Let’s talk about your next love songs. You had a very public split with Christina Milian how has that influenced your coming new music?
It’s just allowed me to be more real. I’d rather be the bad guy than anybody else be the bad girl because I can handle it. It’s a bad thing that two people can break up, but the truth of the matter is that it happens all the time for different reasons. But what’s wrong with a public breakup is that they never really know the truth. And I won’t be the person who says it. I’m not going to be that type. If something breaks, it’s not something to celebrate.
Well-put. So you’re saying you’re not the only one who did wrong in that relationship, but at the same time there’s no need for details?
Right. I won’t put something on someone else’s plate that they can’t handle. What this does for me is give me another plateau to speak on break ups from another point of view. Maybe through me a woman can learn how to keep a ni–a.
One of the things I was surprised to see from you, being a private person, was that letter you posted on your site some months after your break up. In that letter you admitted to contemplating suicide.
Yep, every day.
Tell me about that time and how you were able to rise above it.
I think it was just how my mind works. You have so many things rushing through your mind and I was trying to figure out how to make it stop. It’s easy to look at someone and say there’s 80,000 different ways for you to deal with it. No. Maybe for you, but me having to one, be in control of every aspect of my life and two, loving people how I do and being so thoughtful… when certain things are out of control, if it’s the type of personality that I have, you start to lean towards the best way to make it end. Like what stops this for not only me, but everyone?
Of course that’s not the smartest thing to do, which is evidently why I’m still here. But it’s just one of those things that creeps into your mind when you’re not even paying attention. As soon as “Umbrella” happened I was nonstop, everything was crazy. It’s not about having a pity party, it’s just the truth of my life. What led me to that thinking was taking everything and everyone so serious instead of doing things the way I think about my music. Which is who gives a f–k what you think? Everything is speculation so it’s like how do I say something so you do understand, but you don’t blame me or blame Christina. But since everyone has me as the bad person, I’ll just be the bad motherf–ker. And eventually I just got over it.
Glad you did. It takes a lot to not only overcome that, but also speak about it publicly.
Definitely. People deal with it more than you think. I’m human. At that moment… what I would tell all girls… is if a man asks you to marry them, it’s okay to say no. It may f–k with his ego for the time right there, but if you’re being honest and you’re just not ready, then both of y’all are just not ready. That’s what the common problem was [between me and Christina]. We weren’t ready for that—for a whole bunch of reasons I’ll never name. We just weren’t. Sometimes you have to meet people during the right time.
True life. I caught a tweet between you two that made it seem as if you were working musically again.
Mmm-mmm. She asked me but…
You don’t want to mix work and divorce together?
For someone who loves a challenge, that’s a little surprising to hear.
Me and Christina already discussed what I think she should be doing and I would never do anything other than what I think is as real as she could be.
Enough said. What about some other women in your life, like your first girl group off Radio Killa Records, Electrik Red. Are you still working with them?
No. I don’t know what they’re doing right now. I was really upset about how that all went down because it had my imprint and it had my ideas, but once I made this great album a lot of people decided amongst themselves to pick the singles. I wasn’t given my will to make a decision on my group and I felt like people used me to put steam behind something. That’s really why it’s been so long for me to trust using my brand with someone. I have a girl now named Casha Monet with a beautiful voice. You’ll be hearing her soon.
And will you, Terius Nash, be going away anytime soon? Last time we spoke you were all about retirement.
Anytime a musician says they’re going to retire they’re lying. I didn’t want to lie. There’s two parts of you, there’s one that says ‘I don’t need to keep recording what’s the big deal,’ but then another person is like ‘What are you talking about?’ I didn’t go into it with the intentions of lying, but creating music is like crack for me. It’s not even a want. I just can’t stop.
→ The-Dream’s album 1977 drops digitally (for free!) Aug 31