Brandi D. Williams has been destined to become an entertainment icon from the day she was born. Brandi entered the world in Detroit, the birthplace of Urban Musical Greatness. Brandi also entered the world of as a member of a Musical Royal Family which included Uncle Smokey Robinson, Maternal Grandfather Bobby Rogers of The Miracles, and Aunts Cherelle (1980’s hit-making Recording Artist), Marvette Britto (New York Publicist) and Pebbles (1980’s hit-making Recording Artist and founder of Multi- Platinum group TLC). Brandi began singing at the tender age of 3 years old in Detroit. By 10, Brandi relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. By 14, Brandi was pursued to be a part of a new Female Singing Group, Blaque. By 15, Brandi was a part of Blaque and offered a Recording Contract by Tommy Mattolla at Columbia Records. Two years later, the group had released a slew of Top Ten Hit Singles and sold Millions of their self- titled Debut Album around the world. By 19, Brandi was already a respected lead singer of a globally famous and successful Recording Artist Group and had also co-starred in Two Major Motion Pictures, Bring It On and On The Line (of which she was requested to record the Soundtrack’s Feature Singles for both as well, in addition to the hit movie Honey). By 20, Brandi was a success in the eyes of the world, having sold millions of albums, been nominated for and non awards and toured the globe performing...but she personally felt like it was only the beginning of the goals she set for herself.
Within a two year period, the group she was a founding member of had decided to take a hiatus and Brandi began to focus on honing her skills as a lyricist which lead to the encouragement of everyone surrounding her to pursue a solo recording artist career. Brandi began recording tracks and founded her own production company over the last year and reconnected with Veteran Talent Manager Carlo J. Farina. Brandi has been recording to prepare for her Debut Album, signing Recording Artists to her Production Company (Toon Town Productions) and reviewing film scripts to decide which role to accept next.
Most recently Brandi also connected with friend and fellow Recording Artist Nelly. Nelly pursued Brandi to record with him what became the enormous hit single “GRILLZ” (also with Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp) in November 2005. Brandi was not given credit publicly for being a part of the track, which created the nationwide controversy on radio stations and internet chat rooms among the general public as everyone wondered “who is that girl” singing the catchy part of the song, which was later revealed to be Brandi by her loyal fans.
Brandi D. Williams’ Solo Debut album and launch is expected to commence in mid-2006. Brandi is preparing to captivate the attention of the worldwide audience with her captivating blended R&B; and Hip-Pop musical style and fashion sense that will undoubtedly set trends around the globe.
MiddleChild got a chance to speak with Brandi about her future plans, her current success, and what her fans can expect from her this year.
MiddleChild: What's up Brandi?
Brandi: Hi. How are you?
MiddleChild: I'm good. I just wanted to speak with you about some of your upcoming plans and what's going on with you right now.
MiddleChild: So what can you tell your fans about your solo project?
Brandi: Well I can tell them that it's going to be a wonderful album. I'm very excited about my first solo album. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a long time and I finally have the opportunity and the courage (laughs) to just do my thing and try to make the best album I can make! So, I'm hoping that they're (the fans) looking forward to what I have to offer.
MiddleChild: What vibe are you going for on your solo venture? How would you classify your sound?
Brandi: My sound I would have to say is still very fresh, still new. Still young with a Hip-Hop, R&B; Pop type edge to it, as well. I hope they (the fans) look at it as something fresh and young, but still mature because I'm 23 now. (both laugh) It's gonna be a little more mature than the previous Blaque stuff that they would think about. I'm getting older.
MiddleChild: Well that's a good thing. Can you tell me about what producers you're working with?
Brandi: Well, I started working with the producers named The Platinum Brothers, here in Atlanta, Georgia. We're actually in the works of getting some new up and coming producers as well as some heavy hitters that are out there doing their thing. But right now we're in the midst of picking producers and picking songs. I did start with The Platinum Brothers here in Atlanta though.
MiddleChild: That's cool. Now, we can currently see you and hear you featured on Nelly's number one hit
"Grillz". Congratulations on that!
Brandi: Thank you.
MiddleChild: How did that come about?
Brandi: Well I've been knowing Nelly for a few years. We're friends and everything and he was here in Atlanta at JD's studio. I mean, at like 1:00 in the morning (laughs) He was like "B, I need you to come down and do this song" and I was like "What?". He said "Yo, I need you to come to the studio. To JD's studio. We doing this record and it's crazy and I need your voice on it." So I said "Are your for real", because I thought he was joking, because he is a jokester. I thought he was playing. So I was like "Are you for real" and he was like "Yeah...I need you on this record." So I got into my car at like 1:30 in the morning, drove down to So SO Def Studios...heard the track and it was amazing! He was telling me that he was trying to get Paul Wall on it and I thought "that's incredible". The fact that they are talking 'bout grillz, which was hot. To me, I thought it was going to be his new "Air Force Ones". I thought it was going to be big...if not bigger and I would love to be a part of that! I thought it was amazing and I was honored that he even thought of me to do it.
MiddleChild: Well because of you I went and bought me a grill. How bout that? (both laugh)
Brandi: That's good. (laughing) That's great.
MiddleChild:(laughs) Yep. Well there is controversy surrounding the song also for the simple fact that radio and the video is not crediting you on the song. Is there any real reason why they are not giving you credit for your vocals?
Brandi: I don't know...I really don't have that answer. I really don't know! We've (My Manager and I) been going back and forth for a minute (with Nelly's people / label) about it to see what really happened and why I didn't get credit for it. Because, you know. I feel I should just like everyone else, but...It's cool...People still know it's me and I'm excited that people recognize. Like yesterday, I was in the grocery store at about 12 at night and this guy was like "You're the girl from 'Grillz'. You're Brandi." So people still know it's me. They recognize me. I'm happy knowing that it was my first number one record. I'm just excited to have been a part of it. I wish I could've been recognized like everyone else, but you have to take the good with the bad and I'm thankful and blessed that I had something to do with the song.
MiddleChild: So you have spoken out about it?
Brandi: No, No...I don't feel that I need to do that. People know that it's me and I'm happy that I was a part of it. I don't think that I need to go and do something crazy and it become drama. Like I said, I'm just happy to be a part of it.
MiddleChild: Ok. Well let me say, it's just good to see and hear you again. Have you been recording with any other artists?
Brandi: Actually, we have some suprise guests that are supposed to be on my new and upcoming album.(laughing) I'm excited about that! But as far as all that, I've just been in the studio doing my thing and trying to get my album right. We got a few major suprises though for the album.
MiddleChild: Have you been writing?
Brandi: Yea. I've been writing like crazy. This will be my first time really being serious as a writer. I wrote a few things here and there for the Blaque albums, for different soundtracks and things like that, but I am really starting to get myself into being a writer and I am having a lot of fun with that. I'm suprising myself with some of the songs I'm coming up with and the melodies too. So yes, I enjoy writing and I'm loving it right now.
MiddleChild: Well that's cool. I can't wait to hear it. We all know that you come from a very musical family. Did they give you any advice as far as your career goes?
Brandi: Yes. I come from a crazy, crazy big "family" thats been around. My father is a producer and was in a group back in the day. My Aunt Cherelle and also My grandfather, who was in "The Miracles" and also my cousin Smokey Robinson. So every once in a while when I get to see them...like, my Aunt Cherelle actually lives i nAtlanta so I get to see her alot. She always tells me to make sure I just stay true to myself and stay focused and believe in myself. My father always tells me...his favorite words are "Brandi, just be humble and sweet and they'll love you regardless." (both laugh) My Aunt Pebbles used to always tell me to stay focused. Aunt Pebbles will say, "This business can be hard, but if I love it then I won't give it up". I haven't yet because I love it so much! My grandfather too is just so proud of me...just to see that I can do my thing and still be in it from the age of 16 and now I'm 23 and still doing my thing. They're very proud
of me like I am of them.
MiddleChild: I think we all are for real. You have some very loyal fans that have stuck with you through the thick and thin. What do you think has been the hardest thing you have had to face in your career so far?
Brandi: The hardest thing. Ok, I'm gonna have to be brutally honest. The hardest thing would have to be going through the transition with Blaque and then going from Blaque to now Solo. It's scary! I'm used to having two girls with me. I look to my left, I look to my right, I got somebody with me. This has been a little more difficult, cuz it's just me. You know though, I just have to believe in myself and to be confident but it can be hard. I'm so used to having Shamari and Natina right there with me...but I am ready now. Like "Grillz" was my first Solo record...so like when I did the video for that, I was thinking "Oh my Goodness. I'm scared, cuz I never did a video by myself". (laughs) So, I called Shamari and Natina and I was like "Please come to the video shoot". It was difficult, but I'm learning how to do it on my own. It's been a fun ride so far. I got a great record out of it that I am proud of doing...I got "Grillz" out of it. It's crazy that my first record coming out as a solo artist went number one, so hopefully we can only keep going up from there. Hopefully my very own first single from my album will do the same. So that's basically been the hardest thing...just going from a three girl group to now everything being all on me. But I'm loving it and ready for it and very excited about it!
MiddleChild: Well your fans gonna hold you down no doubt. Do you have any idea when you will be giving us a single?
Brandi: We're (Brandi and Brandi's Manager) shooting for hopefully this Summer. But you never know.(laughs) Record Labels and the timing and everything else has to be right. But, thats what we're shooting for...this summer.
MiddleChild: And are you currently signed to a label?
Brandi: Actually we're in the process of negotiating. We're looking at a few deals right now, so we got a few things on the table. Any minute now.
MiddleChild: Well we looking out for you. I always gotta represent for you. You know, you and your group mates. We as fans were real upset about the situation and not getting the releases of "Blaque Out" and "Torch". We're still here pushing for you and you best believe I got your back.
Brandi: Thank you. I appreciate it so much!
MiddleChild: No problem. Before I let you go, can you give us an update on Natina. We know she gave birth to a little boy awhile back. How is she?
Brandi: Oh yes, She is doing wonderful! He is actually three. He'll be four next month.(laughs) His name is Trin, my little nephew. He's beautiful. A beautiful boy. She's doing really well. She's actually here in Atlanta working on some things. Just her and Trin. (laughs)
MiddleChild: Well I'm sure everyone will be happy to know that as well. Like I said, we're pushing for you an dwe will be on the look out for you later this year.
Brandi: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
MiddleChild: Thank you. You have a good day.
Brandi: Ok. You too and thanks again!
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