UB Interview: Adina Howard Speaks “The Switch Up,” Family & More


Adina Howard rose to prominence during the New Jack Swing Era of the mid-1990’s. She is known for her unabashed sexual image, vocal talent and provocative songs.

Her debut album Do You Wanna Ride?, featuring the Platinum selling hit single, “Freak Like Me,” was released in 1995 and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Remixed versions of “My Up And Down” and “It’s All About You” were also released as singles.

A second album, Welcome to Fantasy Island, garnered critical raves and a moderate hit with the lead single, “(Freak) And U Know It,” but was shelved by Elektra Records in 1997. That year she collaborated with Jamie Foxx on the Platinum selling slow jam, “T-Shirt & Panties” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1998 feature film Woo.

By 2004, Howard released her third album The Second Coming on Rufftown Records featuring the single “Nasty Grind.” Her fourth album, Private Show was released in 2007 by Arsenal Records along with a promotional single “Picture This.” The album managed to reach #17 on the iTunes R&B music chart. Following the album’s release, a remixes EP for “My Hips” (appears as “Hips” on her album) was released on iTunes & other digital services in December.

In 2008, she appeared in the short film Poke the Sleeping Bear which won the Grand Jury Award at the 2008 Solstice Film Festival. September 2009 UK compilation Independent Soul Divas 2 was released on Lola Waxx Records. This compilation album featured “What Do I Do,” a song recorded by Howard in 2008. The song picked up airplay and positive response on UK Radio.

Adina Howard has just released her much anticipated new single “Switch” on Monarchy Records, a Division of The Spectra Music Group. This hit new single is filled with pulsating beats, banging vocals and makes you wanna get your groove on. The entertainment/radio/club world is excited about the return of Adina Howard and she is sure to be back on the top of the charts in no time with this hit single.

Adina is now preparing for the next chapter of her life, with a new album and new interests. She is constantly touring while recording her new project for her fans.

Recently Adina spoke wit Aries from UrbanBridgez.com about her up-coming album “The Switch Up,” her Life After episode, touring overseas, her iconic “Welcome to Fantasy Island” cover, family and she takes us back to “Freak Like Me.”


UrbanBridgez.com: First off, congrats on your UB Honor win this year, very much deserved!
Adina Howard: Thank you!

UrbanBridgez.com: It seems like everybody is feeling Switch, what made you want to record that record and will we get a video?
Adina Howard: I hope we get a video soon. The reason for the song Switch is because I wanted to do something different. I wanted to get people to understand that I’m more than Freak Like Me and T-Shirt and Panties. I have, can and will do other things.

UrbanBridgez.com: I know you’re working on The Switch Up project, tell us what we can expect from it when it drops?
Adina Howard: The Switch Up (laughs). Me switching it up technically, is the reason why I named it The Switch Up. Since it’s been a long time since people have gotten new music from me, I wanted to make sure that I gave them something fresh. Something that would differ from what they’re use to.

UrbanBridgez.com: Do you have an estimated time you plan to have it released?
Adina Howard: Not at this moment, but we do know it will be this year for sure. Interesting thing is when you set dates, they tend to change up on you. Life happens, so when life happens you have to adjust.

UrbanBridgez.com: Will there be another single before then?
Adina Howard: Yes, we’re looking at what the label will continue to do to promote Switch. Even though it came out in September, we didn’t really get the push it should have. A lot of it has to do with the video, then the other aspect is it really getting pushed at radio. It’s one thing to have internet radio, but at the end of the day people still love traditional radio. There’s nothing like traditional radio even though we have satellite and internet radio. When you’re sitting at your desk or in your car, you have accessible to you traditional radio. Not the technology that we have today.

UrbanBridgez.com: You updated fans recently with your Life After episode, were you happy with the ending result & what aired?
Adina Howard: I was pleasantly surprised. I was very very pleased with how they put it all together.

UrbanBridgez.com: How was the shoot for that very iconic (but under-seen) “Welcome to Fantasy Island” cover?
Adina Howard: I loved it! I love snakes, so to be around that particular one. I thought it was amazing and absolutely beautiful. I would do it all over again.

UrbanBridgez.com: Can you tell us some of your favorite songs you’ve recorded?
Adina Howard: Closer off of the new album, What Do I Do from the UK compilation Independent Soul Divas 2 and T-Shirt and Panties.

UrbanBridgez.com: What dream artists would you love to collaborate with?
Adina Howard: There are so many I would love to collaborate with. I think one of mine would be Tech N9ne, he’s so fly to me and so underrated.

UrbanBridgez.com: There would be so much energy on that track.
Adina Howard: I know! You have to out it out there for me.

UrbanBridgez.com: For sure! Do you prefer touring overseas or in the United States more?
Adina Howard: I prefer Overseas. More money, but the fans really appreciate American artists a lot more than American’s appreciate their own. It just always seems to be that way. You know how when you’re from some place, they’re like, she ain’t no big deal. Or I went to school with him, he’s not all of that. So it’s not that appreciation that exists like it does overseas. Like when you’re in a Foreign Land, they’re like Oh My God! We love you so much, and appreciate you.

UrbanBridgez.com: “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” was a pretty big hit for you as well. How was it like grooving with the famous Jackie Chan in the video?
Adina Howard: It was different. He wasn’t that personable, I don’t know if it was my energy or where he was at the time in his career. It was cool to work with him but it was one of those things where it wasn’t the most mind blowing thing.

UrbanBridgez.com: Any plans to do some more acting in the future?
Adina Howard: I would love love love to do more acting. I especially have a desire to do theater. So that is something that I would love to do.

UrbanBridgez.com: With the experience of having a daughter now, have you thought about having more children?
Adina Howard: Wow, you know what having my 14 year old is a beautiful experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My husband and I are working on bringing a baby in the world. My 14 year old is my step-daughter, so I haven’t actually given birth to kids. I know people are mind blown by that, like how you a freak like me and have never been pregnant (both laugh). It’s called contraception, if you don’t want babies you can sure avoid them.

UrbanBridgez.com Take us back to Freak Like Me, do you have any early memories of hearing your music on the radio for the first time?
Adina Howard: I do, I remember hearing Freak Like Me for the first time when I was driving down Sunset Blvd. I was listening to the radio and I remember hearing the song and was like this song sounds familiar. And I was like Ayyy, wait (Screams)! This is my song (laughs)! Then I had to quickly pump my breaks because when the song was over I realized it was their make it or break it portion. Then I was like, oh. It’s what do they think about the song? But most of the callers were like this is different, we’ll see if the label promotes and pushes it. So that was basically about it.

UrbanBridgez.com That’s kind of cool also for you to hear your first single ever on the radio and it be a rush it or flush it type of situation, so you can really get opinions.
Adina Howard: Exactly, I was like please don’t flush it (laughs).

UrbanBridgez.com That album has so many gems on it, was there any songs on the album you wished were released?
Adina Howard: Oh man, let’s see. I haven’t listened to that album in forever.

UrbanBridgez.com Really?
Adina Howard: Yeah I don’t listen to my music like that. That’s the one thing I don’t do. I’ll listen to it over and over again when I’m in the midst of recording it. Then pretty much when it’s done so I can critique myself & the music. Then I get really strange because when I record a new song for the project then the one I liked before I’m like I don’t like that one anymore, I like this one better. So I’m weird like that (laughs). I don’t find myself listening to my music much because I don’t record my music for me. So I don’t really get a whole lot out of it.

UrbanBridgez.com Well my favorite was Baby Come Over, that should of been a single.
Adina Howard: Really? Wow, okay. Thank you! You know what with that album I don’t know what happened. What’s so interesting is labels tend to have the tendency to think they know what the public wants to hear. So they release what they want to release. Instead of taking the opinion of the public, but I guess if they did that they would be all over the place because not everybody agrees. So they decide to push this one and that one. And the ones that they did was at the time absolutely fine by me. Because they pushed the provocative music. But when they selected the singles they didn’t follow through with the promotion and marketing of it like they did with Freak Like Me. Sometimes what labels do is when they feel they achieved the success off the first single, they think that’s all you need and don’t need the support. So they can kind of just throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks. So when you fall, then they’re looking at you like you can’t sell anymore. And it’s like no you’re not doing what you did before, don’t be trying to blame that on me shoot. I got the gift, you got the money (both laugh).

UrbanBridgez.com Do You Wanna Ride dropped in 95, what was better about the music industry, compared to how it is now?
Adina Howard: I couldn’t even tell you, honestly I couldn’t because it’s all the same to me at this point. The difference between then and now is the technology. I learned my lesson because I use to say independent labels are more compact and they’ll be able to focus on you more & push your project. Only to realize they’re not as good because they do not have the machine like the major has. All of their contacts and what not, they’re ineffective. So at the end of the day you need a label that supports you 100%, has the contacts, has the financial backing that’s needed for the pay to play. Because if you don’t have the money to pay these radio stations to play your music you can forget about it. Again I love technology, to a certain degree today because it’s a blessing and a curse. But internet radio and satellite radio are good, but they will never add up to what traditional radio is. Because not everybody can afford satellite radio and on top of that you have so many got darn stations and when it comes to internet radio again it’s so many of them & just anybody can put a internet radio station together. So it’s not like it’s a huge catalyst for artist like that.

UrbanBridgez.com Yeah, because spins can’t be tracked that way.
Adina Howard: Exactly!

UrbanBridgez.com From that album what was the best part about the success and what was the worst part?
Adina Howard: The best part about being successful with that album was being able to travel to certain parts of the world that I would have never seen if I hadn’t had that opportunity. The worst part and I really won’t say it was the worst part but the challenging part about that project was not getting paid for it. I’ve never seen a royalty check, everybody else got paid and is still getting paid off of me. I don’t know where my money is till this day because they hid it so well. But it’s cool…

UrbanBridgez.com Wow, Karma, Karma will come to them all.
Adina Howard: Man! She’s a beast and she don’t play!


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