Vixen Chat: Chanelle Hayes of Trin-I-Tee 5:7

chanelle hayes singing

Who are some of you fashion icons?

Of course. It may sound corny but my mother named me after Coco Chanel. She was actually in labor in the hospital and she was going to name me Reagan actually. She was watching TV and a Chanel commercial came on and that year, I won’t say the year, but I always wondered who was the face of Chanel that year that made my mother change her whole plan and gave me that name and of course now I’m like fascinated with Coco Chanel. I’m a big 1920s, 1930s fans so all the music and the art I’m all into it.

Why the name Trin-I-Tee 5:7 According to Chanelle for your album ?

Primarily the brand Trin-I-Tee 5:7 will always be a part of me that I built with my blood, sweat and tears and I own it. I own the name and a lot of people may not know Chanelle. They will but I just wanted to give them something in reference. I titled it that way because I thought it would be helpful and good business you know? (laughs).

What’s the release date?

The release date is June 17. My big day.

How many songs did you do with PJ Morton?

He produced and wrote two songs.

Any other producers?

Not that I think you may be familiar with. I’m not a big person on big names. If you’re a big name and we have chemistry, yes. If you’re a no name and we have chemistry, yes. These two guys Zaye Gibson and Darion Dorsey are both students of music. They’re just geniuses. Anything I threw out to them they recreated it. You know how you look in a magazine and you see a beautiful dress and you take it to your mom and say, “Can you make this for me?” That’s power when you can recreate something really cool. That’s how I feel about these guys.

I noticed that you came here alone today.

That’s another thing that’s new about this season for me. This is my chance to interact in a very concentrated way. I’ve forever had the entourage, the driver, the bag person so by the time I arrive there’s all these distractions and barriers and I really want to have one on one interactions. Pure interactions and no distractions because I’m building my brand from the ground up and I want you to see me and not everything else. So I care about that. I don’t know how long I can maintain because it is a lot. I’ve sort of gotten used to all that but at the sacrifice of personal interaction.

Are you going to be traveling alone for the promo tour for your album?

I have friends—because moral support is really important to me. So for example, I’m totally kidnapping my mom, my two aunts and I’m going to go from New Orleans to Atlanta. I want to take them with me and they can just pamper me if they want to but I’d rather that so it’s that personal energy around me. Sometimes it’s just a little too much. It’s like I’m working but you’re the diva. Then I’m like, “Where’s my mama?” She’s going to make sure I eat, take my vitamins and that kind of stuff.

How supportive has your group members been of your solo endeavors?

They’re very supportive. We call each other with crazy stuff all the time. She steals my clothes and insists that she doesn’t have it. I’m like Angel, I know you have my black shoes (laughs) and I will come to Atlanta and go into your closet and get my stuff. We’re very good. Very supportive of each other. We want different things. it makes me crazy when people think that women separate in business that it’s a problem or something wrong. This is business, baby. We want to do different things and we want to come back together we will and have a reunion and that will be fun too.

What’s your next single?

It’s  “Repay.” I just released it and it’s the song that PJ wrote for me. Every song on the album is one word.  I wanted everything concentrated and as focused as possible. I don’t want you to miss why I’m here. Just in general with everything you do, you don’t want to miss it by being distracted with random ideas from other people. Everybody has an idea of you so what is your idea of you? That’s what I’m all about right now and I had to grow to that because I used to want to please everybody. I wanted everybody to love me and accept me. When I kept getting disappointed I said okay, I’ll just chill and refocus and recalibrate and that’s what I‘ve done. This song “Repay” is a song about gratitude because I’m very grateful. You don’t have to have longevity. There are a lot of people who could put something out and tomorrow they aren’t remembered. So I want to be remembered because I want to really cause change in the world. Not just on stage but going into a nursing home and singing to people who don’t know I’m Grammy-nominated . They’re just so happy I’m coming in and bringing my nail polish and the little ladies see me coming and they line up. I just sit there and sing to them and paint their nails whatever color they want and I live for those moments because that’s what gives me the energy  and the force behind me to go back into the world where it’s really ugly. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing an old lady fanning her nails dry and she’s feeling all new, you know? It’s just too cute. I’’m crazy about senior citizens. I just love them.