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Kandi Burruss on Tony, Emmy Noms & Real Housewives of Atlanta Premiere – The Hollywood Reporter



Kandi Burruss can’t escape the excellent news — the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is having the very best week ever: She scored an Emmy nomination on Monday and earned a Tony nod on Tuesday, whereas the fifteenth season of The Actual Housewives of Atlanta returns Sunday.

“I’m overjoyed right now. This is kind of unbelievable,” Burruss informed The Hollywood Reporter. “You know how you’ve been speaking things into existence in your life and praying for it and doing all that. But when it actually starts happening in a major way, you’re almost like, ‘Whoa, is this happening?’”

“To have the two nominations happening back-to-back within 24 hours — it was just unbelievable,” she continued.

Burruss, a member of the platinum-selling R&B group Xscape, received the very best R&B music Grammy Award in 2000 for co-writing TLC’s popular culture hit “No Scrubs.” As a producer, she’s getting nearer to EGOT standing: The 46-year-old picked up a Tony nomination for finest revival of a play for August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and a Southeast Emmy nomination for La Musica de la Familia, which is about Grammy-winning Latin jazz musician Tony Succar. The nod is within the Spanish – Historic/Cultural/Politics/Authorities/Societal Considerations class.

In an interview, the entertainer, who additionally stars in Showtime’s The Chi, talks about her new nominations, the dramatic return of RHOA, the writers strike, songwriting for Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake as youngsters and extra.

Paras Griffin/Getty Pictures

You actually are having the very best week ever. 

It’s great. I’ve been telling all people for years now that I’m going to get the EGOT. However I do know half the folks that I mentioned it to had been like, “Yeah, OK, girl, whatever.” Now it’s an actual factor. I really feel like all of the praying, all of the angels up there which have been working for me — it’s simply all coming collectively and it’s form of overwhelming.

You’ve written songs, produced and acted — it appears like you’ve got a number of methods of successful an Oscar, proper?

Actually that’s the means that I checked out all of [the awards shows]. I’ve all the time been a p2erson the place I by no means actually simply received caught on, “Oh, I have to be the star of something” even when I’m producing one thing myself. Proper now, my husband and I, we simply produced a movie, however we went into it saying, “Well, I don’t feel like I should be the star of our first film. Let’s let somebody else be the star.” I don’t must be within the entrance. 

So yeah, coming into how I’d take a look at going after the following, the O, I’m positively like, “OK, I can act, I can sing, I can write songs, I can produce, I can do all that.” So let’s determine this out.

As producer for The Piano Lesson, what did your function entail?

As a producer, you’re actually accountable for lots of issues. The financing of the present, all of the bells and whistles. For some producers, it is determined by how a lot they need to be concerned. For me, I wished to be very concerned — so far as the advertising of the present, we had been part of the casting of the present … ensuring you get traders. It’s quite a bit that goes into it that folks don’t perceive.

Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Potts, John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, April Matthis and LaTanya Richardson Jackson attend SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of Broadway's 'The Piano Lesson' hosted by Mike Muse at SiriusXM Studios on December 06, 2022 in New York City.

The Piano Lesson forged, high row: Michael Potts, John David Washington, April Matthis; backside row: Danielle Brooks, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

Jason Mendez/Getty Pictures

Has navigating the Broadway business been completely different than TV and music for you?

Sure. I feel the Broadway world is quite a bit smaller, so it wasn’t straightforward to get into. I actually was form of clueless. I knew I wished to, however I used to be like, “How do I go about getting into this world?” And it was a blessing that I did join with Brian Moreland. He had reached out to me a very long time in the past about coming to see Ideas of a Coloured Man once they had been doing it off-Broadway. And I didn’t go. After which it got here again round and I used to be like, “Oh, OK, well maybe I should do this.” And it was going to be my first time producing and we determined to work collectively. And it was an incredible expertise working with him. And now we determined that we’re caught like glue. Now we’re engaged on a complete bunch of initiatives collectively.

US/Peruvian musician Tony Succar poses in the press room with the awards for

U.S./Peruvian musician Tony Succar together with his awards finest salsa album and producer of the yr on the 2019 Latin Grammys.


The undertaking you’ve earned an Emmy nod for is one you didn’t let individuals learn about, proper?

No person knew about it. It’s for public broadcast, PBS. Nevertheless it’s about Tony Succar. It’s him serving to his mom stay her dream of changing into a music artist. However he’s a Grammy winner. He’s a Latin jazz musician. And the way in which I received concerned with this undertaking is my pal and my lawyer, his title is Doug Davis, in addition to our different pal, Kabir [Sehgal]. Kabir is on the identical targets that I’m on. So Doug has all the time been making an attempt to attach us to work collectively on a undertaking. And that is one which Kabir was like, “Yeah, he’s worked with this musician and this will be a good project.” In order that’s how that took place.

I didn’t know the place this undertaking was going to take us. Clearly I’ve a love for music, so it was form of straightforward. However I didn’t know that it was going to get us right here. It’s form of a docu-follow of Tony in his journey together with his mom. Clearly, I’ve accomplished docu-follows earlier than, however it is a completely different kind. This isn’t your common actuality TV. It’s a documentary in regards to the journey of this household, and it’s an actual, heartfelt music undertaking.

And to cap off your week, The Actual Housewives of Atlanta returns Sunday.

You already know, truthfully, I didn’t even actually take into consideration the truth that the Housewives comes out this Sunday. However you’re proper. I imply, I suppose that’s form of loopy that all of it occurred in the identical week. I used to be so caught up in these two nominations that I forgot that the present is airing this week as effectively.

What can we count on from this season? 

These girls tried to come back for me from day one. And it was actually powerful for me as a result of I used to be coming straight out of filming that SWV-Xscape present (The Queens of R&B). And that present was worrying, very worrying. Anytime issues are occurring with my group it’s worrying, just because we grew up collectively. It’s very private. And the drama that occurs could be very actual for us. And it doesn’t cease when the digital camera shuts off.

So me coming into this new season, I had a whole lot of drama happening that had nothing to do with these ladies. So once they had been including their mess on high of that, I used to be able to explode. Actually. You already know how one can be pushing individuals’s buttons and also you don’t even know what they’re coping with — that’s mainly what was occurring.

How’d you take care of all that? I’ve seen actuality present drama, however the SWV-Xscape present felt deep and private. How is the group proper now?

The drama’s very a lot nonetheless happening. Proper now it’s simply Tamika, Tiny and I doing exhibits. We’re doing numerous exhibits, so clearly that’s very unlucky to say the least. We filmed the SWV-Xscape present and … then I went straight into beginning season 15 [of RHOA].

So that you’re going to see me have just a few pop-offs, not only one. It’ll be a number of. The followers crack me up once they say stuff like, “Oh, redhead Kandi is coming back.” 

With actuality exhibits, do they provide some form of psychological well being check-ins?

Yeah. No, that’s not a part of it. They’re simply there to catch what’s occurring in our lives. So if we select to set our personal selves as much as get some assist, then they’ll observe it. However they’re not doing it for us. However I wasn’t the one one going by issues. Consider me, it’s a lot that occurred throughout season 15. It was a whole lot of stuff that occurred within the blogs. Sadly, Drew’s coping with issues and all the ladies received some stuff happening. Not simply me, however I’m simply talking from my very own private expertise.

So this season is action-packed. And we had some good moments the place we did join. Nicely, anyone had described it to me as we received additional into the season the place it began feeling just like the Talls versus the Smalls, the place it was form of divided.

SWV & XSCAPE: THE QUEENS OF R&B (l-r) LaTocha Scott, Cheryl Coko Gamble, Leanne

(l-r) LaTocha Scott, Cheryl Coko Gamble, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons, Tamara “Taj” George, Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Harris

Derek White/Bravo/Getty Pictures

How is your relationship with SWV after filming?

I haven’t spoken to anyone within the group since, so I can’t actually say that it’s good or unhealthy. I do know that folks say that they’re not so completely satisfied. I don’t know. I select to simply let that go. It’s like, “OK, it didn’t work out. We’re not going to tour, so it’s not going to work out. OK, cool.” For me, it was all the time simply strictly enterprise. I by no means was making an attempt to take private jabs at them. It wasn’t private for me. As a result of truthfully I like SWV. And I hate that they form of took it private, but it surely wasn’t meant for them to take it personally. 

Have you ever listened to LaTocha Scott’s gospel album, The Invitation: A Dialog With God?

I haven’t.

Are you completed filming this season of RHOA?

We’re accomplished filming.

Are you additionally filming The Chi, or is that accomplished filming?

Chi remains to be occurring, sure.

Do you’ve got any ideas about how the writers placing in the intervening time? 

Nicely, I admire what they’re making an attempt to do. I imply, as occasions change, you must replace the principles and laws. With these streaming companies, we’ve got to ensure that individuals are nonetheless in a position to profit from their work. So I respect what they’re doing and hopefully all people will give you one thing that’s truthful for everyone, in order that we will proceed arising with inventive issues and have good work and make inventive, enjoyable exhibits.

You’ve written songs for Future’s Youngster, ‘N Sync, Pink, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, TLC, Whitney Houston, Usher and extra. Is there ever a music you wrote for another person that you just want you stored for your self?

No, I by no means have any regrets about any music that I gave away. As a result of I really feel like you must give away nice songs to ensure that individuals to need you to maintain writing for them. Should you solely maintain the great ones for your self, then what would make individuals need you to jot down for them?

Have you ever mirrored on the truth that you labored with a whole lot of these icons early of their careers, like Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Pink and the others?

Yeah. I feel that’s the blessing of it. I feel on the time I ended up on a number of diamond albums as a songwriter, which is a giant deal. Individuals don’t actually promote diamond anymore. Meaning a number of folks that I labored with and the songs that I wrote had been on albums that offered 10 million or extra copies. So that they had been iconic then, and now they’ve simply transitioned into greater and higher or completely different. I really feel like my life has transitioned into a much bigger, higher, completely different house. 

And now to have the ability to say I’m Tony-nominated and Emmy-nominated in the identical week, that’s extraordinarily large. I’ve had completely different moments in my life which can be in numerous areas the place I’m equally as pleased with what I’ve been in a position to accomplish. And after I take a look at them, it’s like whenever you take a look at individuals that you just went to highschool with, a few of us from the category, we blew up from highschool — that’s how I form of take a look at it.

Are there some other new initiatives you’re engaged on?

Proper now we’re engaged on the revival of The Wiz again to Broadway. And my husband and I, we’re engaged on some extra film initiatives. Proper now, we’re procuring the one we’ve already accomplished. I’m engaged on some music issues as effectively.

Did you all the time have this entrepreneurial spirit? 

Yeah. I’ve all the time been fairly good at sustaining cash. My mother all the time informed me, “Hey, you got to have multiple sources of income.” After which I used to be shopping for a whole lot of monetary books after I was a young person. As a result of our group, we had received our first file deal after I was 16, so my aim was to not be a kind of tales you hear about youngster stars who find yourself being broke. That was all the time a concern for me. 

You’ve accomplished some a lot and also you’ve checked so many packing containers. What different targets do you’ve got for your self?

I positively need to do higher about discovering the steadiness of being residence extra for my household. And that’s such a subject, proper? I imply, I’ve mother guilt similar to all people else. So I positively need to do higher at discovering steadiness. That’s a aim.

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