Tamar Braxton knew she would share the limelight eventually, but she never thought that putting her feelings into her hit song, “Love and War” would win people over. The love ballad has now earned her five Soul Train Award nominations and huge support from friends and fans. Vixen caught up with the songtress about her newfound success, mommyhood and if there’s a new catchphrase in the making? —Kandice Lawson
How do you feel about being nominated for five Soul Train Awards?
I feel numb to it. I just can’t believe it, this has been an amazing year and I never expected it. I feel honored and humbled and appreciative all at the same time, I really am at a loss for words still and its been a couple weeks for me to process it and I still don’t even know what to say that just means that people are paying attention and they love my music and they appreciate my music and honest to God you can’t really ask for anything more than that.
Did you think ‘Love and War’ would take off the way it did?
No, I had no idea. I thought that I was in my feelings by myself until when Makeba Riddick, Lashawn Daniels and I wrote the song and they’re also married too and I just thought it was something that we were all going through at the same time and then when it came out, come to find out everybody feels that way in they’re relationship. My momma and daddy didn’t sit me down and explain to me in relationships it’s going to be ups and downs, it’s not a walk in the park, some days it’s fine and some days you wanna kill yourself and nobody told me that, so I had to go through that and come to find out everybody has the same issue.
What is your favorite song on the album?
You really gonna make me choose? I can’t. I really can’t. I really made sure I love every single song on this album because I never thought I would have this opportunity again and I promise I looked at it as my last supper. I wanted it to be an amazing meal, every song could be a single because I love it and I can’t choose because I don’t want to sound full of myself but I love my record! All of it. And it was perfectly done, I recorded a lot of songs, I wanted to make sure I got caught up in the record and I did.
What did you do to prepare for the album?
Honest to God what happened to me was Tamar and Vince. We were going through so much in our relationship at the time and unfortunately it was documented but fortunately it was documented becuase had it not been for that show I would have never written “Love and War” I would have never felt that way because Vince and I never went through the things we went through. Our relationship changed, our lives changed, we never argued as much, we never bumped heads as much because Vince and I are best friends and we always got along and hung out and had a ball together and then all of a sudden it didn’t seem so fun no more. That whole season kinda set up this whole album, had we not gone through all the difficulties in our relationship I wouldn’t have been inspired to sing and write from the passion I was feeling.
How do you feel about the success of the album and the single? How did your husband and family react? Was everyone happy?
Everybody is absolutely elated. My mother was just having a conversation with me the other day and was like I remember that this was a conversation you would have everyday, every single day since you were little and its a true story. I used to line up nail polish and perfume bottles and act like they were my background singers and my choir. I’ve had so many disappointments in my life that for it to happen so fast and people to understand and get it so fast, I’m just really appreciative, I don’t take one day, one second, one radio airplay, one fan for granted because five years ago nobody gave a damn about Tamar Braxton or how good she could sing or what she had to offer to this music.
Is there a collaboration coming soon with you and the rest of your sisters? You and Toni?
I would love to but honestly my sisters are wayyyyyy too famous for me, they don’t have time for me, they are booked [laughs]. I swear I tried, they’re like “I can’t!” But who knows, I really want to do that but everybody’s schedule is all over the place.
What is the next video you plan on releasing?
I’m working on something now, and its hot! But I can’t tell you.
Who would you like to collaborate with soon?
I would love to work with Ne-Yo. I think he’s amazing. 2 Chainz. I love 2 Chainz, I’m a real big ratchet music lover actually!
What artist do you feel is most like you?
I think Drake is most like me, I think he’s really passionate about his music, he’s really melodic, he seems to be very adamant about the things he wants and he’s not willing to settle for anything or anyone else, and I think I might be the female version of that.
What are looking forward to the most at the Soul Train Awards?
Performing. I’ve always wanted to perform on an awards show and this is like my first time and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to perform in front of my peers, all my Tamartian friends, just celebrating that moment.
Who are you looking forward to seeing perform?
Is 2 Chainz performing?! If so we have a problem [laughs]. Honestly just thinking about it, all the ladies, hopefully its ladies night. Sometimes its important to get up there and show everybody what we got. I love Chrisette Michelle, I can sit and watch her all day long.
Are you touring soon?
Yes! I’m opening up for John Legend and I’m so excited, we’re rehearsing for it now, he’s such an amazing guy. Before my album even came out, before he knew I was gonna sell one album he was like “I want Tamar Braxton to open up for me,” and it was a great feeling.
What can Tamartians be expecting from you next?
Well, I just finished my Christmas album, its great! It’s such a romantic type of album, it’s called “Winter Loversland” and it’s amazing and its about being in love and having fun and having all those great feelings you wanna have when it’s Christmas time which is my favorite holiday!
Tamar will perform at the Soul Train along with Jennifer Hudson, Chrisette Michele, Joss Stone and many more. Be sure to tune into the Soul Train Music Awards on Dec. 1 at 8pm ET/PT on Centric and BET. For more info, head to BET.com.