Written by | Ray Cornelius
Kandi Burruss is arguably one of the most popular ‘housewives’ of the Bravo Real Housewives franchise.
Not only is she beautiful, successful and rich (her net worth is rumored to be $35 million), she is also relatable! A quality that seems to resonate with her mostly female fan base and one that keeps her male fans coming back for more.
I had a chance to sit down and talk with this Grammy Award-winning songwriter about her new reality show– The Kandi Factory,— dispel a few Real Housewives of Atlanta rumors and even played a few rounds of the adult game, Dirty Minds!
RC: Congratulations on your new BRAVO show, The Kandi Factory! What can fans expect on this show?
KB: Thank you. What fans will see is me giving two unknown artists the basic necessities to jump start a music career. As an artist, I feel you need to start off with a hot song, the right image and have the right show.
So my team and I are taking these two artists through that development process. I penned two new songs and that they’ve recorded. Then sent them through the image consultant, choreography and ultimately put together an entire show. By the end of the week they had to perform in front of an audience.
Now I know that it may sound easy to you but that in not easy at all. The one who showed the most progress and wanted it the most is that person who will get a video paid for, get their single released and get their face out there. This first episode is actually the pilot. So everyone that supports the pilot will determine the season. I’m really excited about it.
RC: So does this mean that you are not returning to the RHOA? I read online that you were leaving the show and Bravo is considering replacing you with Keisha Knight Pulliam? Is this true?
KB: No, that’s a rumor! Umm, but let me say this. I have no control or say in who they decide to keep or not keep for their new season of RHOA. Now with that being said, they are interviewing new housewives. But we don’t have any say of whether they keep us or not. But rumor has it that somebody is going.-LOL, so I don’t know who it’s gonna be! And it may be more than one of us. But I don’t know that either. I’m not sure. We’ll see!
RC: Speaking of RHOA, let’s talk about a few things that have happened so far this season. Are you still pursuing a career in country music?
KB: Well, I wrote two songs with country music star, Jo Dee Messina and they turned out great. She is supposed to be releasing them soon, at least one them. You’re actually going to see the process of her recording the second song on one of the upcoming RHOA episodes.
RC: When you, Nene and Cynthia were on the beach in Miami, you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind dripping into the ‘lady pond’. Is that still true?
KB: Oh Lord. I forgot about that,-LOL. I was just expressing that I’m open-minded. You know what I mean. Hell, I host Kandi Koated Nights on the internet. But, I think everybody gets curious, right? Anyways, I’m in a relationship right now, so it’s not really on my agenda-LOL
RC: Let’s talk about the South African trip. Tell me one thing about the trip that we didn’t see on TV?
KB: What you didn’t see was us going to the mall. Which I thought was kind of funny. The South Africans really knew us. And I didn’t know that our show was even seen there or that it was popular. I was like, “wow, I’m all the way in Africa and people still know me.”
My favorite part of the trip was aired, which was visiting the orphanage and having the kids perform for us. I thought that was so cool. Of course it was amazing doing the safari.
Now, the drama…..
RC: LOL yes, let’s talk about the drama!
KB: Well. It was up and down drama the entire time. And viewers got to see a lot of that. I mean of course the arguments were a lot longer than what you got to see. But you got to see the majority of them.
You know, everyone talked about the whole situation between me and Marlo but I really didn’t consider it drama. I consider it me speaking my mind – my opinion, you know? I don’t have anything against Marlo. I think she is a nice person. The point I was making is that she kept going on and on about material things. And I don’t care to have to hear that all the time. That was it.
The other stuff like the ‘boss’ comment that was made was big mess to me too.
First of all, I was like, “Where is this Kim being our boss coming from?”
Second of all, “I’m a boss too!” LOL, so let’s kill that discussion right now.
I’ve got much love for Kim. But um, clearly we haven’t all been around each other much over the past year. Kim has a family now and different things going on so, “How is she our boss?”
But what heated me the most was the fact that my other partners in crime over there were not saying a word. And I felt like all this discussion was going on when no one else was around. But I’m the only one speaking up about it. I just felt like I wasn’t saying anything that no one else was thinking. I’m just the only one who said something aloud.
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RC: Who is your favorite Atlanta Housewife?
RC: Let’s switch gears and talk about your online show, Kandi Koated Nights, which by the way has entered its third season. Are you surprised by its success?
KB: First of all; when I started doing it, I really was just doing it on a whim. I was just online one day and just started talking about sex after midnight. But then people were like, “Oh when are you going to do that again?” And so I decided to do it every Wednesday night. Admittedly, it’s not quite the same as the girls over on babestation.tv/girls talking about sex in a much more explicit manner with far more on show and who are not afraid to get a little freaky!
But when I decided to do it, I didn’t realize I was creating a movement. I didn’t realize I was creating this thing that everyone would know about or that I could go to Oakland and older women would come up to me and say, “Kandi Koated Nights”, LOL. I didn’t know that. It amazes me the people who actually watch the show and how much buzz it’s gotten.
It’s actually had an opposite effect. I’ve had a lot more people want me to speak on panel discussions. Even Bedroom Kandi came out of it.
RC: Yes, let’s talk about Bedroom Kandi. This is your line of intimate items and sex toys, right?
KB: Yes! And it is doing quite well. We actually just won the Adult Video News Award (AVN) for Best New Toy line this past January, which was a big deal because we just made it available in November of 2011. So just two months later we are winning an award? That is amazing.
We also have a partnership with Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago. Hotel guests can have Bedroom Kandi toys delivered to their room when they book rooms online through the Kandi Koated Night package. Which is really cool! I am also having Bedroom Kandi in-home party consulting that is starting up now. It’s like, I’m going to be the ‘Avon lady’ of adult toys, LOL. I’m very proud of Bedroom Kandi, despite the criticism. I’m hoping that it will take off like other adult stores similar to Femplay, that is the dream I must say!
RC: What’s your favorite item?
KB: Happiness and Joy. It’s because it’s the dual stimulation vibrator. I like the whole Happiness on the inside and Joy on the outside, LOL. This thing is the best. Plus, it has the extra component of vibrating to music. It has a wireless remote that makes it vibrate to whatever song you’re listening to. And I think that’s real fly. No one else is doing that. So it makes it one of those novelty items that you would love to have, not so much of a novelty item would be the Original Magic Wand, possibly many ladies best friend.
RC: Speaking of sex, vibrators and the like. I wanted to play the RayCornelius.com version of the adult card game, Dirty Minds. Have you ever played?
KB: No, LOL-but I’ve heard of it
RC: I am going to describe something and you have to try and figure it out. Keep in mind, it’s not what you think. Ok?
RC: First question: Some people like to spread me out before eating me, some people like to lick my nuts what am I?
KB: PEANUT BUTTER
RC: You’ve played this game before! LOL
KB: No! LOL, I never have. But come on spread me out and lick my nuts??? It’s got to be peanut butter. That was easy!
RC: OK, next question: Men and woman both ride me up and down, a finger can go in me, and I let out loads. What am I?
KB: Wait a minute! You let out loads? Umm, that’s a good one. Is it a ring? No, it’s a washing machine?
RC: Nope! It’s an elevator!
KB: Oh, wow! OMG that was a good one, LOL.
RC: Last one: My name starts with an ‘f’ and ends in an ‘uck’ I give out a lot of excitement and heat. What am I?
KB: A lot of excitement and heat? Are these two words?
KB: Ok, hmmm? Umm, what is it?
RC: It’s a fire truck!
KB: Oh wow! That’s a good one. But the elevator is the best one. I’ve got to get this game! LOL
RC: So much is happening in and around the city of Atlanta in terms of movies and film production. Any plans to take Kandi Koated Nights from online to the big screen? Say like a Girl 6 or Two Can Play That Game style movie?
KB: I would love to. I really want to produce my own movie. And that’s in my life plan or on my list of things I want to do. I haven’t planned out what the movie is going to be yet but, LOL, I will produce one.
RC: Define the Kandi brand?
KB: Hmm, the Kandi Brand? I’ve never been asked that question before. Umm, I don’t know how to define the Kandi brand…
RC: Well, you’re known all around the world through your music, the reality shows and now your adult toy line. To me that makes you a brand.
KB: Thank you. Well since you put it that way. I feel that the Kandi brand represents the “relatable-hard working-woman…” Meaning, I am that girl that you can hang out with and talk about sex with like one of the ‘Sex in the City’ characters. Plus I’m a hard working mom and can relate to women on that level. I write ‘girl power’ records. And those seem to be the ones that tend to stand out in people’s minds. I also feel like I’m relatable through Kandi Koated Nights or through Tags, my clothing line I make for the everyday woman. And then you can relate to me on RHOA because I don’t try to be extra. I just try to maintain and just be Kandi!
Stay tuned for part-two of my exclusive interview with Kandi Burruss. She will tell her version of why Xscape broke up and what it was really like working with the late, Whitney Houston.
The Kandi Factory premiers Sunday, March 4th at 10pm on Bravo
(Ray Cornelius with Kandi Burruss)