D’Angelo Performs at Bonnaroo Festival, First U.S. Show in 12 Years (Full Audio Stream)!

I was fortunate enough to see D’Angelo live earlier this year when he played his comeback gig at Brixton Academy back in March. And it’s fair to say the ‘R&B Jesus’ is officially back.  Those European shows were the perfect warm up for what’s to come. The 38-year-old soul legend took to the stage in the US for the first time in 12 years this weekend to perform at the  Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee.

D’Angelo took to the stage for the first time in 12 years in the United States and chose the fields of Manchester, Tennessee to perform alongside Questlove to a throng of Bonnaroo Festival revelers in the early hours of Sunday morning. The R&B icon joined The Roots drummer, as well as James Poyser and a nine-piece band for over an hour playing cover tracks from legendary acts including the Jimi Hendrix classic “Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland),” The Beatles’s “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “What is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin. Listen in on the full audio stream from the show below to see how the Virginia singer’s return to live performances shaped up.

Click here to hear the live concert in full.


New Music: Rihanna – Birthday Cake (Remix Ft. Chris Brown)

I’ve gotta hand it to Rihanna and Chris Brown for knowing how to generate the media’s attention. Last night RiRi finally dropped her controversial “Birthday Cake” remix – on her actual birthday – which features none other than her ex lover Breezy. The sexually charged song won’t help kill rumors that the former sweethearts are still lusting for one another. With lyrics such as:

“Girl, I wanna f-ck you right now.
Been a long time. I been missin your body.
Lemme lemme turn the lights down.
When I, when I go down it’s a private party.
Ooh ooh, it’s not even her birthday,
but I wanna lick the icing off.
Give it to her in the worst way.
Can’t wait to blow her candles off.”

Rihanna raps back:

Remember how you did it, remember how you did it
If you still wanna kiss it, come come and get it
Put a candle on my muthaf-ckin back, baby blow it..
Daddy make a wish, put this cake in your face..

Check out the full song below:

D’Angelo Live at the 02 Brixton Academy, London REVIEW!

Back in the Nineties no artist defined soul music quite like D’Angelo did. The Virginia native’s 1995 debut album ‘Brown Sugar’ helped revolutionise mainstream modern-day rhythm and blues, and along with the likes of Maxwell and Jill Scott, D’Angelo and co were at the forefront of the popular neo-soul era.

However, it was D’Angelo’s long-awaited sophomore LP ‘Voodoo’ that really put the multi-talented singer-songwriter on the map, swinging Michael Eugene Arche in a lane above his rivals. Released in January 2000, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful double Grammy-winning record fused contemporary soul with old school funk, whilst exuding traditional jazz – resulting in Robert Christgau dubbing the young star the “R&B Jesus”.
Later that year D’Angelo embarked on what is now being described as his historic “Voodoo Tour” – a host of live shows that saw the soul sensation travel the world with his group The Soultronics, cementing his place as one of the genre’s most influential musicians. Fans eagerly awaited the follow-up to ‘Voodoo’, but to much disappointment, a third album never arose.

To really understand the complexity of this comeback, one has to be aware of the reasons behind D’Angelo’s long hiatus from the limelight. A new album has been in the pipelines for many years, but a long battle with alcohol and substance abuse, as well as numerous court cases, have kept the star off track, both musically and personally. And in 2010 he was arrested for attempting to pay an undercover cop for oral sex in New York. The notorious mug shot that followed revealed a shockingly dishelmed, overweight looking D’Angelo – a figure a million miles away from the muscular physically toned man who stripped naked for the infamous 2000 ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ music video.

It’s been over a decade since he performed live and a staggering 12 years since the release of his last album, so when PhatNights announced the R&B superstar would be coming to London for two gigs as part of a mini European tour, fans wasted no time snapping up tickets for one of the most eagerly anticipated R&B shows of modern times.

It’s 9.20pm and Brixton Academy is at full capacity. The main man is running slightly late, but audiences are excitedly patient, whilst being happily entertained by his impressive live backing band. Suddenly the lights dim, exhilarating cheers and screams engulf the venue as a healthier looking D’Angelo enters the stage to ‘Player Player’ intro. Donning a leather black jacket and a wild west inspired black hat, with his guitar in tow, the 37-year-old opens with a funk rendition of ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’. Upon hearing the first song alone, any suggestions that D’Angelo isn’t fit to make a live comeback are quickly diminished, as the singers emotionally raw and flawlessly powerful vocals declare that the soul legend is officially back like he never even left.

Old classics such as ‘Devil’s Pie’ and ‘Chicken Grease’ complete the nostalgic moment, with an extended version of ‘Shit, Damn, Motherfucker’ sending audiences into frenzy mode. Half way through the up-tempo James Brown reminiscent set, D’Angelo takes it down a notch as he jumps on the piano. New songs ‘The Charade’ and ‘Sugar Daddy’ are greeted warmly, but it’s classic ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ which garners the loudest applause. The encore comes courtesy of a remixed version of ‘Brown Sugar’.

Neo soul singer D'Angelo performs live at the O2 Academy, Brixton.

Can the live show triumph translate to new album success? Only time will tell. But the public have been waiting an extremely long time for this moment and judging from the smile on his face whilst performing this weekend, it’s evident the iconic soul singer enjoys being back on stage and has been waiting for this moment equally as much as the fans have. And with contemporary R&B music in such a dire state right now, the genre needs the “messiah of rhythm and blues” to come back and inject some credibility back into modern R&B music.

Words by Vanessa Laker

Crystal King Perfroms ‘Keziah’s Dream’ Live on the Sporah Show!

Hello guys. Wow it’s been a while since I properly updated my blog (apologies). But thanks for consistantly continuing to read and keeping the stats high and I’m officially back now… And what better way to come back than with some great new live music?!

Now, Crystal King may seem like a new name on the scene, but the east London singer-songer writer has actually been doing her thing on the underground live circuit for quite some time now, but with her EP dropping soon, you’ll be seeing (and hearing) a lot more of this talented songstress in 2012 and she’s definitely One To Watch.

Miss King recently popped into the Sporah show to perform an acoustic version of her song ‘Keziah’s Dream’. Check it out below:

BET Awards 2011: Pictures + Full Winners List!

Chris Brown

Here in the UK we were all caught up with Beyonce fever last night as she tore down Glastonbury, but over in the States yesterday was all about the BET Awards and the night belonged to Chris Brown, who picked up the five gongs, including the coveted honour of Viewers’ Choice. The R&B star also collected the awards for Best Male R&B Artist, FANdemonium, Best Collaboration and Video Of The Year at the Los Angeles ceromony.

Below are pictures from the red carpet and the full winners list:

BET Awards 2011 – winners list:

Video of the Year: Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – ‘Look at Me Now’
Video Director of the Year: Chris Robinson
Best Female R&B Artist: Jennifer Hudson
Best Male R&B Artist: Chris Brown
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist: Kanye West
Best Collaboration: Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – ‘Look at Me Now’
Best New Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Best Group: Diddy-Dirty Money
Viewers’ Choice: Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – ‘Look at Me Now’
Best Gospel Artist: Mary Mary
YoungStars Award: Willow Smith and Jaden Smith
Centric Award: Marsha Ambrosius
Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson
Best Actor: Idris Elba
Best Movie: ‘For Coloured Girls’
Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Sportsman of the Year: Michael Vick
Best International Act: Africa: 2face Idibia (Nigeria) and D’banj (Nigeria)
Best International Act: United Kingdom: Tinie Tempah
FANdemonium Award: Chris Brown
Lifetime Achievement Award: Patti LaBelle
Humanitarian Award: Steve Harvey

Vanessa Laker Meets Keri Hilson: The Interview

Over the last decade, Keri Hilson has made a name for herself as a renowned songwriter, penning tracks for the likes of Britney SpearsUsher and the Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. After featuring on Timbaland’s 2007 ‘Shock Value’ LP, the Georgia native went from behind the scenes to becoming the main star. Two years later and her debut studio album, ‘In A Perfect World’, was released to critical acclaim, earning the 28-year-old two Grammy nominations…

In a time where many artists are keen to adapt to the ‘popular’ sound, Hilson follows her own musical path and has become one of R&B music’s front runners, with no signs of slowing down. Not shy to push the creative boundaries and prone to a bit a controversy, the sultry singer’s ‘No Boys Allowed’ demonstrates her musical growth and style evolution.

The talented songstress recently popped into MTV HQ, where she had a candid chat with The Wrap Up’s Vanessa Laker to talk about new music, female empowerment, fashion, men, controversy and much more!

The Wrap Up: Hi Keri! How are finding your stay in London so far?

Keri Hilson: Hi! So far, I’ve only had the preliminaries to my work here. I’ve done a couple of interviews, so we’re really just getting started, but I love London.

TWU: Your sophomore album, ‘No Boys Allowed’, is currently out. How does this record differ from your debut LP, ‘In A Perfect World’?

Keri Hilson: It’s a lot more self assured. It’s a lot more aggressive. I felt that with ‘In A Perfect World’ I was still kind of finding myself – not just as a musician, but also in love and in life. A lot of the songs were written maybe five or six years ago. Now, I know a lot more about what it is I want from relationships. I feel women tolerate way too much. We don’t get half of what we need from men these days and I just wanted to call guys out, let them know we know the difference between a boy and a man.

TWU: The title ‘No Boys Allowed’ can easily be misinterpreted. What’s the exact meaning behind it?

Keri Hilson: It just means real men do real things. I prefer men to boys. To clear it up, it’s not about an older or younger thing. It’s a mindset, not age. There are 18-year-old men out there and there are 40-year-old boys. 

TWU: This album has a really sexy, self empowerment feel to it. Is this a reflection of how you’re feeling at this point in your life and career?

Keri Hilson: Absolutely! I don’t have the reason, or will, to do music that paints myself perfect. If that means revealing parts of me, that others might not… You know, I’m just a lot less inhibited and I don’t approach music the way I once did a very long time ago.

TWU: Switching to fashion, you’re always pictured on the red carpet looking very glam. How important is style and fashion to you?

Keri Hilson: I’ll be honest; I’m a student of fashion. I say that because I just wear what I feel. I’m not led by name brands and things like that. You’d much more see me in approachable brands, approachable stores and things like that. I mix the high street with the high end, but I’m not all about designer clothes. We call it a ‘label whore’ or a ‘label freak’, and I’m not all about that.

TWU: And how would you describe your own personal style?

Keri Hilson: My personal style is tomboy sheek!

TWU: Being a female in the public eye, do you feel under pressure to always look your best?

Keri Hilson: Erm, there’s a little pressure, but it really doesn’t get to me because you want to look your best. Even if you’re walking through the airport or going to pick up your mail, if you meet a fan and they have a camera, they will take a picture of you and millions could potentially see that picture – if it’s picked up by a blog or whatever. That potential is what makes me spend a little more time on the things I don’t care about, which is the girly s**t, beauty etc.

TWU: Do you feel this pressure to look good is more intense for females, compared to males?

Keri Hilson: I don’t know. I feel like men put in some effort to look effortless, it’s the one thing I’ve realised because I’m around a lot of stylish, fashionable men. Although they get to be a lot more friggin’ comfortable than we are, they’re into fashion; they just pretend they’re not.

TWU: OK, back to your album. One of my personal favourite songs is ‘One Night Stand’ featuring Chris Brown, as it kind of takes you back to that old skool R&B vibe. Did you guys set out and intend to take R&B back to its grassroots with this song?

Keri Hilson: Yeah, that was intentional. That’s the error that I love. I love everything from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I love everything that I grew up on. Well, I didn’t come from the 70s, but my parents made me have an appreciation for that music and the early 80s. So yeah, it was definitely intentional. When Chris Brown and I get together, it’s always a moment in time and I just remember having fun. That’s what it’s all about.

TWU: A lot of contemporary R&B has a European dance sound to it now, but are you a fan of the two sounds mixing?

Keri Hilson: Yes, it has happened and I feel like I’ve watched it happen, because I travel here and you can hear the sound slowly creeping into American music. Now, though, it’s full on and it’s not even just singers, but rappers as well – everyone! I think it’s a really cool sound. I think it was long overdue that the music pierced a gap over the seas. It took a lot of seriousness out of what hip-hop used to be. You had things like gangsta rap and now it’s more party mode. I think it’s a good thing. I mean, I could do with a little more of a conscious rap, I just don’t want us to lose our way, but at the same time, it’s a sign of the times and our economy. During these times, people just want to be entertained, they wanna have fun and music is a reflection of the era.

TWU: Your recent video for ‘The Way You Love Me’ made quite a few headlines and caused a bit of controversy. Were you surprised by the reaction that video received?

Keri Hilson: Erm, I’ll be honest, nothing surprises me anymore. It was what it was, or it is what it is. It was a moment in time. It was (dancer and choreographer) Laurieann Gibson’s directorial debut and we just wanted to have fun with the record. I mean, how many ways are you gonna take a sexual record? But I was surprised – as everybody else was surprised – because when I’m in the studio, I don’t really censor myself, but at the same time, after, as an after thought, you do censor your record. You do go back and change the f-words to other things. I do that all the time. But while I’m creating, I don’t think about the consumer, I don’t think about kids, I don’t think about anything, other than my feelings in that moment. But after I’d switched out all of the bad words, the bad words showed up synced to my video on World Star Hip-Hop. So yeah, I didn’t expect that.

TWU: So you were pretty surprised when you saw the video then?

Keri Hilson: Oh yes, I was surprised. I was just as surprised as the fans were when I was watching it. I was like, ‘OK, now this does change things a bit.’ The language did change certain things, but I’m not ashamed of it, I mean, I recorded it, I did it, you know? All I can say is that it was a moment in time.

TWU: Now your next UK single is ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ and the video for that song is very cool and creative and sees you pay homage to a lot of female singers. Tell us a bit about the video…

Keri Hilson: Thanks! It’s actually one of my favourite videos I’ve ever shot. I got to be multiple personalities that day. It was a really cool video shoot for me. It was directed by Joseph Kahn and the only direction I gave him was that I didn’t want the video to be about me. The song was so much about me, to the surface listeners. What I wanted people to understand is that I‘m just one of many examples of a confident woman. I want to display other women who felt the way I felt and they were great. Yes, they happened to be physically beautiful, but it was about much more than that. It’s about the way they carry themselves, it’s about the way they were groundbreaking – and that they were women. I think as women, we shy away from adversity. Everyone I chose was scrutinised for their craft, for their creativity. From Josephine Baker in the 1920s, being an African American and dancing and dressing the way she did, it was unacceptable in a lot of pockets of society, all the way through to Janet Jackson and TLC. No-one’s success comes without controversy, in the same way no average or non-industry person’s success comes without adversity. That‘s what I really wanted the video to say. I think more women need to have that tenacity, persistence, drive and confidence.

TWU: Music aside, when you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax?

Keri Hilson: When am I not working? That’s the question (laughs). I love the water, I love to swim. I like watching movies and I love seeing my family – that keeps me grounded and gives me some moments of reality. Other than that, when I’m not working, I like to sleep!

Kerri Hilson’s new single, ‘Pretty Girl Rock’, is out on July 4. ‘No Boys Allowed’ is out now.

This interview was conducted for MTV: The Wrap Up!

Words: Vanessa Laker (@VanessaLaker)

Vanessa Laker Talks To Shontelle: The Interview

After putting a law career on hold, Shontelle burst onto the music scene in 2008 with her summer hit, ‘T-Shirt’. Since then, the 25-year-old Bajan beauty is proving she’s a force to be reckoned with. She had a chat with Vanessa Laker to discuss her new album, fashion, touring with Beyoncé, being Rihanna’s drill sergeant and why she loves UK high street brand Topshop, all exclusively for The Wrap Up… 

The release of her debut LP, ‘Shontelligence’, introduced the young starlet to the world, but it’s the sophomore album, ‘No Gravity’, that is really going to cement this rising star’s place. With an edgier and more experimental sound, Shontelle’s new record demonstrates her growth as an artist.

The Wrap Up: You’ve just completed your UK tour with Jason Derulo. How did it go?

Shontelle: OMG! It was so good. You know the UK is always so good to me. Every night, every show was just fantastic. We just did the last show last night at Hammersmith Apollo, it was awesome.  

TWU: I was at the Hammersmith Apollo for the gig and it was a great show…

Shontelle: You were? Amazing!

TWU: I have to say your dress looked amazing…

Shontelle: Oh, thank you. Actually, that dress, I got it very last minute. And that was specifically given to me to do the London show by a designer named, Sherri Hill.

TWU: How important is style and fashion to you?

Shontelle: VERY important. I just love fashion so much. If I wasn’t so busy being an artist, I’d probably try to design a clothing line, or something. I love clothes and I have a ridiculously unhealthy shoe obsession. Shoes and handbags!

TWU: While you’ve been here in the UK, have you had much time to check out the scenery and explore the cities?

Shontelle: Not as much as I’d like to. When you’re on tour or doing promo, you usually see the inside of the hotel and the inside of the car, so you really don’t get to see much. But we did have a day off in Manchester and I had so much fun in Topshop. I always lose my mind in there. I love their clothes. I think probably 95% of my wardrobe is Topshop now.

TWU: You’ve got a new single, ‘Perfect Nightmare’. What’s your definition of a perfect nightmare? 

Shontelle: A perfect nightmare is really just a situation that you know you shouldn’t be in, but you enjoy it. You either enjoy it, or there’s some aspect or a part of it that you love so much and you just can’t let go. So that could be anything from an abusive relationship to an inappropriate relationship. Maybe even if someone was too old or too young, or you were with someone else’s boyfriend or girlfriend.  It’s just being in a situation that you really have no right to be in, but for some reason, you find it really difficult to get out because you enjoy something about it so much. So it’s like, ‘When will I wake up and scream? I know this is wrong.’

TWU: ‘Perfect Nightmare’ is the second single from your new LP, ‘No Gravity’ – which is your second album. How do you feel you’ve grown and evolved as an artist, compared to the first record?

Shontelle: I feel like it’s definitely been an evolution. There’s definitely been some growth. ‘No Gravity’ sounds quite different from ‘Shontelligence’, because ‘Shontelligence’ sounds exactly like what I was at that point – which is a girl who literally just came from Barbados. There was a lot of reggae and Island influence; it was also a lot softer and mellow. But ‘No Gravity’ has a lot more up-tempo and edgy music and that’s a choice I purposely made, because I didn’t really want people to think, ‘She’s from Barbados, this is cliché what we should expect from her.’ Especially as a songwriter and as a music lover, I just really wanted to experiment. So ‘No Gravity’, there’s a little rock in there. It’s a lot poppier, I think. There’s more dance influence. Even my next US single, ‘Say Hello To Goodbye’, that actually sounds like a pop/rock ballad. It more represents where I’m at now. I’m ready to just experiment and have a lot more fun and not take everything so seriously.

TWU: As an artist, do you feel there’s more pressure on the second album, as you feel you have to match – or overtake – the success of the first LP?

Shontelle: Oh yes, the pressure is really on. I’ve been so lucky, because having the first single from my second album just be so successful, I mean, ‘Impossible’ is my biggest single to date! It’s been quite unbelievable for me, because every artist’s worst nightmare is to be a one-hit wonder. You know, just never being able to write another album? So I feel really blessed and lucky, it’s great.

TWU: You and Rihanna grew up together back in Barbados and during your high school years, you were her drill sergeant, right?

Shontelle: Yep! We were both in the cadets together and it was really awesome. Everyone’s like, ‘Wow! You got to give Rihanna push-ups.’ But she wasn’t ‘Rihanna’ yet. Then, she was Robyn Fenty. But yeah, that’s how we first met, through the cadet’s programme.  There was a summer camp and she was the little cadet and I was the drill sergeant.

TWU: You’ve had success here in Europe and in The States, but do you feel that Rihanna has opened doors for other artists from the Caribbean to crossover to an international market?  

Shontelle: RiRi sure did open the door wide open. She didn’t just open it, she smashed it. I’m so happy she got that opportunity, because I think she made it easier for me to come after. Now, people are much more open to the idea of foreign artists being on the mainstream.

TWU: President Obama used your song, ‘Battle Cry’, during his campaign trail. How did you feel when you heard that?

Shontelle: I couldn’t believe it, because that was during the time when I was still fresh. I’d just released ‘T-Shirt’, so I was pretty new. I just felt so honoured, I really wanted him to win so bad and just having him reach out and say, ‘I really love this ‘Battle Cry’ song, I think it really speaks to my campaign and I’d really like to use it’, I was so overwhelmed. I was like, ‘Why are you even asking? Just take it!’(Laughs) He was kind enough to send me a vinyl addition of the compilation with the song, and he signed it. That was a real blessing. I was like, ‘WOW! I’m not even American, but I get to be a part of one of the most historical events in American political history.’

TWU: What was it like touring with Beyonce?

Shontelle: Queen B! That was one of the most epic experiences of my little old career. I learned so much from her. I thought I knew how to perform until I saw her perform everyday. After being on tour with her, you have to step your game up. You literally feel like you’re at the bottom of the sewers or something when next to her. Every night she just blew me away. I’ve done a few tours, but Beyoncé’s tour was the only one that I’d stay and watch every single night. I’m a fan. During the tour, I got to speak with her in her dressing room and I was so nervous. They literally had to push me in. She’s like a living legend. She was just the sweetest, most accommodating, and most present artist to be around. And she gave me such great inspiring advice. She’s amazing.

TWU: And finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2011?

Shontelle: It’s gonna be a very busy year. Next from here, I’m going to Nigeria – which I’m really excited about, as it’s my first time going to Africa. After that, it’s Malaysia – there’s a whole lot of travelling ahead. But I get to go to Barbados in April to shoot an ad campaign, so that’s amazing, as I get to pop home for second. I’ll be focusing on the album, I’m gonna release a repackaged version of ‘No Gravity’, which will feature some new songs. I’ll also be promoting the singles around the world and performing lots. It’s a very busy, but fun year ahead. 

Shontelle: ‘Perfect Nightmare’ – is out now.

Stay up to date with Shontelle on Twitter – www.twitter.com/Shontelle_Layne

Words: Vanessa Laker (@VanessaLaker 

This interview was conducted on behalf of MTV UK.

Vanessa Laker Talks To KimberlyWyatt: The Interview

KimberlyWyatt: The Interview

I recently went down to the MTV HQ in Camden to interview the lovely Kimberly Wyatt. The former Pussycat Doll is promoting hit single “Candy” with UK rapper Aggro Santos. This interview was conducted on behalf of MTV: The Wrap UP and was originally printed on The Wrap Up’s website. 


Since 2005 Kimberly Wyatt has been dominating the charts and performing sell out shows around the world with former group The Pussycats Dolls. She’s sold millions of records and worked with the likes of Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes, to name a few. After leaving the band in January this year, she embarked on a solo career and is currently riding high in the top 5 of the UK singles chart with London rapper Aggro Santos – supplying the vocals on his smash hit ‘Candy’.

The Wrap Up: You’re branching out as a solo singer. How is it performing without the girls?

Kimberly Wyatt: I’ve been performing since the age of 7 now, so I feel at home on the stage. But of course I’m used to having the girls with me all the time, so right now everyday is a new experience. It’s super exciting. It’s been a roller coaster.
TWU: Are you enjoying being a solo artist?
Kimberly Wyatt: Being in the Pussycat Dolls was a great period in my life, those girls are my sisters. But it came to the point that I had to revise the situation. I was unable to grow creatively and knew that I would never be able to do the things I wanted to do whilst being in the group. Right now I’m enjoying the creative freedom I have and just being able to make the music that I like.
TWU: What kind of music can we expect to hear from your upcoming album?
Kimberly Wyatt: I really like electro and house. I’ve been experimenting with different sounds, which is really fun. I’ve actually got a mixtape out right now with a really good friend of mine Her Majesty And The Wolves. That’s a little taster of what direction I’m going into musically. But I’d say my new album is electro pop. It’ll be out quite soon.
TWU: You’ve achieved so much with the Pussycat Dolls, do you feel you can relax a little as you’ve already proved yourself as an artist or do you feel under pressure to match the group’s success?
Kimberly Wyatt: We really did so much together. We conquered the world. We’ve had number ones and sold out shows across the globe, which is great. But now I’m all about making music I like that makes me happy. I’ve got this saying; ‘Art before chart.’ I’m just having so much fun right now. I’m making great songs and doing great shows. I’m surrounded by so many down to earth creative people and I’m really growing as person and I’ve got the freedom to experiment creatively – something that I wasn’t able to do in the group.
TWU: You were recently a judge On Sky 1’s dance show, Got To Dance. How was that experience for you?
Kimberly Wyatt: OMG, I loved it. I’m a dancer, that’s where I started and I always try and stay true to my roots. Dancing is my passion. It’s what I’ve been doing for so many years. I feel like dancers are not given enough credit. In a live show the dancers are a huge part of the production, but for some reason they’re always at bottom of the pile and not given enough recognition. So I was honoured to be a part of the show.
TWU: After seeing you dancing in various music videos Robin Antin (founder of the Pussycat Dolls) asked you to join the group. Did you plan to get into singing and how did you find the transition?
Kimberly Wyatt: Ever since I started dancing my teachers told me ‘you have to be a triple threat.’ So although growing up I was primarily a dancer, I always sang as well. Before moving to LA I used to work on a cruise ship, where I used to sing and dance. So I’ve kind of pretty much always done both.
TWU: What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not busy working?
Kimberly Wyatt: I absolutely love writing. It’s one of my favourite things to do to relax. I like writing positive things. I’m really into the world of social networking. I have a blog, Beautiful Movements (www.beautifulmovements.com) which is a place of self expression. I love literature and strongly believe that through words and self expression, we can get through so many things and conquer negative feelings by letting them out and not suppressing our thoughts.
TWU: When was the last time you got star struck?
Kimberly Wyatt: I absolutely love Missy Elliot. Even though we’re friends now, I still get star struck every time we speak. Just last week she texted me and I said to my friend ‘OMG, OMG look at my phone, Missy just text me.’ Yeh, I still get star struck.
TWU: Your current single with Aggro Santos is called ‘Candy,’ but what is your favourite candy?
Kimberly Wyatt: I love Startburst. I’m totally addicted to them.
Aggro Santos ft. Kimberly Wyatt: ‘Candy’ – is out now.


For more interviews and news on your favourite musicians and celebs go to MTV’s website www.mtv.co.uk and for alls things urban check out The Wrap Up www.mtv.co.uk/music/urban