Interview

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R&B singer/songwriter, Jessica Childress got her start on season 4 of the Voice, since then Jessica has been spreading the world with her rock n’ roll energy. Just recently we caught up with the singer/songwriter as she talked about quitting her job to follow her dreams,life after the Voice and Jessica even shed some light on her debut album which is dated to arrive this fall.

YMMW: You made your debut on season 4 of The Voice, how has life been as an artist since being on The Voice.

Jessica Childress: It’s been such a learning process! You think that being in the music business is about artistry and performing and it is – but there’s SO much more to it than that. And I’ve been learning a lot about all of those other things that make music a career!

YMMW: Your debut album will be released this fall, tell us a little bit about the direction you are taking with this album and what can listeners expect to hear on your debut LP?

Jessica Childress: I wanted it to be an aural snapshot into who I am as an artist and a woman in the world. It’s definitely soul music – but it’s also a little disco, a little R&B, a little singer/songwriter mixed into the soul music profile. It’s got a stripped down, raw feel to it that I think that mirrors who I am as a person.

YMMW: Before releasing your debut album, you are planning to release the 4 song remix EP, Far Awaynext month, where there be any songs on there that will give fans a glimpse of what to expect on your debut release?

Jessica ChildressYeah! The remix EP is 4 remixes of the song Far Away from the album. It was really fun to hear the different dj’s take on the song.

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YMMW: Before auditioning for The Voice you took a leap a faith and quit your job to pursue a career as a singer. What advise would you give an aspiring singer who may be afraid to take that leap in life?

Jessica Childress: I would say make a plan, weigh your options and then jump! A lot of times, preparation can make you feel less fearful about taking a big risk. If you have a plan in place and some money saved, you just have to do it. Don’t wait until it “feels right” because for a lot of people that feeling may never come. Wait only until you have your plan in place, then just do it! Courage isn’t a feeling. It’s an action.

YMMW: How would has evolved most about your sound since releasing your EP Don’t Forget My Name.

Jessica Childress: My sound now is less vintage and more modern. It’s still got some vintage flair but it’s definitely something new and fresh-sounding.

YMMW: With a new album on the way, when can listeners expect to hear the album lead single?

Jessica Childress: The first single Far Away is already out! You can listen to it anywhere.

YMMW: Besides your upcoming album, what else can we expect to see Jessica Childress this year.

Jessica Childress: Playing lots of shows. Eating lots of tacos. Drinking a scotch or two. Dancing salsa.

 

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Leela James is back and better than ever! Leela’s leading single “Don’t Want You Back” earned the singer an #1 as the song climbed up the Urban AC Charts. Just yesterday we caught up with Leela James as she spoke about her new album “Did It For Love.”

Calling it one of her most vulnerable projects yet, we spoke to Leela about the direction of her new album and the inspiration behind it. Leela also spoke about her upcoming tours with Daley, Maxwell, and Ledisi.
YMMW: You new album “Did it for Love “ will be released this Friday, so far you have unleashed a few songs from the album.  In the tracks we’ve have heard so far you are being vulnerable with your experiences of  love with all the ups and downs that comes with it. What is one that you would say that you did for love that has been the biggest inspiration for your new album?

 Leela James: Having my children has definitely been one of my greatest musical inspirations. The hard work and sacrifice you make to maintain the balance of working on music, having a relationship and raising kids has inspired my music–all of it, the good, bad and the ugly!

YMMW: What are you most excited for the fans to hear when they listen to your sixth studio album “Did it for Love.”

Leela James: I’m excited for fans to hear another side of me. “Did it for Love” is very vulnerable and I completely expose myself through the music. Fans will also see a different side of me vocally; the songs are more intense than anything I’ve done in the past.

YMMW: Along with your new album arriving this Friday, you’ll be kicking off your new tour with Daley on April 7th what can fans expect to see from you on this tour?

Leela James: The shows are going to be very high energy, filled with great music!

YMMW: A few years ago we saw you hit the reality TV scene on R&B Diva’s what have you learned most about your experience on that show and would you ever do reality television again?

Leela James: I learned that reality TV isn’t based in reality, but I would do it again depending on the situation.

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YMMW: As a successful artist who’s stayed true to her R&B roots, what are your thoughts of live stream award shows such as the Grammy’s that don’t give the proper representation of R&B when it comes to the live award show presentation.

 Leela James: It is unfortunate that there are so many politics involved that these award shows aren’t always about the music.

YMMW: Your single “Fall For Love” was a major success gaining over 10 million views on YouTube and being one of everybody’s wedding songs. On Your New album you’ve done it again with your track  “All Over Again” in a time where hardly anyone in music are doing romantic ballads. How do you feel when you release these romantic ballads and see that they become so successful?

Leela James: When I finished recording “All Over Again,” we were sitting in the studio listening to it and I had that “Wow” moment. I didn’t know how it would come out and it was like “Fall For Love” on steroids! Listening to it was so inspiring it made me want to renew my vows. It felt really good so I can’t wait for people to hear this one.

YMMW: Not only are you kicking off your own tour in April you will also be joining Maxwell on his Summers’ tour. What are you most excited about going on tour with Maxwell and Ledisi?

Leela James: I’m so excited to be back on the road with some incredibly talented artists. It is really all about good music so I’m looking forward to being on stage and having fun!

YMMW: You acted along side Syleena Johnson in her 2015 film Couples Therapy; will fans get to see you doing any more acting in the future?

Leela James: Yes, that’s the plan!

YMMW: With two new tours kicking off this spring/summer and your new album arriving Friday, what else is in store for Leela James?

Leela James: I will definitely be putting out more music; I’m back in the studio recording. I’m also working on a worldwide tour and TV/film are still on my bucket list!

Leela James new album ‘Did It For Love’ Is now available on all digital retailers, you can aslo check out Leela on the road this spring as her new tour with Daley on their  nationwide tour. Tickets are available now.

 

 

 

 

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Live-Nation-Session
Last week we had the opportunity to catch up with June’s Diary as they kicked off their 5 city tour in Philadelphia last week. During the interview we talked to the ladies of BET hit show Chasing Destiny about the new music they have been working on and what fans can expect, the second season of the hit docu-series, and the lessons they have learned from Kelly Rowland and Frank Gatson. Check out the interview below.

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A few weeks ago we caught up with Grammy award winning singer Mya as she released her new EP Smooth Jones. In the new interview we talked to Mya about her latest EP entitled Smooth Jones, which she called the last appetizer in her EP series before unleashing a new album.

Also spoke about her decision to go independent after being singed to a major label for so many years,her favorite songs from her new EP, and taking a stab at rapping on her album cut Elevator. Mya get’s very candied with us as she talked about what she misses from today’s music and the industry it’s self and what new artist she would love to work in the studio with. Check out the new interview below.

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Natasha-Mosley

Last week we spoke to rising singer Natasha Mosley who’s most known for singing on Jeremih smash hit “All The Time” along with Lil Wayne. Now with her own LP RoseHall which is now available on Itunes, Natasha spoke to us about the dual meaning of her LP,  working on new music with producer Zaytoven, and more. Check out the interview below.

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A couple of weeks back we chatted with  actor/ singer Tahj Mowry, Tahj who recently dropped his debut single Flirt,  spoke about  wanting to be different in the music industry when it comes to his music.  Tahj also talked about some of his musical inspirations growing up, the new diversity that Television is now showing on our screens again and his desire to one day dance with Janet Jackson.

YMMW: Before we start the interview I want to say congratulations on your new single dropping

Tahj Mowry: Oh, thank you so much it’s still crazy, I don’t think it hit me yet (Laughs)

YMMW: So tell us a little more about this record and the producer you worked with on it.

Tahj Mowry: This is my first single “Flirt” and we also dropped the video for it on Vevo and people really like it so I’m really excited about that and my producer’s name is Excel Beats and he’s like sort of the other half of my brain musically, we just get each other in the studio and he’s also like one of my close friends in life as well, so it’s a great musical partnership that we have and were all about being different and I wanted to have this future funk-ish sound and I wanted to make something new, fresh, unique and colorless and genre less and this is the sound I came up with. Flirt is just a flirty spring/summer record, I thought it was a perfect first single for me, it explains me to a T. People just love the vibe of it because it’s so different and it’s funky and it leaves you in a pretty good mood.

YMMW: Most people know you from hit TV shows such as Smart Guy and ABC Family Baby Daddy, when did you start singing and when did you want to take it seriously as a career?

Tahj Mowry: Well, first I’m a firm believer, it’s all about timing and God’s plan In my life I just leave everything up to God when stuff happens it happens. For a while I was working on Baby Daddy and I didn’t get the time to focus on my music and about a year ago during hiatus from the show I was like you know what I’m going to go to the studio put in the work I’m going to write these records and I wrote primarily wrote all the song on my project so that’s something I really proud about because I’m not just another actor trying to become a singer, this is something I’m really passionate about because I am a songwriter, singer, dancer and I am a musician and I want to showcase that and I think now is the time for me musically, I have a good chunk of time off from filming Baby Daddy so I’m just all about music right now.

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YMMW: In your music we hear some prince influences, who were you inspired by musically growing up?

Tahj Mowry: Definitely Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Usher Brandy, I grew up listing to those guys and I wanted to take from all the genres and the artists I love and create something that was a definition of me musically, and I think that’s what my sound is and I think I have a very distinct sound, some people may not like the sound or the song but at least they can appreciate that it’s something new. I feel like a lot of the stuff on the radio tends to start to sound the same or they the same song over and over again. I’m trying to bring some real music back that’s why I like people like Bruno Mars, Jhene Aiko, Miguel and Lorde, people who aren’t afraid to do something new and go outside the box and that’s what I’m trying to do.

YMMW: You have a new EP arriving as well; tell us about this new EP and what fans can expect to hear when this new project drops.

Tahj Mowry: The EP is going to come out in the summer, and the album is primarily done as well, but I’m going to do the single first, then drop the EP in the summer and have a second single off of that EP. I’m really excited about that for people to really get a story of my songs, I’m riding this single wave right now it’s something really fun for me It’s new. So I can’t wait for people to hear more of my content because, like I said I am writing most of my stuff and it’s a new venture for me artistically and I can’t wait to share it with everybody.

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YMMW: Do you find it difficult some people look at you as a singer after being known as a successful actor?

Tahj Mowry: Yeah, I feel like it’s starting to happen right now and I realize it might take time because people are used to one thing and now I’m jumping into something else, but overall I’m an entertainer and I am an artist and singing dancing and acting are all of the ways that complete me artistically. So I’m just doing another side of my artistic love and I think that’s what art is all about. People are realizing this is something I’m passionate about and they see that I’m making good music.

YMMW: Being a child actor who grew up when black sitcoms were on the air, and now we are beginning to see more black actors and shows on prime time TV do you think it’s more of a  trend for now or a change that’s here to stay?

Tahj Mowry: I would hope it’s a change that’s going to carry out for a long period of time. I hope it’s not just a trend, I think people realize what people do what to see and shows like Empire are things people what to see and that’s why shows like that are doing well and I think they should do more shows like that. So I think it’s a great time we are seeing a lot more African Americans on network television and it’s about time!

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V.Bozeman Shout-outs YMMW

A few weeks back we chatted with rising singer V.Bozeman. The singer who was first introduced to the world on Timothy Bloom’s Till The End Of Time song has been making a name for her self. After being seen on the first season of FOX groundbreaking show Empire V.Bozeman talks to us about the brand new music she has been working on with super-producer Timbaland as well as working on the hit show Empire and what else we can expect from the LA born singer this year. Check out our new interview with the singer below.

YMMW: Last time we had an interview with you, you were working with Cee-Lo Green. Tell us how you started working with Timbaland and what is it like working with him?

V. Bozeman: It was great I met with Timbaland around the time I did Till the End of Time with Timothy Bloom and we’ve always been friends ever since then. He was working on a new project called opera Nior and he wanted somebody to be the other half as far as a singer on that project  and he said my named just popped up and he called me, and said I’m ready for you lets go, because initially he told me I’m going to come back for you I don’t know when I don’t know how but I’m going to come back for you and he did. And that’s how it all happened.

YMMW: we saw you on the hit TV show Empire, How did the opportunity come about?

V. Bozeman: Through Timbaland of course, he is executive producing the music and I did a piece with Cee-Lo called “Race Jones” that I have been sitting on for about a year, and I decided to show Timbaland that piece and he just loved it and he just shot it over to Lee Daniels, and said I think long called my manager I read for the part and here we are now (Laughs). It all happened authentically.

YMMW: What is love was a fan favorite on Empire, did you think the song or the show would receive such a huge response as it did?

V. Bozeman:  You know what I thought that Empire would be huge of course I did, one of my first interviews about Empire I said the show is going to be cultural phenomenon just wait, It was in my gut I just knew it. With everything that Lee Daniels and Danny strong had brought to the table with this series I knew it was going to be big. But I did not think What is Love would be this big I just really didn’t, you know I felt like it was another song about love, but I did forget that love is a universal language so I think that resonated with people. I just approached the song in an authentic way because the lyrics are real so I knew it was a good song, but did I think it would do all of this.. No (Laughs) absolutely not.

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YMMW: With now having both what is love and Black & Blue out right now, are you working on a new EP that we can expect to hear soon?

V. Bozeman: Yeah, absolutely, Timbaland and I are working on this new project called opera Noir, it’s him and me, we did a collaborative effort and the first single will be released in May called Smile. This project is amazing, I’m so proud of it and to be alongside Timabland and to share with the world, it’s going to hit the industry really hard, it’s just an amazing body of work I’m really proud of it. Then, following Opera Noir will be my debut album called Music is My Boyfriend so it’s going to be a lot of music coming from me and a Mosley music group this year.

YMMW: With this project Opera Noir, what kind of music can we expect to hear will the vibe be the same as What is Love and Black & Blue or is it a different type of sound?

V. Bozeman: Its timeless sound,  the sound is a lot of old mixed with new because Timbaland brings those ism that he brings to music sonically and it’s just bringing feeling back into music and it’s just going to be one of those timeless records that will always be relevant. I don’t think you guys have ever heard sonically Timbaland like this and that’s why I’m so proud of it, and he’s actually singing a lot on this album that’s people aren’t used to hearing him this way, I’m just proud it, the content, the production is A1 Timbaland is never going to bring you anything that isn’t the best so it’s an amazing body of work.

YMMW: You were first introduced to the world on Timothy Blooms until the End of time and now being on such a huge show such as Empire how does it feel to finally have to world how great a vocalist V. Bozeman is?

V. Bozeman: I just think that empire and what is love, just the platform that it’s on in the first place is huge and thank god I executed that song and people get to see me in the best light on such a big platform. I just think the stars aligned when it came to the situation of Empire and What is love and my brand. My whole mission statement is to touch the heart and the soul of people that’s always what I want to do, when I’m on stage I don’t want people infatuated with how I look or what I’m doing I really want people to connect with the song, the words and the voice because that’s the gift. So I think that it all aligned with the perfect alignment with the Empire situation, for people to really take me seriously as an artist, I came in with Timothy Bloom and that had its run and then I went with Cee-Lo and I was just cultivating over time and to be brought back in such a big way, that’s an artist’s dream.

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YMMW: How would you say your sound has changed from when you released Poison to the music you are working on now?

V. Bozeman: I feel like I’m forever evolving into a better singer and creative person every day, I’ve always been a little left-of-center, like you can think about poison and what my album is now it’s still left-of-center but it’s still cool, and that’s what is so special about me and Tim, because he’s a little left-of-center but he knows how to make it cool, and  think I have evolved as a songwriter, a performer, vocally I have become stronger. So with that, I think I’m the same I just evolved to become better.

YMMW: What is your current label situation right now are you signed with Timbaland’s label or do you have another label you are signed to?

V. Bozeman: I’m signed to Mosley Music/Epic records, that’s the current situation; I’ve been signed to Tim for about a year now and Epic records for about 6 months or so. With Epic I’m fairly new, and to have two albums which is amazing.

YMMW: Earlier in the interview you said your debut album will be titled Music is My Boyfriend, do you have a potential release date for that album?

V. Bozeman: That should be out at the top of 2016, because we have to push out Opera Noir first. So you have Empire, then you have Opera Noir, then you have my album. And that’s the perfect set up for an up-and-coming artist, to finally be put out there. It’s just done in the right way; I love the fact that I’m not just being thrown out there prematurely or anything like that. Everyone’s going to be able to see the rose coming to bloom your going to see that happen.

YMMW: With Empire now being picked up for season two will you be a part of the new season?

V. Bozeman: Yes, I will be, I’ll have a much bigger role and we will start to film in august, I’m so excited I can’t wait to see what these writers are going to write about in the second season (Laughs), it’s going to be I’m sure full of drama.

YMMW: With your new albums and filming the second season of Empire, what else can we expect to see from V. Bozeman in 2016?

V. Bozeman: I’m doing a lot of modeling, I’m getting a lot of scripts coming in through CAA, so a lot of modeling and acting, I’m doing a lot of shows everywhere. I’m going to Canada, I’ll be going to Indonesia to do a couple of shows, so I’m doing a lot of shows in between time, just getting ready for this Opera Noir run with Timbaland.

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marsha-new-652x367-e1419285709822R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius once again returned to London this past week for what is slowly becoming a Christmas traditon – a homecoming concert for the holiday season. Marsha captivated the audience with a consistently stunning and awe inspiring vocal performance. Audience members were treated to the debut showings of material from her latest critically-acclaimed album ‘Friends and Lovers’, in addition to past offerings from her catalogue. But the major surprise was when her former Floetry bandmate Natalie Stewart shockingly appeared on stage and proceeded to join Marsha in a rendition of their debut single ‘Floetic’.

Naturally when we went backstage to conduct our interview we had to ask about the prospects of a full-scale reunion, and you can now read what she had to say on the matter amongst other topics below:

Sope: Last time we met, the album wasn’t out so how has it been touring and promoting this new album?

Marsha: It’s amazing to see the smiles on people’s faces when the intro of each song from the album comes on. The setlist tonight was constructed fanwise and it was really just a seamless journey of all the music I’ve created, starting with ‘Friends and Lovers’, then going to ‘Late Nights and Early Mornings’ and then back to Floetry where it all started. It’s just crazy, it’s new music all over again and I get to hear people sing it back to me now that they know the new songs.

Sope: A lot of great R&B albums came out this year and Friends and Lovers could arguably be seen as one of the best if not the best to drop this year so what did it take to create such a complete and cohesive body of work and how was the overall creative process?

Marsha: It’s what I take pride in saying I do for real. I can concentrate on making a body of work and songs that makes sense to each other. They don’t have to necessarily have to be the same key, same tempo; it’s the emotion that I will emote because of what I’m going through in my life. That’s what makes it make sense to the listener; from beginning to end you can hear where that relationship went to. So I just tell you from the ‘Friends and Lovers Intro’ then by the time you get to the end its ‘OMG I Miss You’. So it’s a whole journey full of music that I went through at the time so it just makes sense as an album.

Sope: One of the standouts on the album was the amazing duet with Charlie Wilson ‘Spend All My Time’ so how did that collaboration come about?

Marsha: ‘Spend All My Time’ with Charlie Wilson was a dream duet, it was on the wish list, and it was something where I guess you had to play all your cards. Like I worked with Michael Jackson, Prince loves me, get Charlie Wilson on the phone and see if he does this song with me *laughs*. And all he could do was say no and fortunately he said yes so I didn’t have to use all my “I did this and I did that”. I’ve always loved Charlie and he’s always been supportive of me and my career so it made sense that we did this song together.

Sope: Any other dream duets you have in mind? I would personally love to hear an Anita Baker duet.

Marsha: No not at the moment but we’ll see what’s good; I want to go into movie scores and stuff. Funny story about Anita Baker – I don’t know if she might not tell people but she definitely shut me down though. We were at the BET Awards and I was like “Oh my God I would love to do a duet with you” and she was like “Girl I ain’t singing with you and all that *imitates Marsha’s singing voice*”. And I was like she just shit on me! *laughs*. No but it was said in jest and she is the songstress but when Nat – The Floacist actually named me The Songstress, my uncle to this day curses me out because Anita Baker is the songstress and that’s it for him, he doesn’t care what I’ve ever done in my career. He kind of liked me after he saw me live *laughs* this is my uncle we’re talking about! I don’t know we’ll see but the Songstress and the Songstress should collide at some point.

Sope: Have you started thinking about the next album? Or are you still planning to release more singles from this one?

Marsha: Hmm I’ll possibly shoot a bunch of videos for a bunch of things. I hate the fact that you have to service what would be singles for radio to pick it up, and then they possibly spin it a couple times. Then you wait for the next week where they’ve spun it 20 more times and then there’s this slow build of what is R&B music if we’re not doing the Shurmda dance or Drake isn’t on it. It’s not getting played in that rotation where I’m supposed to give listeners what they want and you have to wait for that. Like John Legend ‘All of Me’ didn’t happen overnight, it took a year for that record to be where it was at. But it was a piano ballad so it can live, it’s just when and that’s just one artist, one of our urban division got to live with a piano ballad. And a couple years prior to that, I got to do it with ‘Far Away’ so it’s about waiting your turn in this hamster wheel where people want to do the same thing. For me I’m about putting out more and more content, so you’re forced to pick one of a million rather than just waiting on that one for a whole solid year, so I just keep on creating the music.

Sope: You’ve been releasing music over a decade with much success in a variety of facets for one being with Floetry, your solo success and accomplishments as a writer and producer for other artists. Do you find it challenging to stay relevant in this industry especially in a climate where it’s especially difficult for R&B artists to prosper? Unless you’re Sam Smith or Adele…

Marsha: I absolutely understand what you’re saying, fortunately for me I’ve become one of these unicorns that paved the way for said Sam Smith’s and Adele’s to create a UK import of Soul. Let Jessie J tell it or all these other artists that were admirers of what Floetry did from the UK to overseas. Natasha Bedingfield and these other people will still make reference to what was done, that can’t be taken away, so with me making myself relevant – I don’t need to. People reference my songwriting and my style, if you ever hear a certain song and someone says “that sounds like some Marsha shit” that means I’ve done my job, someone is trying to imitate and mimic what I did 10, 15 years ago. I’m going to continue to do different things and become the Quincy Jones I set out to be a long time ago.

Sope: Now this was an unplanned question but I have to ask about this Floetry reunion tonight! What happened, how did this happen and what does this mean for the future?

Marsha: Being on that stage tonight again with Natalie, reintroducing Floetry possibly to people who only knew as me as Marsha Ambrosius the solo artist just made sense. It’s just time, Nat and myself today was the first time we had seen each other in 8 years. 9 years since a Floetry show but as you see on stage, we don’t miss a beat and you don’t forget. Even rehearsing it today, we were laughing at eachother because we were kids when we did this shit the first time. So why wouldn’t we do this shit again, why wouldn’t we give this back to our fans – it’s cheating them.

Sope: So this is you basically indicating a potential reunion tour or reunion album?

Marsha: There’s a basic potential for a bunch of things. I’m all about sustaining legends and we have Floetry at our disposal, we just have to continue to prove points on being the underdog, being the people that pioneered and paved the way for the UK. I think its perfect time for us to do it now, we’re both grown, we’ve done things outside of eachother and it’s just that much easier to come back and give back. But I will need a teleprompter for all these lyrics that I don’t know anymore *laughs*. So who knows we’ll see.

Sope: Anything you want to tell your fans?

Marsha: As always, I do this for you. Sometimes selfishly I’ll sing ‘OMG I Miss You’ in shows to myself but that’s because it’s my favourite song and I do let you know when I’m having a moment. But I do this for you and you’re voices never go unheard, I know what it is you want and I’m at your service.

Watch to see the exciting Floetry reunion below…

Interview by Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan)

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8405_10200636421808598_518341161_n-e1364836013633This past weekend our West Coast writer Lindsey caught up with singer Bobby V. during his headlining Tru Hollywood show in LA. During the interview Bobby talked about the rumors about signing to Nicki Minaj label, working with K.Michelle on his current single “Put It In.” Bobby also talked about his new EP Peach Roses and more. Check out what the pint size singer had to say in our new interview below.