The countdown is on to Brandy’s sixth album Two Eleven. After dropping two singles and releasing the tracklisting, the R&B diva is ready to make her much-anticipated return on October 16.
In Part 2 of our exclusive interview, Brandy opens up about working with Frank Ocean before he was a superstar. “I could see it then,” recalls the 33-year-old, who collaborated with the acclaimed singer-songwriter on “Scared of Beautiful.” “I’m just really proud that we are blessed by his talent.”
Another singer who’s earned her respect is Dawn Richard. “Dawn’s the future,” says Brandy, who has already spoken with the former Dirty Money member about a duet. “I just want her to get the credit that she deserves.”
While her joint tour with Monica never materialized, she is looking forward to launching her own tour in the near future. Plus, find out happened to her collaboration with Drake and which song she wants as her next single.
How did the record with Frank Ocean, “Scared of Beautiful,” come together?
Well, he had the song for a while and when I heard it, it really just spoke to me. Sometimes you get to a point in your life where you’re scared to be great, you’re scared to be beautiful, you’re scared to be the best version of you and you talk to yourself and you try to get yourself back on track. I just remember feeling like that at a point in my life. I know there are so many people out there that go through that dark time and I felt like it could speak to a lot of people. He’s such a brilliant writer. He’s a poet and I love that about Frank Ocean. For him to write such a beautiful song and me get a chance to sing on it was a plus for me, such a blessing. So glad the world knows about him.
Did you always know he was going to be a star?
Absolutely. I knew and I always tease him. I tell him all the time that I knew before he knew. I’m telling you that you should sing. I’m telling you that you’re gonna be one of the biggest artists in the world. Like I’m telling him this and he’s looking at me like I’m crazy. I’m like, “Dude, you’re special.” Please know that you’re special. And he’s so meticulous and he needs everything to be on point and that’s when I knew that if he was gonna be an artist, he was gonna do it his own way. He trusted his gut, he trusted his instinct, and I’m just really proud that we are blessed by his talent.
Did you ever get a chance to collaborate with Drake?
That never happened, which I’m kinda bummed about ’cause I really wanted to work with [Noah “40 Shebib] and Drake. James Fauntleroy wrote such a beautiful song, but it didn’t work out for whatever reason, scheduling or politics, I’m not sure. I see myself working with Drake and 40 and I already have a great relationship with James, so if it doesn’t pan out for this album, I know it will in the future ’cause I see it so vividly. It’s just so clear. I love those guys.
Dawn Richard is a big fan of yours…
Yeah, I’m a big fan of hers too.
Have you met before?
We’ve actually hung out a couple times. Dawn’s the future. She really is the future. I just want her to get the credit that she deserves. I really do because she has really done something different with music and I want to continue to support her. I’m kinda bummed that our albums come out on the same day. I don’t really like that. You know how the business tries to make you compete and I don’t want that. I love her too much and I know she loves me, but I can’t push the album back any more or I’m not gonna have any fans [laughs].
Have you spoken about a duet?
We have talked about it and I really want that to happen. I would love to do a collaboration with Dawn and I would also love to do a collaboration with Kelly Rowland. It just makes sense. We’re born on the same day. I texted her the other day trying to bombard her album like, “Yo, let’s get this duet poppin’.”
Any touring plans?
I definitely want to tour. I just have to work out my TV schedule along with what I want to do for the tour. I really want it to be the right tour. I really want to put together something special for the fans. They haven’t seen me on stage for a while. That takes a little bit of time, but I definitely plan to tour with this album. I have to. I feel like I’ll lose fans if I don’t, so I definitely will do that.
What happened to the joint tour with Monica?
We talked about it. It never really got further than the conversation, which is a bummer ’cause I know a lot of our fans wanted that tour to come together. I’m still trying to work out my stuff TV-wise and I didn’t want to hold her up at all. She’s doing her thing too musically and it just didn’t work out.
Have you decided on a third single?
I would love for this song called “No Such Thing As Too Late” [written by Rico Love and produced by Jim Jonsin] to be the third single. It’s a ballad, but it has a knock to it. I love this song. Rico Love put his foot in this song. He put his heart and soul into it, and I really would love for the fans to hear this song before the album comes out.