Catching Up With Brandy


By Dustin Fitzharris

Why? You didn't like it?
I believe a lot of the songs on that album have inspired some of the fans. In that respect it's a blessing. But, where I felt creatively it could've gone and the space I was in creatively, I needed everybody around me to be in that same space.

What would you have liked out of that album?
First of all, it would've been a different album, but with the same inspiration and same blessing for other people. It would've been hotter music and a hotter look. Number 1 on the charts! Platinum!

Which brings up a good point. Your career has slowed down over the years in terms of chart success. How does it feel when you're no longer number 1?
It feels terrible. I say this in the most humble way, but I'm a winner. So, when a winner feels failure, it doesn't feel right or good. It's a like a champion who gets knocked out. That's why I'm so hungry on making this next project about what feels good to my gut. When I follow my intuition or my creative guidance, there's success.

Another difficult obstacle you've faced is an eating disorder. Is that something you still wrestle with?
Oh hell no! I want to be so fit, but I can't get fit! I want my butt back! I want my thighs back! When I was younger I just had all of that. It was a very tough time, and it was around the time when skinny was the thing. I ended up in the hospital. Not just from wanting to be thin, but also from being overworked and not taking care of myself in a lot of ways.

You also struggled to get out of an abusive relationship. What advice would you give to men and women who are in an abusive relationship?
Get out of the situation and understand the worth of who you are. The reason people end up in situations like that is because somewhere in their mind they believe they need this person to validate who they are. That's not the truth. The only person you need to validate yourself to is yourself. You need to tell yourself every day, all day, who you are and say it until you believe it.

Your mother, Sonja Norwood, is also your manager. She's known around the music industry as being very tough. Is she the best manager?
I think she is a great manager because of the passion she has for her artists. She'll fight for artists with everything she's got. It's a little different because she's my mom, so sometimes the dynamic changes when it comes to our relationship, but at the end of the day, I know my mom loves me. She believes in me.

Does she differentiate between Brandy the artist and Brandy the daughter?
She does, and she's learning through the show because she can see herself now. She's learning how to balance it all a little better. It might be a little late because I am 31, but it's never too late to make a difference or make a change.

You once said, "My mom so wants to be a star. It's ridiculous. She so wants to be a star."
I said that?

I could see that. Definitely. It's almost like she is, though. I don't even think she wants to be. She is the star.

Are you a star?
Ummm ' What do you think?

No, no. I want to know your thoughts!
I know what I think in my mind, but I don't know if it's appropriate to say. People can twist it around and project their own negative whatever. But, I know what I know about me. I can say that I am very gifted, and I'm blessed with a unique talent.

Gay men love you.
I love gay men!

Why do you think they gravitate toward you?
One of my best friends is gay. I met him on the Internet about two years ago. He got on the phone with me and said, 'Listen, I'm worried about what's going on with you. I don't see enough press. I don't see enough of this and enough of that.' I asked him why he was a fan, and said, 'I just love the sound of your voice.' I don't know if that's for everybody because I'm not a diva type.

You're not?
I'm not that at all. I don't know what my other gay fans think, but I do value his thoughts.

Tags: Music