Concrete Loop’s Angel Laws recently spoke with singer/songwriter and now reality TV star Kandi Burruss about her upcoming Bravo TV special, “The Kandi Factory.” The music based show is added on a long list of endeavors the 35 year-old has under her belt. In this exclusive interview, Kandi speaks about her many business ventures and even gives tips to up and comers who want to make it in the music business. Make sure you check it out and audio is included!
The Kandi Factory premieres on Sunday, March 4th at 10pm EST, right after a new episode of BRAVO’s hit show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
PART 1: KANDI TALKS NEW SPECIAL, ‘THE KANDI FACTORY’
Angel: Hey, Kandi What’s up?
Kandi: Hey What’s up? How are you doing?
Angel: I’m good! So you have the new show “Kandi Factory” coming on Bravo on March 4th. For some of the readers who aren’t familiar with the show, what exactly is it about?
Kandi: The Kandi Factory is basically taking people and doing what I did for Kim on the first season of the show musically. You know giving her the new song and helping her with her career or whatever. We’re going to be do that for just regular people because after I did that for her, people were coming up to me on the street, ‘If you can help her, I know you can help me.’ I went to Bravo and I said, ‘Hey, I figure it would be a good show if you allow this for regular people or anybody that wanted the opportunity.’ So they thought about it and allowed me to do it.
So this is what they’re calling the special because it’s an hour and half, but it’s really the pilot for the show, to see what people think, so we can plan the future episodes. But basically I feel like for anybody, there are a lot of people trying to make it independently right now. But the first thing they need to know is, you need a hot record. You need to have your image together. And you need to have your show together. Those are the first three things I would suggest to somebody who wants to be an artist. And that’s before you even go through this whole internet push and all this grindin’ everybody’s telling you to do. Get that together first. So that’s we’re worked on for the people that come on the show. We’re going to give them a hot record. We’re give them a new image. And we give them a show. And they have to perform in front of an audience by the end of the week.
I put all this together in a week’s time. So it was more of a challenge for me than it was for them. Because these people have never been in a studio before. These are just normal people. At one point, I almost questioned myself like, ‘Am I going to be able to pull this off?’ because it was stressful.
Angel: Well I’m thinking you pulled off the Kim situation and she wasn’t really familiar with the studio. So I’m pretty sure you can pull the other things off, you know?
Kandi: I thought that, too. But the thing is, imagine taking 2 of her and then imagine having to put the show together. And mind you, I had to write the songs AND help them put the show together. And they had to change their image. And with putting a show together, you need days of rehearsal so we had to do that in 6 days? That was a lot you know?
PART 2: KANDI TALKS BUSINESS & MORE!
Angel: Okay, so now that you’re an award-winning singer-songwriter and now you have the reality tv personality titles under your belt, what are some other life goals that you have that you’re trying to accomplish?
Kandi: Right now, my goal was – this is what I wanted to do: I wanted to have a brand or a product or something that is bigger than me. And what I mean by that is, I feel like when people are “celebrities” or whatever, they’re always pushing their perfume line. They’re pushing this, they’re pushing that. And think that as long as their hot, we buy it, right? Well I wanted to have something that was bigger than me, meaning that it was of quality and it was dope enough where people would want it whether I’m on TV or not. That it will keep going even after I’m no longer doing the reality show.
So for me Bedroom Kandi, to me the rate we’re going with it, I feel like it’s gonna be that. I think when I first said it, a lot of people were like, ‘Why would she do that?’ Then when it came out, people were amazed at the quality of it. When you see it you could tell that it was some high-end, different kind of stuff. We just came out with the line in November and in January we’ve already won the AVN Award for best toy line.
Angel: Yeah, I was just about to ask you about that. You’re already winning awards for it. So I’m like yeah, you’re doing something right!
Kandi: I was so excited about it! And then the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, they reached out to us to do a partnership. So when you go book a room at their hotel online, you can do Kandi Koated Nights packages, where you can book the room and pick the toys you want delivered to your room.
We’re about to start our in-home party network, which is amazing. I really wanted to do it from the beginning, but you have to have toys want to get to that point. So we started our line and we’re adding more stuff. I’ve got my lingerie added to the line, my own candles, all kinds of stuff and 5,000 people have already signed up to be our consultants. To me, when you have something like that, that’s like Avon, you know what I’m saying? So once you get to that point where like I’m putting other people in business where they can make money for themselves as well as sell the product. It’s not like my picture is on the box or anything like that. So Bedroom Kandi is something that’s going to stand on its own. And its the same way, like how I look at Jessica Simpson. Like I’ll go in the mall and buy some of her shoes, because I think her shoes are cute and they fly. She’s made a brand of something – that I don’t have to see her on TV to still want to go and buy her shoes. That’s what I meant that I want to have something that is bigger than me.
Angel: Exactly. So you’re an entrepreneur. I know the one episode where you guys were in Africa and you all were at the table and you’re all talking about being a boss and you were like, ‘I’m a boss!’ And was like, ‘Yeah, Kandi is a boss!’ Because when you think about it, you have so many different ventures going on. So how do you keep all those afloat without losing your mind? How do you not get stressed out with all these ventures?
Kandi: I am stressed out! [laughs] Last year, I made the decision to myself. I was like, ‘Look, I’m going to go hard one more year. I’m just going to go hard the whole year on everything that I’ve got going on and really solidify all these things. I don’t want to keep starting these upstarts. I really want to solidify what I have to where it’s working like clockwork. Because it is stressful when you have multiple ventures going on. But you’ve just got to prepare your mind for it. I just prepare my mind that for this year, I’m just going to run myself crazy to get it all together and then next year I’m going to sit back a little bit because I would have done everything and set up everything correctly so that its working like it needs to.
Also you have got to have the right partners or business partners working with you, too. Everyone’s trying to stuff things by themselves, but when I do that I start off with something but then it turns into something crazy. I have to say that. I’m so extremely happy with the people I’ve partnered with to do my toys with. They make everything so easy for me and everything is on point where I can see where everything is and don’t have to question if they do something right or whatever. I definitely have to say that I trust the people I’m in business with. I’m going to go through all my companies and everything I’m apart of and in the next 6 months whatever is not on point I’m just going to cut it off. Cause I don’t have time to be putting all this extra energy into something that ain’t together.
Angel: Yeah, exactly.
Kandi: So like you, you understand because just like you have all your stuff going on. I had to ask a friend of mine, “How do you keep this going or keep that going?” and he said, “You Know what? You need to write down everything you’re doing and see which things are making you the most money.
Kandi: No Seriously! [laughs]
Angel: Yeah I’m laughing because it’s actually true and it makes a lot of sense and I didn’t even think about it like that. That’s true.
Kandi: Because, I really want to be able to retire by the time I’m 40. Not to say that I will, but I want to be able to.
PART 3: KANDI GIVES US ATL HOUSEWIVES INFO!
Angel: So what is the future of Atlanta Housewives,? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s been kind of dry this season. Not you personally, but a few of the characters I think need to be replaced to add more life to it. So what’s your take on the future of the ATL Housewives franchise?
Kandi: Well they are going to replace somebody this coming season…
Kandi: We don’t know who they are casting. So they are going to make a change this coming year. We don’t have any say so in that so this is not me trying to tell what’s going on. It’s just me being real about it. They get mad when we say too much or whatever. But it’s no secret they are interviewing new people. So they’re going to shake things up maybe. I don’t know what they’re going to do. As far as me, I can see myself doing it one more year.
Angel: Yeah, I think you should definitely stay. I’ll be blunt. I say Sheree or Kim needs to be replaced. It’s just the same dried up stories over and over. You can only watch but the same thing over and over. At least when you’re on there, you’re still yourself but you have a lot going on, so you’re always going to have something to talk about. So that’s just my opinion. [laughs]
Kandi: [laughs] Thank you. I appreciate it. I mean I don’t know who it would be. I do know that a lot of us have our own thing going on. I hope everything goes well with this Kandi factory situation and we are talking about the future of doing more of that but contrary to what has been reported, saying I want to leave because I have my own show. That’s not the case. What I plan to do is to just do both. That’s if they still want me on Housewives, I would do both. I’m not trying to leave one for the other.
Angel: So are you and Marlo cool, what’s going on with that? Or is that just for TV? Or are y’all cool behind the scenes?
Kandi: The things that are said between me and Marlo on the show are my genuine feelings during the time. Like they didn’t tell me to say that. That ain’t for the show. I personally think she’s a nice person. Like I don’t think she’s a bad person. I think she’s a nice person. I just don’t like people that brag all the time or name drop, label drop, whatever. It gets on my nerves if that’s all the time. Sometimes if I say, ‘Girl, what you got on?’ and you say, ‘Oh girl, I’m wearing blah, blah, blah,’ it’s like okay. Or if you be like, ‘yeah girl, I got this.’ That’s cool but every single time, all day long? It gets on my nerves like I don’t want to hear that. And that’s just my opinion.
Angel: Yeah, that’s like that old psychology saying, it’s like people who do that, they’re overcompensating for something else that’s lacking so it’s the same old stuff. or you know…Yeah, I don’t like it either. It’s annoying…
Kandi: All that crazy talk, talking about, ‘Oh Kandi must be jealous ’cause she..’ No! What am I jealous of? I’ve never been jealous of… I’m not dissing her. I’m not saying nothing. I like the way she, you know, her clothes. I think she has a lot of nice things. I ain’t saying nothing negative about her in that way. I’m just saying I don’t want to hear her talk about it all the time. That was it. That was just my point. And I feel like things were kind of taken out of the way during the show because I’m the only one that speaks up. But everybody else was saying stuff. The only person that wasn’t really saying nothing about it was NeNe and Kim because Kim wasn’t really around that much. But all the other girls had mentioned things, but when she was around they didn’t ever say anything. You know what I mean? So I’m like I ain’t saying nothing different than anybody else said. I just speak out loud. That’s all.
Angel: So what’s going on with your mom, Ms. Joyce? Is she still on the dating scene?
Kandi: [laughs] My mom! Naw, she’s chilling. She isn’t dating anybody yet. You know she gets a kick out of that little site that I set her up on, but she’s never once been out on a date with any of those guys, even though I felt like there were some good prospects on there.
Angel: She should test it out. You never know!
Kandi: I said the same thing but she seems to be shy or something. I don’t know. But she’s good though.
Angel: What about you? Are you still single or are you seeing somebody?
Kandi: Naw, I’m in a relationship now.
Angel: Okay, okay. Well that’s good to hear.
PART 4: KANDI ANSWERS SOME TWITTER QUESTIONS..
Angel: I have a couple Twitter questions. @justlikemusic09: ‘What advice would she give a singer-songwriter like myself getting ready to get into this type of industry? What should I look forward to?’
Kandi: She’s got to look forward to a lot of hard work and a lot of grinding. But like I said, first thing’s first. I tell anybody make sure your song is hot. Make sure your song is hot. Make sure your image is together and make sure you really work on your craft as far as your performances are concerned. Because there are a lot of people who say they want it, but they really don’t want to do the work that it takes to get in it. And it’s not going to happen over night. Even if I gave you a hot record, like there is a lot of people on twitter, “like you can you do a song for me?” Ok, If I give you a hot record, what are you going to do with it?
With these people from our show, we’re giving them the opportunity. We’re going to put their single out for them and we’re going to do their video. Because most of the time when people are an independent artist, that’s the first thing. You want to get yourself out there to the world. We’re just giving people a jump start but even if I did it for everybody, some people gonna take it to the next level. Like thank you for giving me my first stab at this and I’m finna run with it.
Angel: That’s true. There’s another one from @msstricklybiz: “Ask Kandi does you hopes to branch out and write songs for movies.”
Kandi: Yes, definitely. I was just talking to Ester Dean about that the other night, talking about soundtracks and different things. I was like, ‘Man, I need to just get back on my grind’ as far as trying to place more records on different stuff. And I love soundtracks because just in my past with doing soundtracks, not only do you get your regular royalties off the songs from the singles, but those and those big licensing fees are mighty nice!
Angel: Alright! And for my last question, for people who will be watching the special this Sunday, what do you want them to take away from the show?
Kandi: I want them to see that it’s not as easy as you think it is. And I want them to recognize the three elements that it takes when you’re trying to jump off as an artist. I want people to realize that they need to work on that – the song, the performance…like I hate when people have their song and you see them get up and perform somewhere and they’re awful and then they get dogged out on Twitter. I want them to see the elements of the hard work that comes with putting it together.
And I want people to be like okay I can do all different types of artist, all different types of music. Of the two people we picked, one girl she’s an R&B artist. The guy, he’s a pop artist. Really I wanted to pick this other guy that was an older man who did Rock music. I wanted to do a Rock song because people haven’t had a chance to see me do something like that yet, but I can do that, too. But hopefully as we keep going in the future, my plan is to keep showing people all the different types of things I can come up with.
Angel: Well, Thank you!
Kandi: Alright, it was good talking to you.
Angel: Congrats on all your success. You’re a motivator. I look at you like, “She’s doing all this. I’m trying to get on that level, you know.” [laughs]
Kandi: Well thanx, your thang is blowing up. Everybody looks at your blog [laughs] You’re doing your thang, we just in two different lanes but you’re doing yours just as big.