From Star Singer to Extraordinary Songwriter to “Atlanta Housewives” She’s Kandi Burruss

    A Jamie Foster Brown Interview
    (excerpted from the November 2009 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine)

    I’m here watching “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” It’s interesting because I really hadn’t seen the episodes with Kandi until tonight. I’m enjoying her. But I’ve always enjoyed Kandi. We’ve stayed in touch since her days with Xscape. We’ve shared family children’s parties together. It’s amazing how she’s resurfaced to be a star again after being behind the scenes for so many years making tons of money writing and co-writing songs for stars like Destiny’s Child (“Bug a Boo,” “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Hey Ladies”), TLC (“No Scrubs”), ’N Sync (“It Makes Me Ill”), Boyz II Men, Pink, Joe, Mya, Fantasia, B.G. and, of course, her old group Xscape in addition to songs she performed herself. She’s been a veritable writing machine!Well, by now you know she’s gone from Xscape singer to solo artist to songwriter to reality star and she is not with her fiancé anymore, who her mother strongly objected to. Here you’ll learn why and even more. Is she happy? How are things going raising her ex-fiancé’s kids? What’s been the hardest for her? Let’s visit with Kandi, my munchkins, and find out what’s up.

    Jamie: How’s your album coming along?
    Kandi: Oh, it’s coming along great, actually. Right now I’m pretty much just mixing everything.
    Jamie: Did you put anybody else on the CD?
    Kandi: Yeah, so far I got Rasheeda, I got Tiny. We was in the studio together last night. And I got Gucci Mane and I got Rick Ross.
    Jamie: When did Gucci Mane get so hot, girl?
    Kandi: Well, Gucci Mane’s been hot here. In the South everybody loves Gucci Mane. See, ya’ll are just getting up on it.
    Jamie: What did you and Tiny do together?
    Kandi: We have this song called “Superwoman” that we wrote a while back. We just revamped it a little bit. It’s talking about single moms that are doing their thing for their children. There’s so many different situations that can come up that put a woman in a position where she’s a single mom. It’s not always the guy being a deadbeat dad.
    Jamie: Well, is there any solution to any of this, Kandi?
    Kandi: Well, for me, a lot of times my friends who are also single mothers, like, we help each other out. Everybody needs a helpmate, and maybe it’s not your man; maybe it’s a friend. So we team up.
    Jamie: Does Riley ask for her father?
    Kandi: Riley definitely wants to have a relationship with her dad. And honestly, for the last couple of weeks, he’s been trying to step up and build that relationship back with her.
    Jamie: Are you going to let him?
    Kandi: Of course. I never wanted to be the ol’ mean babymama that just wants to show out. I always did try to get him to be in Riley’s life, but for whatever reason, he wasn’t doing that.
    Jamie: How old is Riley now?
    Kandi: Riley is 6.
    Jamie: So what did she say, “I want to see Daddy”?
    Kandi: She would say stuff like, “Mom, why my dad don’t get to see me?” But for the longest I would say, “Well, he’s working.” Because I never wanted her to feel like he didn’t want to be there.
    Jamie: Has she been around his other children?
    Kandi: Well, she has twin little brothers and he brought them to her graduation at kindergarten, but that’s the only time she’s seen them. But like I say, he’s been trying to communicate with her more.
    Jamie: What do you mean when you say “trying to?”
    Kandi: I just got her a cell phone, so she calls him or texts him. And for her birthday, he met her so he could take her to the American Girl store and get her stuff. And then the weekend of her birthday, he actually allowed his 12-year-old daughter to come and spend the night with Riley. So that was their first time to spend time together.
    Jamie: That’s good. How are things between you and him now?
    Kandi: We’re cordial. We don’t talk about anything, really.
    Jamie: How did you get over that? I know that you were hurt at first.
    Kandi: I’m still bothered by it, [laughs] because I was a child from a single parent home as well. And my mom, however she may have felt about my dad not coming around or doing what he was supposed to do, she never expressed that to me. So, I just keep that same thing in mind with Riley.
    Jamie: I know that, but how do you feel about him?
    Kandi: Oh, I don’t have any feelings left for him. He and I broke up when I was only two months pregnant. So…
    Jamie: Was this before or after Gerald Levert?
    Kandi: That was before. Riley was 6 months old when I met Gerald and we started dating.
    Jamie: I’ve heard people say that, “Oh, she likes those thuggish kind of guys.” But Gerald wasn’t thuggish.
    Kandi: Gerald was not thuggish. Yeah, people say that, but the thing about it is I don’t really have a type. If somebody asks me, “Oh, what type do you like, those street dudes?” No, I don’t have a type. Like, yes, I’ve dated guys who had a street edge to them. I’ve dated guys that were corporate. I’ve dated fat men. I’ve dated small, skinny guys, tall guys, short guys. I don’t have a type. I don’t date really like just go out and oh, I meet you somewhere and then we start dating. I have to have seen you around a lot or we were friends that ended up starting to date. It’s not a look that I’m attracted to; it’s personality.
    Pick up the November 2009 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine to see what Kandi had to say about her relationship with ex-fiance AJ Jewell.