Despite being voted off this year’s very controversial season of Dancing With The Stars, Brandy Norwood is in a good place in both her personal and professional life at the moment. She’s back on TV again having just kicked off season two of her reality show Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business, (which airs Sunday nights on VH1 check your local listings) with her brother Ray J and parents Sonja and Willie Norwood. And the former Moesha star is looking forward to new love in her life and inching closer and closer to releasing her long awaited sixth studio album. VIBE caught up with Brandy to find out what’s causing the current beef between she and Ray on this season of Family Business, her search for love, what we can expect from her new album and her much talked about exit from DWTS. —Ronke Idowu Reeves
VIBE: The new shows for Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business just began airing. What can viewers expect from this season?
Brandy: It’s an interesting season this year because Ray and I are in a weird place. We usually never fight or argue but our dynamic is a little bit different this year. There are certain choices he’s making I’m not in agreement of; it gets pretty intense between us. I’m looking forward to seeing how people relate to that, what they think of it and how they can work out their own problems watching us.
What are some of the differences between you and Ray J that lead to your disagreements?
Ray J and I are both at very vital points in our career and we’re trying to make the best decisions for both of our solo albums. But in terms of his love life, Ray’s choosing over his career over family and I’m really not feeling that. I’ve been in that position before where it was all about my career and I just wanted to go, go, go. And I forgot about the things that were important and because I traveled down that same road, I don’t want him to have to go thru that. At one point I felt regret, which thank God I know longer feel, because I wasn’t proud of some of the decisions in my life. The stuff related to only concentrating on my career was one of them. And I don’t want Ray to go down that same path so that’s pretty much the conflict. It’s not something that I’ve done to him or something he’s done to me, it’s more about the choices that I think he’s making that are not in his best interest at the end of the day.
What’s happening with your love life these days? Are you dating anyone?
I’m not dating anyone at the moment and that sucks actually because I love being in a relationship. It’s so much fun and it does something to me as a woman when I’m in love and expressing my feelings for another person. But that hasn’t been in my life for a minute. And you actually get to see that on Family Business. You see me trying to get out there and date and going out to dinner here and there and trying vibe with different people. But so far I haven’t had any luck in that department. It was definitely hard to balance my career and personal life when I was in a relationship before. But I know it can be done, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ll be working towards making it work in my next relationship.
What were some of the challenges you’ve personally found in trying to balance the personal and professional parts of your life?
It’s very important to have quality time in a relationship and when you’re working all the time and you’re going and moving it’s kind of hard to make that time. But once you learn that balance; that your career is just as important as love— and love is just as important as your career you find a way. I mean, look at Jay –Z and Beyonce. They are always working but they are always together too, but they find a way. They’re like my favorite couple so I have to bring them up [laughs.] You have to find a way and that’s what I’m trying to tell Ray this season. I’m not in anyway saying just give up everything and just focus on family. But, balance it out because you need one to kind of inspire the other. When I was on Dancing With The Stars I was imagining my dude in the audience cheering for me. I wanted him to be there but he was nowhere to be found. Love inspires you especially if your significant other is driven and motivated and got their own thing going—you can inspire each other.
So at this point in your career what kind of man are you looking for now?
He has to be smart, he has to be able to stimulate me mentally— that’s important. I love to laugh, so he’s got to be able to make me laugh, and I like to have fun and I’m very spontaneous. I love being a big kid and affection and love is so important to me. He has to have a love for his family and children all of the great things that all women want in a man. And I’d like my next guy to have a little edge to him— he can’t be corny [laughs.] Also he has to be somebody who loves music. And I’d love to find somebody I can teach, who can teach me, so we can learn from each other—basically somebody who can make me a better person.