Interview

Singer, Model and ‘Empire’ Actress V Bozeman Talks Self Image And Industry Struggles

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Not only is she an extremely talented singer, V Bozeman is also a cast member of the hit television show Empire. Amongst a cast full of heavy-hitters, V is able to grab our attention with her powerful voice and unforgettable presence. Everyone remembers that meeting in the board room when “Veronica” sings her heart out, leaving the actors in awe as well as the audience watching from home. With strong vocals and a unique look, V has embarked on a path to a promising career.

Veronica Bozeman is a South Central, LA native who’s been in love with music for as long as she can remember. Although people may think that she has just appeared over-night, this sultry singer will admit that she has been preparing for this moment for quite some time. Since V was in high school, she has been trying to prove herself as an artist by performing and singing anywhere she could. Inspired by prominent women such as, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross; you can only imagine the depth and passion that her music holds. With the love and support of her mother, her family, and her close friends; V has finally got her big break on her road to stardom.

Certainly, V considers herself to be a musician first; but Empire has given her a rare opportunity to delve into another realm of entertainment. V describes her experience, working under the brilliant Lee Daniels, as authentic and organic. She is able to express herself as she would in her own music.

The determined singer is currently working on a collaborative project with Timbaland called Opera Noir and she also mentions possibly having her debut album in the works. PYNK Magazine got to speak with V and discuss some of her biggest setbacks that she faced in the music industry, and what she does to uplift herself when she’s feeling discouraged. Get to know V Bozeman on the following pages.

 Photo Credit(s): Elle, Essence, vimeo and getty images

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What was the most difficult struggle that you faced during the beginning of your career? Are you still dealing with the struggles?

I think that the most difficult struggle that I’ve dealt with was just breaking into the entertainment world period. I’m from South Central LA, so I had to go through a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing to really get to legitimate people that could really help me to get to the next level. Different experiences could have taken me on a dark path or just not even gotten me here period. You have to go through the growing pains.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from for your music? Does Empire allow you to portray your music style in the show?

I get my musical influence from Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight; just great women that have been affective in touching the hearts of the world with their voices and touching the souls of the people. Empire definitely has allowed me to be authentic. I can’t really do anything from the heart if it doesn’t feel real to me. I think that’s what’s so special about Empire. Lee Daniels is so raw and so real when he approaches his projects He definitely did it with Empire and every character that’s on the show. It has become such a culture phenomenon.

 

What is it like working with Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and the whole cast and crew?

Lee Daniels is amazing, he’s a ball of creative fire when it comes to his work; he’s so passionate and he’s very hands-on. He embraced me immediately, so did Terrence, Taraji and the cast. It’s just like a big family. I feel like the cast really understood how important this series was and how much of a historical moment it was going to be. There’s a sense of pride, a sense of family, energy and so much integrity on the set. We knew that it was special.

 

How did the opportunity come about?

 The opportunity came through Timbaland and Epic Records. Timb and I were working on a collaborative project together and we were just in the studio vibing. I did a piece called “Grace Jones” that I had been sitting on for about a year and a half. I always felt like when I shared this piece that something was going to happen, so I was ready to share it. I shared it with Timbaland and he was blown away; immediately he thought of Lee Daniels and he said, “Lee is doing this series called Empire and I think you would be perfect to be casted in it, I’m going to show him this piece.” He showed it to him, Lee called my management, I came in to read and the rest is history.

 

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How long have you been singing? What made you decide to take the leap and become a solo artist?

I can’t even remember when I started doing music and singing. I’ve always been a singer. Professionally, I started out of high school. I’ve been in the shadows for a long time. I’ve moved to Atlanta, been in girl groups, been signed to Baby Face, been signed to Ceelo Green, now I have this chance with Timbaland. It’s just been a very long journey and it’s quite a story. Things are coming into fruition now and I’m just grateful to be present in this moment. I’m just happy to be here.

 

Do you think that Empire has helped you develop as an artist as far as getting your name out?

Absolutely! It’s such a great platform for any artist such as myself trying to break into this industry. It’s not easy if you don’t have the financial support. Being on Empire, for millions of people to see me at one time was such a boost for what I’m trying to establish for my name, my brand and myself. This is the perfect way for artists to build. Everybody is so talented and it’s not like there are people in the show acting and posing as artists; these are real artists. I think that resonates with people.

 

What are some setbacks that you’ve faced getting into the industry?

I’ll be real; there were so many setbacks. People have tried to put me in a box. Labels are always trying to put me in a neo-soul box. Not that I hate neo-soul, but I’m just like yea I’m dark, I’m baldheaded, but that doesn’t mean I only sing a certain kind of way. I think that’s so narrow minded and simple to think. People would also say, “you don’t have the look.”

Being an artist you can’t let other people define who you are. You really have to know yourself, be comfortable in your skin and know that you are enough.

I think that carrying those ideals with me along the way got me through. I know that god has given me something special and my mission is to touch the world with this gift. So once I kept that in mind, the world seemed much more clearer than if I didn’t know these things.

 

What advice do you have for someone trying to become an artist?

I would just tell them to practice, own your craft and perfect it as much as you can. Know that it’s going to be hard work and know that when you’re trying to do something great, it’s not going to be an easy road most of the time. You have to develop tough skin; you have to put people around you that you can trust. If you have that foundation you’ll be fine.

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Outside of the music industry, who are your biggest supporters? Friends? Family?

I have my mother, thank god for her. I have her undying support. She’s my best friend, she’s a dentist and she’s been there by my side from the very beginning. I mention that she’s a dentist because she has her life and she did school and this and that. It’s hard, as a black woman, to become a dentist right now. She’s been right there every step of the way. My managers Monica Payne and Max Goose have supported me every step of the way. I just have a plethora of good people in my life and I know that without them I probably wouldn’t have made it this far.

 

When you are feeling discouraged, how do you lift your spirit?

First I pray and I ask god to give me strength. I work out a lot. Working out helps me release tension and it helps me reset and literally sweat out the stresses that I have. I also meditate often.

I spend time with myself and there’s nothing wrong with spending time with you and getting used to just being by yourself. At the end of the day you’re going through your struggles, not to say that people aren’t there to help you do it, but you are the only one going through it.

It’s important to coach yourself through it because life is going to bring something new everyday, some good some bad. You just have to get through it.

 

What’s next for you? Can we expect an EP or an album?

I have a collaborative project with Timbaland called Opera Noir and we have a single coming out next month called “Smile.” It’s going to be a huge single and this is going to be a great album; I’m so excited about it. Following that is going to be my freshman album called Music is My Boyfriend coming out in the summer. So I have a lot of music coming out and I’m performing a lot. It’s going to be a busy year. I’m going to so many different places: I’m going to Bali, Europe, Canada, and a lot of other places.

 

Have you been planning this for a long time or did your success just happen overnight?

I definitely have been planning this out. I do my vision boards every year, so I knew that it was going to happen, but I just didn’t know when it was going to happen or how it was going to happen. I’ve been preparing my mind, body and spirit all the way until now. I’m still preparing.

 

 

 

 

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