by Candice Jones
Her road may be less traveled but that is exactly what makes Kandi Burruss a trailblazer. We sat down with her to talk about the new season of RHOA, her new musical, and being a boss.
You experienced success very early in life as a member of R&B group, Xscape; do you think that experience gave you the confidence needed to build the empire that you have?
Everything you do builds our character. Yes, it contributed to it. Once you start making money, you don’t ever want to go back to not making money.
If you could give other ambitious PYNKgirls one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never be afraid to gamble on yourself. We’re always more comfortable buying someone else’s brand or supporting someone else’s dream. You’re not going to win every time but it’s worth a try. I think you have to remember that maybe you don’t need the best house or the best car right now. Live below your means and put the money you have left over towards your dreams.
What made you decide to do reality TV?
Tiny did that! [laughs]Tameka [‘Tiny’ Harris] said she wanted to do a reality show. I got all geeked about it. Then the producer decided that he only wanted to use Tiny and Toya [Wright]. Then, a week later, The Housewives’ producers called. I was like, ‘what are they calling me for, I’m not married [laughs].
Do you think that being on TV has made it easier to branch off into different business ventures due to the exposure?
Most definitely. I look at it as your own infomercial. There’s drama involved but if I can’t show what I’m working on, then it’s a waste of my time. Now, more people are aware of what I’m doing.
One of your cast mates, NeNe remarried the love of her life on air. Can we expect to see you and Todd tie the knot on TV anytime soon?
I don’t know. There’s been talk [about it]but I’m not totally sold on the idea. I think it’s beautiful to share that moment but sometimes things that are already stressful become even more stressful when there are cameras around. And you know, my mom’s not really a fan [of Todd & Kandi’s relationship]. It’s been mentioned but I don’t know.
What can fans of RHOA expect to see from you this season?
They’ll see me putting together this musical. It’s been a big project to take on! I didn’t realize what I was getting into [laughs]. It’s one thing to be in a musical but to produce your own is a whole different thing. The music is awesome. It’s a well-written musical. So, you get to see that come together.
What inspired you to branch off into a completely different industry and create Bedroom Kandi?
When I was doing ‘Kandi Koated Nights’, we gained a following. [On KKN], we joked and talked about sex. I was trying to figure out what would be a great product to go along with it. Then, I did a radio and one of the guests had their own toy line. I wanted something that looked classy and is tasteful. I wanted a really nice package. I wanted it to be top of the line.
Were you at all surprised at how successful Bedroom Kandi has become?
Yes, I am surprised but it is what I hoped for. It was a shock but it came together. I didn’t realize that for African-Americans, adult products are kind of taboo. Everything is so hush – hush in our community when it comes to sex.
I know you and your fiancé, Todd Tucker are currently producing a musical called, “A Mother’s Love”. Tell our readers about it.
The musical is inspired by my real life. It’s about a mother who is not happy about her daughter’s choice in love. Shirley Murdock plays the mother and Eddie Levert plays the father. D. Woods [formerly of Danity Kane]and Q. Parker [formerly of 112]are also in the musical. It’s a limited engagement that opens in November.
If you could have your fans take away one thing about you or your life from the play, what would it be?
Let a person love who they love. Stop trying to pick apart their relationship and judge it. I hope they see there is true love in the relationship and I hope they enjoy the music.
Have you been working on any new music and if so, when can we expect to hear it?
Not for myself. All of the music that I have been working on lately has been for the musical. The soundtrack is a collaborative effort with all of the casts’ voices on it. It will be available soon.
What milestone in your career thus far stands out as one of the most memorable?
Winning ‘Songwriter of the Year’ [at the ASCAP Awards]was a big moment for me. When our group [Xscape] started to fall apart, I was like ‘what am I going to do?’ I was scared. Being able to make it through that and be successful has been great too.
Is there one career goal you have yet to accomplish that you’ve been dreaming of?
I always wanted to be known as a great actress. I used to be in Performing Arts School for Theatre and Drama before we [Xscape] signed our record deal. The music took off so I never truly pursued acting as a career.”