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A lot of people are excited about Brandy’s return to the spotlight. The singer teamed up with Monica earlier this year, appeasing fans of both ’90s R&B singers, and she just recently announced on Twitter that her new album, “Two-Eleven” will hit shelves August 28.

Some still have questions about why someone with her level of success as a teenager between singing and acting would disappear from the industry for so long and in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brandy says she paid a high price for that fame, mostly with her own self-esteem. The singer already mentioned her struggles with anorexia during her “Behind The Music” special on VH1, but she also had some other struggles to contend with. Here’s what she told the paper.

How being famous so young defined how she viewed herself

Well, I identify with success and fame and that was one of the things I had to grow from and learn from to pull myself from that place. Because what I do is not who I am, it is just the way I express myself. When I was able to take a step back from my career, I was able to really focus on who I really was as a person.

When you’re 15 and 16 you don’t really know who you are. So when you are growing up in the public eye and you have this image to uphold, you start to believe the false about you — you know, this is who I am. I’m Brandy! That’s my name, that is not who I am on the inside. That is not who I grew into as a woman.

What she discovered about the true Brandy, as opposed to Brandy the star

I am not perfect and I don’t have to be perfect. I am not above mistakes. I can make them and it’s OK. I don’t need to beat myself up for making a mistake. What people think about me really is none of my business. It’s what I think about me. So it’s just about giving yourself those positive affirmations every day. You know, telling yourself you are beautiful, telling yourself that there is a greatness in you that is ready to express itself.

I beat myself up a lot as a teenager, wanting everything to be perfect. [I’m] absolutely a people pleaser, trying to please my fans, trying to please my family, trying to please my record label — anybody that I worked with. I wanted everybody to like me. You know that will drive you into the grave. So I was able to cut that out before that happened.

What those experiences taught her about being a mother

I think the key to being a good parent is to remember that you were once a child. A lot of parents abuse their authority — you know, I’m in charge, I’m in control and it’s my way or the highway.

I’m just not like that with my daughter. It’s my job to guide her to make the best decisions possible and to let her know that mistakes are a part of life. I try to lead by example. I’m not perfect … and if I do make mistakes toward her I apologize. We have a great relationship, a great friendship. I think that’s really important to have a friendship with your children and have that open line of communication where they can feel comfortable telling you what they want to know and what they are doing and what their life is all about outside of you when you are not with them.

Her perspective and goals for the future

Now it’s about the love of what I do and the passion. Of course I still have goals. I think there is a purpose that I still have to fulfill. I was born to sing. I was born to inspire and to entertain. You know, if I’m not doing that then my life is unfulfilled. Even in the break that I took — of course it was great for my spiritual journey and personal self — but there was a part of me that wanted to be on stage. There was a part of me that wanted to reach out and touch people and sing to people. That’s a big part of my destiny so I’m back at it.

“Two Eleven” is coming out in August. I’m really excited about that. It’s just great to be back in music and do what I love to do consistently and full time. This project means so much to me. I’ve worked very hard on it. I feel like I have found that right place and the right people are in my life to help me fulfill this dream that I’ve had for a while.

What drives her

It’s the passion for the music. It’s the passion for just inspiring people and waking that greatness up within other people. You hear people say all the time, “You are one of the reasons I want to be an artist.” I want to continue to do that. I want to continue to be an example of fulfilling a dream, you know? Also, my daughter loves music. She loves what she sees and these stars she looks up to. I want to make her proud.

A lot of people out there are rooting for me, a lot of people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I owe this to them.

It’s a lot of hard work and this type of work needs balance and that’s what was missing for me before, the balance. Everything has to have a balance. You fall hard when there’s no balance in your life. Like right now, I’m kind of in between pushing the single and doing the video and all the other stuff. I’m like, “Maybe I should be doing more?” Then that voice inside of me says “No, let things happen. Take it easy.” So it’s like balance is naturally forcing itself into my life [laughing]. That’s a good thing because I need to work. I need to work!

Her fans need her to work too! Will you be purchasing Brandy’s new album in August?

Brande Victorian is the News and Operations Editor for MadameNoire.com. Follow her on Twitter @Be_Vic.

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