UB Interview: R&B Diva Syleena Johnson & Director Tangie B. Moore Talk “Couples Therapy” – Airing on BET

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Cast Members: Syleena Morgan (Syleena Johnson), Jasion Morgan (Hajii Golightly), Rayna Gibbs (Leela James), Reverend Hall (Dave Hollister), Dr. Elizabeth Neil (Christina Mason) and David Goode (Willie Taylor)

Tier2 Films proudly announces the network debut of the musical-drama “Couple’s Therapy“, premiering globally on the BET Network tonight, at 8:00pm (est) with an encore on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:00pm. “Couple’s Therapy” is written and executive produced by Tier2 Films own, Tangie Black Moore and Ric Atari. The film stars Syleena Johnson and directed by Tangie Black Moore. “Couple’s Therapy was a fun project to create with a great group of talented people. As a fan of her [Syleena Johnson] Couple’s Therapy album, I enjoyed the process of taking the album’s subject matter and creating an entire new world with relatable characters, situations and storylines. Seeing the process from its script conception to premiering on the BET Networks is truly gratifying,” adds Tangie Black Moore (Director/Executive Producer).

Couple’s Therapy” is inspired by Grammy Nominated Recording Artist Syleena Johnson‘s album, “Chapter 6: Couple’s Therapy” (Blackbyrd Music/EOne).

Aries from UrbanBridgez.com spoke with Grammy nominated R&B Diva Syleena Johnson and Director Tangie Black Moore. They spoke about their new film “Couples Therapy,” the cast, how the film hit home with Syleena, Tier2 and Syleena Johnson upcoming projects and much more!

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UrbanBridgez.com: Syleena where did you get the idea to make this a movie musical?
Syleena Johnson: Well originally it was suppose to be an hour-special. I had spoken to Tangie and Ric at Tier2 and Syleecia. We were all thinking of just doing videos. We wanted to do all of the videos for the album. Then we were approached about doing an hour-special by TV One, the network that does R&B Divas. So we were thinking of doing that, but then Tangie with her bright ideas (laughs). She wanted to do a full complete production of a movie. We were all like what what? We didn’t think we were going to be able to do it. But this is her producer mind, her writer mind, her movie mind; I remember the day, it was me, her and Syleecia on the phone and she was like man forget this hour-special we need to just do a movie. So after we talked about it a little more, we were like alright then let’s do it! We had more meetings and then meetings with Ric and from there it just went on. Then she locked herself in a room, she’ll tell you, she went away to a hotel. After I had sent her the album and she went away and wrote the script. So what you’ll see tonight, is what she came up with. It’s not really a musical per se, it was music through-out. It’s more of a movie. I say musical movie only because it has a lot of music in it and it’s based on the album. But it’s really a full movie, with dialogue and story-lies, it’s an actual film. As appose to what Keyshia Cole or like Trapped in the Closet. It’s nothing like, it’s an actual film. However, those concepts they did were awesome as well. Just great for R&B music and you know am I’m R&B head, advocate, and this is a different look. This is going to be really cool.

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UrbanBridgez.com: Tangie how did you first get involved and what made you want to make it a movie?
Tangie B. Moore: As a film company I’m working with Syleena on a couple of other projects. So stay tuned for those announcements. But I have been a fan of Syleena’s since album #1. I love her as an artist, I love the offerings that she brings through her music. Because it’s very inspirational to women, it’s very relate-able, so when we started working with her on some other projects she was finishing up the album. Her team was basically working their roll-out plan for the album. I directed, shot and did the treatment for the Perfectly Worthless music video that was one of the first releases from the album. People were really excited about the video. It was different, it was daring, slightly controversial and the story-line like she said peeked the interest of TV One. They thought that video was so strong that they would like to see more. They thought that it was something that could be spun into something more and created for the television platform. So we kinda started racking our brains over what we wanted to present to them. And for those who know me, know that I’m the type of person that I love to push the envelop and I love to do things that are different. I never want to do things that have already been done. I thought that Syleena’s voice and the album and everything that she embodies as woman was multi-layered. And I wanted to see a visual that complimented not only her body of work but from what I felt she could deliver to the people, to show a whole other side of herself. She did just that, I mean she really gave it (laughs). She gave it. In her acting abilities, it really shows how many layers and how much talent is really there. We all love her voice and the work that she does musically but I think this shows just a whole other side of who she is. As well as an artist. Not just a musical artist, but as an artist period as a creator. I think that we developed a project that a lot of people are excited about and I hope that you will love it just as much as we do.

UrbanBridgez.com: Syleena how therapeutic was it for you making this project, from the album to the film?
Syleena Johnson: I’ll say while making this film, I was going through a lot of things anyway. Personally as far as my marriage as well as my career. It was a lot going on, a lot going on. To be in the midst of filming a movie that touches on some of things that you’re dealing with. Specially my sister, there are some issues that she went through that are also in the movie. So to kind of live these things…you know what I’m saying? I don’t want to say it was good, but it was almost like necessary. For me to be able to get into character as much as I could. I was emotional a lot anyway. So I was able to be emotional most of the time in this film. The hardest thing was doing like the love interest part. I’ve been married for 8 years and with my husband for 10 years. That’s the man I’ve known all this time so it’s kind of weird. Other than that what I was going through kind of helped me be this woman in this movie in a lot of ways. I think that it’s all good though and everything happens for a reason. This whole film and we’ve talked about this a couple of times, that everything was meant to be and had perfect timing with this project.

UrbanBridgez.com: You have Leela James, Dave Hollister and Willie from Day 26 also in the flim.
Syleena Johnson: And again it was so amazing, they came in and they didn’t have scripts ahead of time. And they just came in and nailed their parts. It was crazy, I mean everything just flowed so perfectly. I don’t know, it was just crazy. It was actually a release because I was going through so much stuff. All of the artists are great people work with in my opinion and just amazing talent. You can’t deny what they do!

UrbanBridgez.com: Tangie you touched on this, but what are some of the elements about the film you think will pull viewers in?
Tangie B. Moore: Wow, there’s quit a few. Just so I don’t give anything way, spoiler alert (laughs). I think that one of the things I think will stand out to the audience is how balanced the story-line is. It’s not just taken from a woman or a females perspective. I think it’s kind of balanced in the sense of where there’s this couple and the wife is experiencing her set of issues and challenges, fears and pain. The husband is also dealing with his own set of issues and challenges, etc. I think it’s how they deal with them or don’t deal with them, how the challenges create and turn into other problems. Then they’re trying to fix those problems. Then you have the introduction of different people that come into the relationship one way or the other. How they deal with infidelity and of that nature. So like I’ve said before it’s a very layered, multi-layered story. I feel that it’s going to be very relate-able to the audience. The feedback from the tralier and everything has been positive. Most of the comments gave been that this is something my family member has been through or my friend.

g5L70f5I_400x400Syleena Johnson: Ummhmm

Tangie B. Moore: One of the things I think people will respect is how real the story is. It’s not a lot of fluff, it’s just real. Real deal stuff that people can relate to. If you, yourself hasn’t, you know somebody who has. It’s what this couple goes through, it’s what we say heaven and hell all at the same time. Still the bottom line is that they are able to conquer all of these challenges and still try to work it out. So I’m excited about what the feedback will be.

UrbanBridgez.com: Syleena from the album to now the musical to WE’s Marriage Boot Camp, you have put your relationship in the spotlight. What’s been the best and worst things about doing that?
Syleena Johnson: I think people forget that I’m a writer and have written every album from my life. And not to say you shouldn’t ask me this question, it’s a great question. But I think some people forget that I’ve always written about my life. Like with Chapter 1, there were pager messages and he was on there saying aww baby, this and that. Those were actual messages that I got from the man that I write that entire album about. Like that was a real thing, I actually paid him $700 and he took it (laughs). That was actually his wife because he went and got married on me when we were together. So that was his wife and that was a real theme, so I wrote about it and I write about where I’m at. So Chapter 6 is no different. Me and my husband were in Couples Therapy and not because he cheated or this that or the third. Because of mis-communication, lack of communication, the stress of R&B Divas and what it put on our family, moving, just different things. So I say all that to say that I am already use to being exposed in this industry. I mean there are things that I still keep very private, actually I’m a private person. But I think telling your story the way you want to tell it, is more powerful than being so closed and not sharing anything where it comes out of the horses ass instead of his mouth. This way if I can control how it’s told, then it can heal and have purpose. I know I’m human like everybody else and we’re all going through the same thing. So when people ask me why I did reality TV and things like that and it’s because I’m healing. I’m getting my heal on just like everybody else. And others are healing through me, God put us here for service. We’re not here to just chill and don’t nobody do nothing. He gave me a voice to be able to express myself and through song and art. That’s what I do that’s why reality TV comes naturally for me. I just be myself, because I already blow up the spot with Syleena with the album. So you can really go back into the rolodex and be like, oh yeah she did say that. Because it be right there in the song (all laugh). So that’s why like acting and like to act, so I can shut up sometimes. I want to read someone else’s damn life and script (laughs).

UrbanBridgez.com: What’s next for you two?
Syleena Johnson: Child y’all know I stay doing something. I have a book coming. Called The Weight is Over and it’s about my journey in the industry as a black woman dealing with the ups and downs and woos of body image. From coming in the game in the late 90’s and that’s coming out this summer towards the fall. The next thing I need to do is tour. I mean I’ve been doing dates and radio dates and things of that nature. But we’re looking to get a consistent tour, a Chapter 6 tour or a tour we’re putting together called the Harmony tour. Which is myself and Dave Hollister, the next single is our single “Harmony” that’s actually on radio now. So we want to do that and there’s a tour called the Take-Over tour that’s coming that I’ll be on along with Day 26 with Willie. So I’ll be on that one. I just want to tour and push Chapter 6. I just want R&B to flourish. That’s why I’m so happy about Empire. Our movie is such an amazing prelude to that whole concept. I was so excited for Empire because I knew what we had already did. I knew it was going to be awesome.

Tangie B. Moore: Tier2 has quit a few projects, we recently inked a deal with Discover Studios for a reality show that will be coming out soon. We have two more films that we’ll be releasing this year. We’re working on a couple of series as well, so we’re quit busy. So you’ll be seeing more Tier2 films and you’ll be seeing more and more of me. As director, producer and writer and all that good stuff.

Syleena Johnson: And hopefully we get a Couples Therapy series!

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“Couples Therapy” Encore Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:00pm
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