BLUEPRINT: 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.
We saw you working on your upcoming album on the first season of Family Business. What kind of sound can we expect from your new release?
I’m about to sign my record deal, but I can’t say with who until it’s finalized. You’ll know pretty soon. And the songs I’ve been working on have been amazing. I just want to get back to my roots with this album. My last album was more pop and it didn’t really have the R&B core that I wanted it to have. Of course you want it to crossover and be played in all formats, but this album will be definitely rooted in R&B. I can’t wait. I have so much to sing about and so much to share. And with this newfound confidence and strength I just want to give it everything I’ve got. I’m just so thankful for the fans that I have, because they’ve really been sticking with me through thick and thin. No matter what I do they go out and support. And I just want to give them something to really be proud of— I just want to deliver an album of substance, filled with heartfelt music and stuff they can dance to and feel good about.
Everybody’s firing up and computerizing his or her vocals with autotunes these days. Will you be using it on your new album?
No, I don’t think so. I love the effect that autotunes gives. I’ve been hearing it everywhere on the radio I love the way it sounds. But I think people want to hear people sing. Reverb, autotunes all that stuff can be used as a little bit of effect here and there, but when you go too far with it you lose who the artist really is and what they sound like. It does sound good, I like listening to it sometimes but I’m old school. I’m really old fashioned. I love the fact that Monica came back did her thing and sang from her heart. And like Jazmine Sullivan. They’re keeping R&B the tone of it, the rhythm of it and blues of it alive. So I definitely want to add my piece to the pot that’s what I’m working on now.
You were visibly disappointed about being voted off Dancing With The Stars this season. And there are still people pissed off that you didn’t win. What are you feelings about that whole experience?
The love that I’ve gotten from that experience has been very beautiful and very supportive. But [in my eyes] I did win. I won something that I thought I lost. I really thought that girl within me, that girl with the fire, that girl with inner confidence, that inner child— I thought she was gone. And with [participating on] DWTS and conquering my fear, it just reawakened me as a person, as a performer and as a creative artist. So in that respect I feel like a champion, I really do. And I say that humbly because the mirrored ball could have only confirmed who the real winner was in that experience, which is you. And I think everybody on that show is a winner. If you step out there on that stage and do something you’ve never been comfortable doing you are immediately, automatically a winner.
Even your brother Ray J blasted DWTS on Twitter in your defense when you were voted off.
Yes I know [laughs]. And by doing that Ray blew it for himself with Dancing With The Stars. Ray will never, ever get a chance to be on DWTS after doing that [laughs].
People also speculated that this year's show was more political than usual. Specifically, folks were rumbling that Bristol Palin made it to the semi-finals thanks to the Tea Party. Is that why you think you were voted off?
No. It just wasn’t meant for me to win the show. And as sad as that sounds for me to say, if it was meant to be it would have happened. One of the great things about DWTS is that America can get behind who they fall in love with, they vote for them and watch them progress every week. And the time I left, it was just my time to go. And that’s how I try to look at it, because I don’t want to be bitter or get upset or take away the positive of the whole experience. The love and support I received since I’ve gotten voted off has been overwhelming. The fans really made me feel like I was a champion, and it's been amazing. That’s why I did it— to inspire people and accomplishing that feat makes me feel blessed. I thank God everyday for the opportunity. I don’t regret going on that show at all.