The ex Xscape member talks to VIBE about her upcoming solo album, her fiance (with those kids), and how she kept her cool on one of the hottest shows on TV.
VIBE: You're pretty laid back and polite. What was it like to be on Real Housewives of Atlanta and be surrounded by feuding personalities?
KANDI: Well it was different. Right off the rip, everybody wants you to side with them. I didn't really listen to anything they had to say. People have said things in the past that I knew wasn't necessarily true. I just tried to stay open-minded and neutral. And a lot of stuff they would say didn't make sense to me. Like, "You're mad because this person is talking about you, but you're always talking about them." Who cares?
You're born and raised in Atlanta. Is the show a true representation of what it's like to be affluent down there?
I wouldn't say that. Last season they didn't have anybody like me, so I'm sure that they're some other people that aren't being represented. They are a lot of big time attorneys and doctors here. I don't think we represent everybody.
On the show, we see Kim ask you to write a song for her. Does that ever happen?
Yup. Actually her song is number nine on iTunes' Dance chart. [Ed note: Kim Zolciak's "Tardy for the Party" was released through iTunes on September 1 and is currently ranked 10 on their Dance Chart.]
Taste in music is at an all-time low.
[Laughs] Over the next few weeks, you're going to see how it came about and how we put it together. At first, I was skeptical. I feel like you don't have to be the strongest singer to have a hit record. You just got to have the right producer, the right engineer that know how to tweak it and the right writer.
Who produced it?
Everybody on the show is an aspiring something, from fashion to music. Who do you think is the most talented person on the show, aside from yourself?
I definitely have to say that Lisa is about her business. She's got so many ideas that she's trying to make happen and eventually, I think it's going to come together. Now also, I've got to give it to Shereé . Last year when the whole thing with her fashion show didn't come out right, everybody counted her out. But this year, they haven't showed it yet, her fashion show turns out really good. So between those two, I don't know.
You're just about done with your second solo album. What's it called?
The album is called Kandi Loves B.L.O.G.S., [which stands] for Business Loves Online Gossip.
Why did you choose that title?
A lot of the songs on the album were inspired by stuff that I'd seen while reading the blogs. I was like, "I might as well make this a dedication to the blogs."
What's one song that was inspired by a blog's post?
Okay, there's a song called "It Must Be Good." That's the song they showed me recording with Jazze Pha on the [Real Housewifes of Atlanta] show. Basically, I was looking at a couple of the blogs when everybody first found out that I was going to be part of the show. And they were going in real hard on AJ, which is my fiancé. They were just saying all this negative stuff like, "Oh, he got all these kids. He ain't got no money. He ain't cute." And somebody else said, "Oh, he must be good in the bedroom for her to be putting up with all that." I actually thought it was hilarious and cute. I was like, "That's a good concept for a record." So in the song I'm just naming all of these things, I'm speaking from the outside looking in about all the things that are going wrong in the relationship and between each line, I'm saying "It must be good." And then in the hook, I'm basically saying, "Yeah, it is good." [Laughs]
AJ, your fiancé, has six kids. What's so great about him that made you want to deal with the potential issues you could have with them and the other mothers?
One, we have great communication in our relationship. He's just a good dude. We always have fun together. He would bring the kids around. And I like kids. So anytime a man is around his kids and has a good relationship with the kids, to me, that gives him cool points because I have a daughter of my own and I want to know if a man is going to be able to love my kids like he loves his own.
What does he do for a living?
He owns a collections agency.
Do you guys have a wedding date yet?
As a song writer, you've been very successful. You wrote "No Scrubs" for TLC. What are some other hits you're responsible for?
[Destiny's Child's] "Bug a Boo" and "Bills, Bills, Bills," "There You Go" for Pink, and a lot of songs that were on albums, but weren't the single. I've worked with N'Sync, Alicia Keys, Fantasia, Whitney Houston, all the people I've ever wanted to work with, except for Janet [Jackson].
Which side of the business has been better to you, the writing or being the artist?
Being a successful songwriter is way better than being the artist. In Xscape, we had three platinum albums, but we didn't make that much money. We collaborated on a couple of songs, but we weren't doing a lot of the writing. As far as royalties, you don't even have to be on the big single. You just have to be on a lot of big albums. And the royalties off those big albums are wonderful. [Laughs] I have been blessed enough to be on a few diamond albums (10 million records sold) in the past. People don't understand, just having a song on a diamond album, those are some good royalty checks.
Are you coming back for another season?
I'm just playing it by ear. We haven't really started talking about it yet. I don't know what their plans are and I haven't thought about what mine are. --Brad Wete
Kandi Loves B.L.O.G.S drops on November 10.