Brandy has put it down and over the last two decades we have fallen in love. From the young girl that brought us onscreen laughter in the shows Thea and Moesha and floored us with her vocal talents with the smash hits “I Wanna Be Down”, “Baby” and “The Boy is Mine”, Brandy has continued wowing audiences with roles on the series Drop Dead Diva and The Game and appearing recently in Tyler Perry’s latest film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. On top of that, Brandy released Two Eleven last year which featured the hit singles “Put it Down” and “Wildest Dreams”.
It’s safe to say that as Brandy’s current tour makes two Tennessee stops in June, we are still in love. And Brandy loves us back.
Brandy says her love for the GLBT community comes from the love that they express and the energy they bring. “They’re not afraid to tell me the truth about the way they feel and at the same time, support me,” she said. “It just seems like when they see me on the stage, they just let all of their feelings about me out and that makes me better on stage. It makes me feel like ‘oh my God, people really love me, I can give my all’. That is true of every gay club, every Pride event, every time I kick it with my gay fans.”
Brandy knew that she had a gay fan base early in her career. “I went to Hollywood High and it opened up my eyes to so many different things and so many different people,” she said. Brandy’s best friend in high school was gay and was extremely supportive of her even before she landed her first record deal. He was always applauding her scenes in her drama class and was in the audience for her choir performances.
After her high school experience, Brandy says that she knew that the GLBT community would fall in love with her. “They have been keeping it real with me ever since,” she said.
While Brandy performs in a genre traditionally viewed as homophobic, she credits good friend Frank Ocean with helping break down those barriers. “Honesty is the key and the truth will set you free,” she said. “When you can be yourself completely and then back that up with amazing music and be incredibly great, then no one can ignore you, no matter what your sexual preference is. I think Frank Ocean proved that and created a platform for that. I am so proud of him for that.”
Brandy is touring in support of her latest release Two Eleven, an album that helped Brandy reach new creative heights. “I was reconnecting with the R&B roots,” she shared. “I wanted to reconnect and listen to what my fans wanted. I was able to do things differently and work with different producers and writers. That experience was different, connecting with all different types of people. It seemed like people were excited to work with me and bring my ideas to fruition.”
While Brandy is touring throughout the summer, her future project wish list is extensive. Brandy admitted that she would like to work with Kelly Rowland on the music side and maybe Kerry Washington on the acting side. She also hopes to do more television in the future and fans of Moesha should hold on tight. Brandy hopes to develop “something as special as Moesha” next year.
But right now Brandy’s focus is on her music. She takes the stage June 8 at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, plays the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga June 9 and is ready to groove Tennessee. “I love the stage,” Brandy admitted. “I’ve been discovering a lot about who I am on stage. I’m able to be vulnerable, funny, angry, happy, excited. Expect all of that, and expect a lot of the old stuff and a lot of the new stuff. I give a hundred and fifty percent on stage.”
Find out when Brandy takes the stage June 8 at War Memorial Auditorium. Visit wmarocks.com for tickets and more info!