That Grape Juice Interviews Brandy

Published: Friday 14th Sep 2012 by Rashad

Brandy is back!

It’s been four long years since the R&B veteran had her last march up Billboard charts.  A feat all the more surprising given the singer’s media presence over the time since has by no means diminished.

Tackling TV (‘Drop Dead Diva’, ‘The Game’) and movies (‘Marriage Counselor’), brand Brandy has been on the rebound and at a steady pace.

Now, the ‘Put It Down’ diva is looking to blaze charts once more with her forthcoming effort ‘Two Eleven’.  Already reigning over radio with its lead Chris Brown-assisted single, the Vocal Bible is looking to turn a new page on her career and personal life.

Speaking candidly with That Grape Juice, see B-Rocka weigh in on what fans should expect with this album, why she wasn’t feeling her previous two efforts, her relationship with Rodney Jerkins, and more.

Needless to say, it is a must read….

Brandy Shouts Out That Grape Juice!

That Grape Juice: Hey Brandy!

Brandy: Hey! I love y’all. So excited to be speaking with y’all again.

Likewise. So let’s get right to it…

Like many, we’re so excited to see you back!  We know you’ve kept busy with reality shows, TV (‘The Game’, ‘Drop Dead Diva’), and the like. But, it’s been four long years since your last album ‘Human’ was released. How did you know now was the time to step back onto the music scene?

Well, I’d been trying to get back on the music scene for a while, but I didn’t have a deal.  I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I got a chance to do a show in L.A. and it was there I got the chance to hook up with RCA.  It all just fell in place from there.  I feel like it was the right time.  Everything was organic and so authentic that it made me realize how much it [music] was missing from my life.

Indeed.  And, as a result, we have ‘Two Eleven’ (the material from which we’re loving). We’re keen to know: how will this project differ from your previous efforts?

I think it’s just an extension of me.  This album is a lot more mature than my past work, but very much rooted in R&B. With this album I wanted to have a purpose and that purpose was to contribute to the genre of R&B. So many people are missing that music that touches the soul. So many of us are doing different things with music and that’s ok, but for me that’s where I come from.  I just wanted to help bring that back to the forefront and stay true to who I am.

Speaking of previous efforts, one of the things we love about you is how “real” you keep it. With that, you’ve been quite vocal about your dislike for the ‘Human’ era and to an extent, ‘Afrodisiac’ too. What about those projects didn’t click for you?

For me, I didn’t feel like I was listening to my own voice. I was listening to the voice of my team more so than what was going on inside of me.   With ‘Human’, I felt like I wanted to do more R&B music and that’s not what we decided to do on that album. On ‘Afrodisiac’, when different writers and producers came in, it kind of changed the direction of where Timbaland and I were trying to go.  When you have something as strong as a creative spirit guiding you, you have to stick with that. You cannot go against it or you will suffer the consequence.

Those albums did not reach as many people as I would’ve liked for them to and I don’t get to perform the songs as much. A lot of people did love ‘Human’ and ‘Afrodisiac’. Some people still say ‘Afrodisiac’ is my best work. So, I guess some good did come out of it.

But, as far as ‘Two Eleven’ goes, you have definitely been quite vocal about the inspiration behind the title – specifically its connection with your mentor Whitney Houston.  However, how much of the actual sound of the album was inspired by her work?

Well it really wasn’t the sound, it was more of me staying true to myself. It was one of the last things I told her.  I got a chance to talk to her before she passed and she told me “nobody can be you, so always be you. Don’t let people change you or move you to do what they want you to do.”

It’s more in my faith and responsibility to my music and my gut feeling that she inspired me to do. I always hear out last conversation over and over in our head.  It’s about what I do moving forward because I want to make her proud with my music and everything I do as an artist.

We have no doubt you will. So, tell us more about the album sonically. What should we expect? Any features?  

Chris Brown is the only feature. I really wanted to do without features because I want to reestablish and reinvent myself as an artist. So, I didn’t want to just do collaborations just to do them.  We do them for the songs to be special.  The Chris Brown [feature] was the only one that worked out, while the rest is all me.


Sean Garrett is pretty much the main writer, kind of like my Rodney Jerkins. Ester Dean, Rico Love, Jim Jonsin, and Bangladesh.  It’s great talent on this album. I love working with people who believe in me.

Interesting that you mention Rodney Jerkins.  What’s your relationship with him like now?

We’re at a great place. I texted him last week. I wish we could get in the studio again and work together.  There is a chemistry and magic there that is undeniable.  I have a lot of love for him and owe him a lot. He’s done wonders with me musically and helped me learn a lot about my voice.

I will always have love for him.

What was the overall production process like? Were you ever swayed between making an album geared towards just your die-hard fans or one that would switch on the new generation to you?

Well, it’s both. I always say I want my daughter to be able to listen to my music and love it. I always want to satisfy the fans who have been down for a very long time.  Being able to be versatile is a blessing.  I can sing songs like ‘Put It Down’ and then switch to ‘Wildest Dreams’ or ‘Have You Ever’.  I think it’s about exercising everything I can do that way I can satisfy everyone.

You want the world to love your music and reach as many people as it can.  But, you don’t want to go too far off where people don’t understand.  It’s about me, yes.  But, it’s also about the people I’m trying to create relationships with my music.


Let me you a funny story:  I took my daughter to a ’Mindless Behavior’ concert recently.  As I was walking in and taking her to her seat, the entire place went crazy.  It made me feel so good those 10 and 11 year olds appreciated me being there because when I started making music, they weren’t even born!  My eyes began to water!

That certainly had to be a gratifying experience.  And I’m sure those fans, as well as your diehards, are looking forward to the album’s next single ‘Wildest Dreams’! We, for one, are certainly feeling its modern take on that’s 90s throwback sound. When can we expect a video?

I’m going to be doing the video this month.  You will not have to wait four months for a video to it (laughs). I can’t wait to do it because it’s such a song very true to my life.  It has real vocals, real heart, and I cannot wait to perform that in front of a camera.

Speaking of being in front of the camera, we recently caught ‘Put It Down’s’ first televised performance for the MDA.  What other promotions should we look out for with this project?

There are going to be a lot of TV appearances closer to when the album comes out.  We plan on doing everything we can.  But it’s not just me, it’s a team of people working to make things happen.  I just want to do everything I can to get this out to the people.

We also LOVED your BET performance. From the choreography, to the hair whipping, to the stellar vocals. Same with the ‘Put It Down’ video. As someone people describe as the Vocal Bible, do you ever feel pressure to live up to such titling?

Oh yes.  Because that’s a big title!  I just try to sing from my heart and soul. I try not to think of that so much. Before I got the title, I was singing from my heart and soul.  So as long as I do that, I’m doing what I need to do.  But, there’s a lot of practice that goes into it and so much pressure (laughs).

Ok, Brandy.  Let’s do a quick round of five fan questions:

Let’s do it!

Ever thought on doing a live album or a gospel album?

I have thought about doing a gospel album, but not a live album.  That would be cool too, but I really want to sing gospel. I love gospel and I would love to see what I can do on that end.

Any touring?  You once said a tour with Monica was out of the question due to acting, but recent reports quote you saying it’s back to being a possibility. Which is it?

I really still don’t have my acting schedule completely ironed out and I definitely don’t want to hold her up. I’m doing my thing and she’s doing hers.  If it works out, great!  If not, I wish her all the best.

We’ve heard you say you would never do reality again.  Do you have any guilty pleasure reality shows?

Yes, I do. I might catch a lot of flack for this, but ‘Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’ is my favorite show.  I think it is so real and honest.  So many people are going through that same stuff, but it’s just that everybody isn’t on TV.

Do you ever get back to Mississippi?

Yes, I love Mississippi! It’s been a while, but when I do go I always feel such a peace of mind when I get back home from there.  I still have family there, so I have a reason to visit.  Plus, my mom has a lake there.  It’s all so serene.  There is no place like Mississippi.

Finally, what’s your favorite Brandy song?

‘Always On My Mind’ from the first album.  I just love the melody of that song. It’s so pure and so pretty.  It’s hard to have one favorite, but that’s definitely one of it.

Ok, thanks so much! We know the fans appreciate that. And finally, you recently teased the potential of a Drake feature for the album.  Will that be something we can still expect?

The Drake collaboration will not happen for this album, for sure. I certainly see it for the future though.

And, as we recently commemorated the 11th anniversary of the passing of R&B singer Aaliyah, what are your thoughts on the Drake drama with her music?

I am a huge fan of Drake’s and I think it’s amazing idea that he’s doing the Aaliyah album. I cannot wait for that. I’ve always been a huge Aaliyah fan as well and I’m just happy he’s keeping her memory and music alive.

If approached, would you ever be a part of the project?

I would definitely be a part of that if they approached me.

Finally, when can fans catch ‘Two Eleven’ in stores?

October 16th! For sure!



 ‘Two Eleven’, the 6th studio LP of R&B singer Brandy, is due in stores October 16th.  Click here to pre-order your copy!

Interview by :  Q.R. Taylor (That Grape Juice US)

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  1. truth(the one and only u b****) September 14, 2012


  2. LouLou September 14, 2012

    Wait! Let me sit and read..

  3. LouLou September 14, 2012

    Nice interview. The story about Mindless Behavior was so cute.

    • Nene September 15, 2012

      Yes I was there and it really was like that, we went crazy when we saw her…she is so wonderfully pretty and nice in person. She deserves so all the love she is getting now and success. I am hoping for this album to be the ONE for her!

  4. Jawan September 14, 2012


  5. Career Ender (Fierce Warrior) September 14, 2012

    Brandy’s Human is one of the best albums of all times (phuck yo opinion)

    Camouflage >>>>> your faves #1s combined together

    • Joya September 14, 2012

      Grow your childish ass up. If it was a good album, it was a good album. All that extra BS you threw in there in the meantime wasn’t necessary.

  6. Christian September 14, 2012

    The only Brandy albums I can listen too all the way through are Never Say Never, Full Moon and Afrodisiac. I think those 3 albums are masterpieces. “Human” was cool but I defintiely has big hopes for Two Eleven

    • i’m not throwing shade, but… September 14, 2012

      I’m actually with you but i would take away Afrodisiac and replace it with the debut Brandy, like Brandy, always on my mind is one of my favourite tracks from her. Its funny her feelings about Afro, but i like the Kanye productions work the most.

  7. Ernest September 14, 2012

    Great interview

  8. Girrrl September 14, 2012

    Yes.Brandy!.Her albums are always hot. My faves are never.say never and aphrodisiac. Her debut had some timeless songs too ie I’m Yours Brokenhearted. I can’t wait to buy this album.

    • mobwife: KILL THE FEMINAZIS NOW September 14, 2012

      Yes, her debut album still bumps til this day! Folks need to stop talkin trash and sit on down with that noise!!

  9. Kyle September 14, 2012

    Great interview! She seems so humble and I know Whitney would be so proud of her for doing her thing and staying true to R&B. I love how she didn’t include features on this album just for the sake of doing features. I will be buying my COPIES (1 standard and 1 deluxe) on October 16th. I’ve been a fan of hers for so long now. I wish you nothing but the best of luck Brandy! Your fans are with you!

  10. ASIPOFBRANDY September 14, 2012

    well, it’s about TIME TGJ! B Rocka is the BEST!! #TWOELEVEN #VOCALBIBLE

  11. Jake September 14, 2012

    She is an inspiration.

    I cannot wait for this friggin album.


    OCT 16th!


  12. Nathan September 14, 2012

    Amazing Interview.
    I am LOVING Brandy right now.

  13. Jaiyah September 14, 2012

    Wish I was in Atlanta to see Brandy

    • truth (the one anD only u B****) September 14, 2012

      Its gonna b EPIC chile!

  14. OH LORD !!!!!!!!!!1 September 14, 2012

    Brandy honey, you are one of my all time favorites. But let me tell you girl; STAY AWAY FROM TGJ. All the people this website hypes, promotes or interviews are set to fail because of bad vibes or karma. When your name is linked to TGJ all you attract is hatred. Put them on your block list please,XO.

    Your sister in Christ, Leah.

    • Quinno Rashad September 15, 2012

      lol how can you say that and YOU are on the site reading everyday>?

  15. Benron (King Of The Navy) September 14, 2012

    @OhLord/Leah is reight brandy, stay away from these people, everybody who has even heard of them HATES them!

  16. V September 14, 2012

    Amazing Interview! Stay on the right Track Queen Rocka!!! You Deserve ALL of Your Success and PLENTY PLENTY PLENTY more!

  17. mobwife: KILL THE FEMINAZIS NOW September 14, 2012

    I LOVE B ROCKA!! 🙂

    I love the fact that she has the BR to the EE to the ZY as her only feature. I can’t wait for this beauty to drop 2/11!!

    *haters SIT….

  18. mobwife: KILL THE FEMINAZIS NOW September 14, 2012

    My only criticism of what she said was about that bottle tossing obsessive clown Drake & the lovely Aalyiah!

  19. Boss September 14, 2012

    Brandy is da best !!!

  20. theman September 14, 2012

    Do your thang Brandy. She’s very passionate about her music. But it seems as though she didn’t care too much for her two previous albums because they didn’t sale as well. That doesn’t make them bad albums.

  21. Notshuoh September 14, 2012

    The vocal bible is back!!!! two eleven is the savior!

  22. dee September 14, 2012

    Who will she blame if this cd flops? I loved all Brandy’s cd’s and would not point fingers or expalin why it wasn’t successul. The music economy is bad right now. That is the real reason her music isnt selling. Human and Afro-D were not perfect cd’s but were still gems.

    • kiddontplay September 14, 2012

      I’m sorrY but this Brandy Album will not be a Flop, wish that shyt on somebody else! She’s in the Money! Point Blank Period……..She is Iconic !

      • truth (the one anD only u B****) September 14, 2012

        Thanks for your belief in her. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH BRANDY GON PERFORM AND IMMA HEAR HER LIVE chile!!!!!!!!!

    • truth (the one anD only u B****) September 14, 2012

      She wont fail. I believe she’ll do well but ur honest concern is appreciated tho. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH BRANDY GONE B HERE TOMORROW AT FSO!!!!!!!!!

  23. Criss September 14, 2012

    Good interview. Hope for the best w/ 2 Eleven.

  24. BitchICan’tEvenSpellWelfare September 14, 2012

    So looking forward to this album!

    I am buying the PHYSICAL copy.

  25. bran – the vocal bible September 14, 2012

    great interview
    can’t wait for the alber
    pre-order on itunes everybody!

  26. KNUCK September 14, 2012

    I mean, I can’t even express what Brandy means to my life! I just can’t wait for her to get more of the success that she deserves. She is PURE talent.

  27. credits September 14, 2012

    I listen to ‘human’ all the time, she really showed off her vocals on that album. i like Afrodisiac too, remember the “HA HA HA HA” on the afrodisiac song? EPIC. ‘Neccessary,’ ‘finally,’ ‘i tried,’ and ‘say you wlll’ are also favourites of mines. Her hits from back in day, are still listenable for me, ‘sitting in my room’ ‘best friend’ omg the list goes on…. but as a whole, collectively…i think full moon is her best album. Oh and her unreleased tracks are crazyyyyyy. Everything brandy does, she just knows how to do it.

  28. Daniel September 15, 2012

    I’m happy that Brandy is back in her element which is music. I’ve been a fan since her first LP, and I’ve watched her grow up . Even with all the ups and downs her life has taken, I’m happy she’s finally connected again to her purpose and passion. I hope 2/11 does amazing on the charts like her 2 singles so far, and I will cont’ to watch this amazing singer. Great interview guys.

  29. ++++ September 15, 2012

    i like brandy as an actor though….. cant wait to see her again on the game

    brandy kick jason to the curb hahaha

  30. LOURDES September 15, 2012

    I hate how she tries to throw “Afrodisiac” and “Human” under the bus because they weren’t as successful as her previous efforts. She probably would’ve said the same thing about “Full Moon” if it flopped. :-/ I looooooooved both of those albums. From the writing, to the production and don’t get me started on those vocals!!! Say what you want about Brandy, but she has a DISTINCTIVE style. When she opens her mouth, you KNOW it’s her. When you hear a song with certain harmonies, you automatically think BRANDY. She has remained originial for 18 years, and you’ve GOT TO respect her for that!!! With that being said, I cannot WAIT for Two Eleven!!!!

    • BitchICan’tEvenSpellWelfare September 15, 2012

      I totally agree with you about “Afrodisiac” and “Human.” I LOVE them too!

      Who Is She 2 U, Focus, Should I Go, I Tried, Piano Man, Camouflage, etc….. GREAT SONGS!!

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