the longest, she never wanted to do business with friends. I understood, but it worked out for the best.
What are your goals to keep the momentum going in 2011?
Oh, girl – I have a lot of goals [laughs]! Well, I want to continue to push my album because I have so many hot singles on it. I have a girl group that I’m planning to develop. I have a TV show that I’m executive producing and I’m trying to finish up the negotiation with the network.
Can you give us any tidbits about the show?
No, I can’t give you any tidbits. Girl, I shouldn’t even be speaking on this [laughs]. I can’t say anything right now, but it’s definitely a good situation. It’s going to be a great show. And with my Kandi Koated Nights, I plan to keep growing that bigger. We have some opportunities to do a radio show with it. Ultimately, I would love for it to be a TV show, which I’m still continually trying to push to make that happen eventually, but for now I would like the radio show and continue our internet show.
Wow, you have a super busy schedule in 2011!
If you have a lot of great ideas, then you need to work on it to make it happen because if you don’t, then someone else is going to take your idea and you’re going to be like, “damn, I thought of that.” [laughs] It’s always good to have great people around you that can help you because I’m the first to say, I don’t do everything myself. I definitely have good people who help to put these things together. I have a lot of great ideas – I’m just a creative person. It’s always good to link up with her people to help you pull it together.
Well, thank you so much Kandi for your time and I really appreciate it! I wish you the best of luck and everything you do!
Thank you and we’ll keep in touch.
Follow Kandi on Twitter @Kandi and her album Kandi Koated is in stores now. Don’t forget to catch the season finale of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ this Sunday at 10/9c on Bravo.