Brandy has marked her return to the industry in a major way by blazing the small screen, the big screen and the stage as if she hadn’t stepped away to focus on family life at all. As Brandy prepares to drop her new studio album ‘TwoEleven’ in August, she is keeping fans on their toes as they watch her play characters on various shows and movies. RoJay spoke with Brandy about her recurring role on ‘Drop Dead Diva’ and also her music.
RoJay: Hi Brandy.
RoJay: How you doing?
Brandy: I feel like I know you.
RoJay: You know, it’s all love. Now we’ve seen you play several characters over the years. You know, every character you play from Chardonnay to Moesha the fans love. What was it about this particular character that you made you fall in love with her and make you want to take on this role?
Brandy: With Drop Dead Diva?
Brandy: Well, I have so much in common with her. I love what she stood for and I related to her in so many ways. And there was something so sweet about her spirit that I – that I completed connected to. And she’s totally different than – than Chardonnay, like Chardonnay give me a different – a different freedom that Elisa doesn’t. So I love being able to be as versatile as possible and I would love to play different characters. It’s so much fun playing somebody that’s not me. Moesha was so similar to me it’s like, this is boring, I want to do something – I want to do something completely different than, you know, me and what I do everyday. So it’s fun playing characters that are just, you know, different.
RoJay:Okay, now as far as the characters like you – like you said you like to keep your music and your acting separately, which would you say you immerse yourself more in as far as when it comes to your inspiration? Like I know you dig and find something within yourself for these characters you play, but also you dig – you have to dig deep within yourself for your music, which is harder for you to be vulnerable to?
Brandy:Well, my music is a little bit easier for me because I’m completely self. You know, I get in the studio and I just let go. I just close my eyes and I sing, you know, what I feel and whatever comes out, comes out. And pretty much my music is the soundtrack to every stage in my life. So I’m able to be transparent in my music and also able to just be free in music. With acting it’s like I’m playing somebody completely different than myself. But also have to add pieces of myself to the character to bring the character to life. So that’s a little bit more of a challenge because I’m playing somebody different. But I have to also bring the truth and the reality to that character as well. So that’s a little bit more of a challenge for me, but I’m working on it and I’m definitely see a future in the acting for me because I have such a passion for it. So hopefully the roles can keep coming and I can keep, you know, doing what I do.
RoJay:I know you do such a great job at balancing them both. You started this at a very young age, has it become easier for you now to balance the acting and the music or is it harder since, you know, you got extra roles like mom and producer and all that extra stuff added to your plate?
Brandy:Well, it’s definitely – it’s definitely a challenge to – I think for anybody to balance their life. But I think because I’m so hungry to do what I want to do consistently all the time. I don’t mind, you know, it being a harder challenge for me to balance. And I have a great family, a great daughter who understands what I have to do. And respects and receives time that I give them when I’m not working so I have a great team around me to help me balance my crazy life. But I wouldn’t trade this for the world really.
RoJay: All right, well you continue to do your thing. We love you.
Brandy: Thank you, I love you too.
RoJay: You have tried so many different looks in your time, in this past — I guess in this era we have seen you with the – like the big hair at the Billboard Awards. You did the short hair for like a shoot and you say that it kind of scares you to try new things sometimes, what has been your motivation to try these new looks? Because we’re used to seeing you a certain way, what made you step out and try these different looks that the fans have been loving from you lately?
Brandy:Well, I think in the past that’s, you know, I wore the braids for a long time and then, you know, things start to get a little weird with my look. So, you know, I’ve been practicing for years to try to get it right and I finally found the right team that I feel comfortable enough with to take chances. And so I think right now it’s all about shock value for me. You know, when you’ve been gone for so long and people kind of forget who you are you try to do things to kind of shock and get people to talk. And so, you know, you can’t do that with just music anymore. You have to do it all the way around. So that’s all I’m trying to do, I’m just trying to take risks and chances with everything I’m doing from music to looks to videos to acting roles. You know, so I’m just trying to do it to get back out there consistently. Hi RoJay.
RoJay:You’re so silly. You know everyone from Michael Jackson to like you say Whitney Houston and some of the other, you know, all these other people. When you’re — not when you pass — say for instance when you hang up the mic and you decide to just do the family thing or whatever you – you choose to do with the rest of your life when you decide it’s time to move on, what is the one thing that you hope people learn not only your fans but just people in general take from your journey of everything you’ve blessed us with throughout your life?
Brandy:Well, that I realized that it was my purpose and that I gave everything. All I had. You know what I mean and so I really loved music and I really love everything that I did, you know, and I put my all into it. And at the end of the day I’m just here for service, that’s it. You know, and I realize that, when you grow up, you want to be famous, you want to be a star. You know, you want to be popular. You know, but it’s not about that for me anymore. All that’s great but it’s really about living out my purpose and really giving back to the people who believed in me for all these years, you know. So…
RoJay: I really hate we don’t have much time to knock out every single question I would love to ask you, but I do thank you for your time and we will definitely get it in next time.
Brandy:Thank you RoJay.
Be sure to catch Brandy as Elisa Shayne on ‘Drop Dead Diva’. She returns this Sunday, June 24 for her first episode this season and she’ll also be back on July 8.