Special Feature: ‘Top 10’ Interviews #10

In celebration of our 10th year anniversary of being online & our interview series…We present the Top 10 Interviews of T M H/UBG 1999-2009!

Mondays & Thursdays Until Monday November 30th! When #2 & #1 are Revealed!

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10. Brandy – December 2008

Brandy speaks to Rory from UrbanBridgez.com on her “Human” album, recording her first album almost 15 years ago, she shares her favorite songs from her catalog, reveals her girl crush & much more!
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UrbanBridgez.com: Are you tired? I feel like I’d be exhausted if I were you, you sound like you have quite an action-packed promotional schedule going on.
Brandy: I do, I’m tired, but you know what? It’s a good tired. I’m putting in a lot of work for something that’s positive.

UrbanBridgez.com: The album comes on Tuesday, it’s called “Human.” How does this album compare to your past records and what makes it different, would you say?
Brandy: Um, well all of my albums are from the heart, all of my albums are passionate and I feel like the songs I’ve done in the past have been quality and relatable and this album is the same way. The difference I feel is that I’m a different person, I’ve evolved and my music has evolved with me and so the topic matters are a little different. They’re about self and being a better me and things like that. So they’re a little more inspirational and message driven than my old stuff.

UrbanBridgez.com: Well you know speaking of your old stuff, can you believe its almost been 15 years since you recorded your first album. What does that feel like?
Brandy: It doesn’t feel like 15 years, that’s the strange thing!

UrbanBridgez.com: I know, it feels like yesterday that you came out.
Brandy: That’s how I feel as well (laughs). But it has been 15 years (laughs) and that’s a long time. But it feels good to be back doing music again and it feels good to have the hunger the same way I had it when I first came out. This album feels like my first album. “Human” feels like my first album.

UrbanBridgez.com: You were talking about songs being message-driven and inspirational, Right Here (Departed), the first single, is such an emotional song. You sing that song with such conviction and the vocal performance is so soulful and it’s touched and inspired so many people. Why do you think that song is so powerful?
Brandy: I think because people understand that everybody needs somebody at the end of the day. It just feels good to have people that you can depend on and just the lyric itself “I’ll be right here with you, You’ll be right here with me,” everybody has that person in their life. And I definitely connected to it when I first heard it. I was like “Oh my God this sounds like something that I actually sat down and wrote myself. So I just love singing that song and I love performing it live too, that’s a lot of fun!

UrbanBridgez.com: You sound great singing it live too. I saw you on the Today Show and you sound great!
Brandy: Oh thank you so much!

UrbanBridgez.com: Now speaking of how you sound, everybody knows you have the craziest vocal runs and that beautiful texture in your voice that has inspired so many vocalists, myself included. How do you come up with those runs? What’s your process in recording?
Brandy: I just hear crazy things in my head and just go with it. I’ve been hearing different melodies and different things in my head since I was a kid and my dad used to have this 4-track and I would just always record on it and put it down. So I started very young doing that and I do the same thing in the studio to this day. I just do it and even if I mess up. It’s interesting because even when I mess up in the studio, that’s when something good is born. I always mess up in the studio (laughs).

UrbanBridgez.com: I always feel like it takes a vocalist to fully appreciate vocals, and when I first heard “Right Here,” you could just tell Brandy is back and she means business like you are not messin around when you are singin that song.
Brandy: Thank you! I really got a chance to really let go on that song and really challenge myself because that song is pretty high in range and you know I like my lows (laughs). I like to sing low. So I definitely challenged myself to sing a little bit high.

UrbanBridgez.com: So I loved the Afrodisiac album personally. I loved songs like “I Tried” and “Who Is She 2 U” and songs like “Nothing” from the Full Moon album. What are Brandy’s favorite Brandy songs? Like top 4 or 5?
Brandy: Top 4 or 5? Hmm, I gotta get these answers together (laughs) like… I don’t even know. Let me see! One of my favorite songs would have to be “Almost Doesn’t Count.” I love that song. I love “Nothing,” too, as well. I also love “When You Touch Me” off of the Full Moon album. And then some other songs that I’ve done that have never been released. Like a song called “Sweet Nothings” I love. It’s been all over the internet but it’s never been on an album. And I love a song called “Open” I did on the Osmosis Jones Soundtrack.

UrbanBridgez.com: Yeah I feel like there are a lot of those songs that weren’t released that absolutely should have been released that people don’t really know about they’re like the hidden Brandy songs and once you discover one it’s like a hidden gem.
Brandy: Yeah thank you!

UrbanBridgez.com: My favorite Brandy video is “What About Us?” because that was when new, adult, sexy Brandy was unleashed. What is your favorite Brandy video you’ve done?
Brandy: My favorite video right now is “Long Distance,” the new one I did for the new album, the second single off of “Human.” That’s my favorite video at the moment.

UrbanBridgez.com: I love that song, that’s a beautiful song. And I really liked how the video transitions from black and white to color, that’s a beautiful video.
Brandy: Thank you very much! I love “Sittin Up In My Room” too. That’s another one of my favorites.

UrbanBridgez.com: Aries (UrbanBridgez.com) tells me your mom Sonja is very spiritual and gives good advice. What is the biggest lesson your mom has taught you through your life and career that sticks with you?
Brandy: To stay true to myself. And not watch anybody else. Because if you watch someone else it takes the focus off of you.

UrbanBridgez.com: Now your daughter is six now, correct?
Brandy: Yes!

UrbanBridgez.com: Has she seen Madagascar 2 yet?
Brandy: Yes she has!

UrbanBridgez.com: Did you see it?
Brandy: She saw it without me! That’s the movie I wanted to see with her and she said “I just can’t wait for you to get back Mommy, who knows when you’re coming back home”

UrbanBridgez.com: Awww! Well I was gonna tell you she needs to see it if she hasn’t but clearly she’s on top of things and already saw it. Because I thought it was hilarious, and now you’re gonna need to see it.
Brandy: Yes, well we saw “High School Musical 3” together so.. I was good with that.

UrbanBridgez.com: (Laughs) And how did you feel about High School Musical 3, Brandy?
Brandy: I loved High School Musical 3! I love all the High School Musicals! I am in love with Zac Efron he is So cute!

UrbanBridgez.com: (Laughs) Really!? Well it’s interesting that you say that because I heard a recent interview where you revealed… tell me if this is true or not… you said you have a girl crush on Jennifer Lopez.
Brandy: I said that?!

UrbanBridgez.com: Do you have a bit of a girl crush on J.Lo?
Brandy: I love J.Lo, I can’t even lie! I love J.Lo to death. I’m obsessed with Beyonce too.

UrbanBridgez.com: Well see, okay Beyonce I understand Brandy. But J.Lo? When I heard that I was like I don’t know how I feel about Brandy’s taste in women…
Brandy: No no no! I love, Are you kidding me?

UrbanBridgez.com: No, see here’s how I feel Brandy. I’m attracted to women who can really… and this isn’t to discredit Jennifer Lopez at all… but I’m attracted to women who can really sing! Do you know? When you hear that passion, that’s a turn on! So people like Mariah Carey and “Brandy” and Toni Braxton, those I feel are attractive women. Beyonce as well. But J. Lo… hmmm. I don’t know about that.
Brandy: See, I like J.Lo’s voice and I like her song choices and I love the way she dances. She’s very pretty and she can act! She has a lot going on there man!

UrbanBridgez.com: Alright well, fine agree to disagree. But speaking of which, I have a confession to make and that is this. I have had a crush on you since I was 10 years old and I’m 20 now, and some how you’ve managed to become even more attractive over time, I don’t know how that happened…
Brandy: (laughs)

UrbanBridgez.com: So if you are dating a guy, let’s say we’re on a hypothetical date. What is Brandy’s ideal evening out?
Brandy: Well I’m a simple girl so if we’re just going anywhere just to have a good time and to just laugh and to get to know each other that’s it for me I don’t need much. I just wanna be able to talk to somebody about anything and just laugh.

UrbanBridgez.com: But now are you one of those girls that says that but really wants a very extravagant time? Like you say you want simple, but do you really want simple?
Brandy: I really want simple, man.

UrbanBridgez.com: I believe you.
Brandy: It’s a the simple things that count.

UrbanBridgez.com: So my next question is this, and it’s a very serious question. So don’t get too overwhelmed. It’s deep. “Have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry?”
Brandy: Yes.

UrbanBridgez.com: You have? Was it recently.
Brandy: Was it recently? No it wasn’t recently but I have.

UrbanBridgez.com: Was it me?
Brandy: It was you, Rory!

UrbanBridgez.com: Oh it WAS me? See that’s all I needed. I’m easy to please. But speaking of going out, what do you order to drink. What’s Brandy’s go to drink at the bar of the restaurant?
Brandy: Now are little girls gonna be reading this, because I don’t want nobody to think I’m an alcoholic…

UrbanBridgez.com: No! I don’t think anyone thinks you’re an alcoholic Brandy! But everyone has a drink when they go out.
Brandy: No but when I tell you the drink that I like, you’re gonna be like “oh that is strong!”

UrbanBridgez.com: Is it a tequila shot?
Brandy: (Laughs) No, it’s not! If I go out and just have the feeling of wanting to have a drink it would have to be a Long Island. You know, the Long Island, they put all (stresses all) the different alcohols in the Long Island.

UrbanBridgez.com: Brandy that’s not that bad. I thought you were gonna tell me that you were like doing body shots at a bar and doing crazy stuff, that’s not that bad.

Brandy: That’s too hard! But one Long Island is good for me, and if I’m not feeling that type of drink, I have a glass of wine.

UrbanBridgez.com: Well you know what Brandy, it’s too bad that you live on the other side of the country because I feel like we would have a good time together, but unfortunately, the LONG DISTANCE IS KILLIN US!
Brandy: (Laughs)

UrbanBridgez.com: How did the new single “Long Distance” come about?
Brandy: Well of course my A&R Brandon Creed found it and Phillip Lawrence and Bruno Mars wrote the song and I fell in love with it when I heard it I was like “Oh my God so many people can relate to this! This is big!” It was all beautiful and Rodney came in and did his thing on it and it became a good song.

UrbanBridgez.com: It didn’t become a good song, Brandy, it became a GREAT song.
Brandy: (laughs) Thank you!

UrbanBridgez.com: Don’t sell yourself short! I feel like you’re too humble sometimes. It’s okay to say “I have a DAMN good song on the radio right now!”
Brandy: (laughs)

UrbanBridgez.com: Alright, my last question is this. What is your relationship with Whitney like now? Do you still talk? Because I know at one time you were very close.
Brandy: We talk every now and then, yes we do.

UrbanBridgez.com: Alright then, well Brandy good luck with everything, I feel like you’re about to have a big couple of months coming up. Of course the album comes out Tuesday, I know I’m buying like 5 copies at least for myself.
Brandy: Thank you so much Rory.

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