Real Housewives of Potomac star, Candiace Dillard-Bassett recently wrapped her first headlining tour, to celebrate the first anniversary of her debut album, Deep Space. It was a dream the former Miss United States had since first joining the franchise in season 3, regardless of the struggles she’s endured along the way.
“I knew that I would have a sort of uphill battle,” Dillard-Bassett, 35, explained to PEOPLE. “No shade meant to other Housewives, they’re doing their thing, but there’s this sort of stigma attached to Housewives who sing. ‘Oh, look, it’s another Housewife that wants to do a song.’ So I expected by have to fight against that.”
During season 4 of the hit Real Housewives series, she recorded and performed her ballad, “I See You,” at her wedding to Chris Bassett. However, it was the southern belle’s go-go remix for that single that sparked the demand for an album from fans. Deep Space debuted nearly a year and a half later.
“I’ve always, in my mind, been an artist. In my heart, I’ve always been a performer and I wanted that to translate to the Bravo audience, but also just to lovers of music, lovers of artistry and lovers of all things this space,” she continued. “So I’ve tried to be very intentional about how I roll out my music, how I roll out my music videos, how I present myself as an artist such that I’m presenting myself in a way that surpasses just being in the Housewife space.”
Prior to her recent tour, she opened for Faith Evans, Mya, 702, and SWV during the Femme It Forward tour earlier this year.
“[It] was really my first tour and it was so special,” Dillard-Bassett added. “Everybody was there to share in that moment with me and open for the greats in R&B. Women I literally studied their artistry to perfect the kind of artist I wanted to be. That’s an honor. It was a completely surreal experience to be up there with these titans of the industry.”
She later described both Deep Space and its forthcoming deluxe edition as a homage to ’90s R&B. “That’s the era where I really fell in love with music. Where I learned to kind of hone my skills and my want to move into the artist space,” the “Win” singer explained.
Additionally, Dillard-Bassett confirmed her new collaboration with Trina, “Insecure,” from the upcoming extended LP will premiere around Thanksgiving. Her previously-released duet with 112’s Q Parker, “Benefits (Part II),” will also be on the deluxe, set to arrive before year’s end.