Showing her true versatility, D. Woods is no stranger to the silver screen, D. Woods made a cameo in the 2007 box office smash “Stomp the Yard” starring Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown and recently completed filming her next movie, “We Are Family,” which will be in theaters in 2010 and stars actors Monique Coleman, Christian Keyes and Chyna Lane.
On October 14, 2008, in one of MTV’s most-watched episodes, Danity Kane, much to the chagrin of their loyal fans, was disbanded and D. Woods left the group to embark on the next and greatest chapter of her career; as a solo-artist. No longer confined to a group-setting, D. Woods is free to exhibit her creative style and pop sensibilities through her recent distribution deal inked with Bonzi Records/Fontana (Universal Music Group).
D. Woods’ solo debut album, “My Favorite Color,” will be released on April 27, 2010 on her own label, Woodgrane Music, but before its release, she will be giving back to her fans with the release of “The Gray Area Experience” EP, which features new and exclusive material. The first single from the EP will be “Legalize Me” is now on iTunes!
In this exclusive interview with UrbanBridgez.com, as apart of our anniversary interview series! D. Woods talked to Aries about her new single “Legalize Me,” her upcoming solo release, lessons learned from Danity Kane, holiday plans and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: The song and video for “Legalize Me” are getting great reviews.
D. Woods: Ayyy! I still haven’t had time to look at it (feedback) myself, I’ve been rippin and running, but that’s great to hear!
UrbanBridgez.com: What steps did you take to make sure you had the perfect single to officially announce you as a solo artist?
D. Woods: I just kept recording songs and you know the one that kind of gives you that feeling when you play it. And gives everybody in the room that feeling and everyone you bring the song to that same feeling. I have people around me who I really trust their opinion. So that’s basically how I picked it, it kept being in the top running. I kept recording other songs and eliminating other songs, but “Legalize Me” was the winner (laughs). So that’s how I did that.
UrbanBridgez.com: Explain to me the meaning of “The Gray Area”?
D. Woods: “The Gray Area” has a couple of different meanings. Definitely the past year has been like a gray area for me. You know moving from one part of my career to the next. Just kind of being in this limbo stage, first I was in limbo contractionally having been dismissed from Danity Kane. Then just having to work all the legal things out, that was kinda a gray area (laughs). Then just trying to reinvent myself and my sound, to get back to my interest for what I want as an artist. When you’re in a group, there is alot of compromising and kind of shaving yourself down. To fit into the slot they put you in for the group. So I had to just fill myself out again and reintroduce myself, and just being in the studio not putting any limitations on my own creativity. There’s a gray area in so many things in relationships, I just took it and kept going with it you know. Like you start with one idea and it’s like of it relates to this part of life. And these people who are going through this and that. I’m getting different comments, I speak alot on different panels, on Twitter, etc. And I let others put their own interpretation on it, because I want the fans to feel like they have a say so.
UrbanBridgez.com: Let’s talk about your full album release next year “My Favorite Color” what can fans expect from your first solo release?
D. Woods: They can expect me coming in full color, if we can say we’re in gray now. This is the area of me bringing my fans from what they know of me from Danity Kane on a journey to get to know me. I just like my favorite color as a title because I really want you to get to know me and what’s the first thing you ask someone when you’re trying to get to know them? What’s your favorite color, oh yeah you look like you would like red (laughs). So you know you can tell a little bit about a person by that and just all of the different sides of a person. Colors represent different moods of a person, like a moodring. So you’re going to get to see all those different sides of me. Like when I’m like this, this is my favorite color. When I’m like that, that’s my favorite color, you know.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of the producers and writers that will be featured on the album?
D. Woods: Well once again I will be teaming up with Soundz who produced “Legalize Me.” I have alot of new and up & coming producers that are just getting their start, like The Band Geeks. They’re signed to Grand Hustle, a producer named Oak like the tree (laughs). He’s worked with alot of people like Chris Brown, JLo and some more people. We’ve known each other for awhile, before he started working with all these people. So we just stayed in contact with each other, so he’s definitely going to be on the project. Writing wise, The Girls Club which is myself, Shanell my sister who’s with Young Money and Mika Means who’s signed to Motown/Universal. We’re on each others projects. Also writing and production wise is a man by the name of Adam Blackstone, we’ve known each other for while. So I really just got with the people I’m the most comfortable with, the ones that know me the best. I don’t really have to explain myself when I walk in the studio. We just have fun, you know and just let it go.
UrbanBridgez.com: What was the biggest lesson you learned when you were apart of a group?
D. Woods: That’s the funny thing. This is actually my first time in life and it just dawned on me yesterday when my song was on iTunes. I was getting comments and realized this is my first time in life being solo. I’ve always been in large groups or large ensembles, whether it was dancing, theater or music. I just know that, no matter what you’re going to shine. I was never intimidated of felt insecure because I was always brought up to like enhance the person who’s standing next to me on stage and them enhance me. And we are all doing it in the greater good of the show, play or song or whatever. A star is going to shine no matter what. But everybody doesn’t work like that (laughs) and that’s what I did learn. I was like this has never happened to me before, I’ve never felt like this. It was really weird and kind of a disheartening experience in some of the things that happened. Because it has never happened to me like that in my entire life and I’ve been on stage performing since I was three years old. And it’s always been chemistry, like if I mess up, then we all gonna mess up and vice versa. Then we all going to make it look right! And when that doesn’t happen and you feel like you’re on stage by yourself, but you’re not…it’s the worse. It’s the worse feeling ever (laughs). But least I know what that’s like now and I try to never recreate that feeling. Like even now, the people who are performing with me now, like my dancers and background singers. Know I always like to create a situation where it’s like this is for everybody, I’m the headliner and my name is on the bill. But this is representing you too and the end of the day. You need to feel just as proud of this performance as I when it’s all said and done. It’s your time and effort and you expressing your talent in this platform.
UrbanBridgez.com: You always came across on the show as without a doubt the realest member of Danity Kane, looking back now and how everything played out do you have any regrets?
D. Woods: Umm no (laughs). I really don’t, because everything happens for a reason. Hey it’s like I did what I did based on the information I had that I felt was best to do at that time. So if it turns out to be the best decision, at least I learned from it. I won’t ever do it like that again (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about the movie “We Are Family” your in coming out next year?
D. Woods: It was really a fun experience. It’s a comedy and it just kinda really let me go really far, as in the character being really outrages. The character I play is kinda supporting Chyna Lang, who’s featured in the film “Precious.” We kind of developed a real friendship, we’re friends in the movie and now we’re friends in real life. So it’s like one of those things when you have a good chemistry and end up being life long friends, you have that experience to look back on. It’s about a group of people who end up finding out they’re all related. But they’re like from totally different walks of life. And look like they should never even be in the same room together ever (laughs). It’s about the train wreck that happens and then them working it out.
UrbanBridgez.com: What are your holiday plans?
D. Woods: I don’t know, I’m one of those late shoppers (laughs). I probably won’t go to the mall til the day of. The one thing I do look forward to is food. So that’s what I’m worried about, what we’re gonna eat, but as far as who’s house I’m not sure yet. But it’s gonna be some food. I’m one of those people that believe that, whatever you do on New Years eve is a representation of what your year will be like. So I always have to make sure it’s where I want to be and not just because I’m getting a check. It’s like I want to be there and want to be around these people, you know. Last year I was at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta and watching my sister perform with Young Money. Shortly before I established Woodgrane Entertainment and we had our Skybox & had all the homies in there. The ball dropped and Shanell was on stage and we were cheering and she was singing. So that’s kind of like what the years has been like you know. I was going further and establishing Woodgrane Entertainment, I was going here and there to see my sister perform. And cheering for people who I like (laughs). It’s been a good year!
UrbanBridgez.com: What else are you working on in the coming future?
D. Woods: Being more in front of the screen projects as well as behind the scenes. As well as more music with me as the featured artist as well as other artist. More music for me as well as changing it up and more focus on other people as well.
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
D. Woods: Thank you fans, for riding with your girl D. Woods. Continue to support me, cop that “Legalize Me” on iTunes. Y’all will see more of me in 2010 and I hope to see y’all in the audience, singing all the words.