Houston TREND

(Article) Just Brittany – Something Different

Written By: Niki Jones Of Houston TREND

Photography By: Coreigh Terry of Houston TREND

IMG_0730 copyJust Brittany hit the scene with her 2009 radio hit, “Call Me for That Good” and ever since then, she’s continued to produce radio friendly hits with singles such as “Slumber Party” and “Colors”. Landing on the top 100 Billboard Charts with three singles, Brittany Bullock PKA Just Brittany, is now on to something different with a new album, new look, and new attitude. Dropping her latest project, Something Different, this past June, the slow bangin songstress is cultivating a new lane for herself and taking her talents to a whole other level. Although the road has been a tough one to trek for the former dancer, she’s been able to steer far from the negativity and naysayers, to perfect her musical craft and give the world something we’ve been missing. The proclaimed Queen of H-Town is going stronger than ever. Her brash, hardcore rapping temperament intertwined with a melodic southern charm, shows JB’s versatility in fluctuating within her talents. With a stout management backing, by The Narrators and insane fan base, the “Brittany Bangas”, JB is well on her way to being one of Houston’s best artists to break out of the city. Her single “Slow Bangin”, featuring the Mo City Don, Z-Ro, has been in heavy rotation, welcoming JB back onto radio waves, while setting up a re-introduction of a newly creative soul. Known for her witty punch lines and straight forward delivery, Just Brittany is now showing a more vulnerable side in her new album, Something Different, admitting this time around she’s opening up to the world more than she has in the past, showing that she’s more than just a pretty face. Just Brittany may bring a massive sex appeal to the music industry, but her talent will keep many in tuned with her new found movement. This is only the beginning for young JB. It’s all about new beginnings, new goals and forgetting whatever it is you THINK you know, about this H-Town Queen.

HT: Your single “Slow Bangin” is out on the radio right now and it’s doing really well, but this song is not actually a new song. Why did you decided to put this song and video out now?
JB: We actually recorded “Slow Bangin” in 2012, and it was on Queen of H-Town 1. And working with different videographers, it was totally out of my control. We shot the video in 2012, and we planned on releasing it the same year the Queen of H-Town mixtape came out. I definitely wanted the video to be out, but it ended up coming out in 2014. I worked with my own people and we actually had to reshoot the video again and then put it out. I wanted it to be out a long time ago. If you knew everything that we had to go through to actually get the video out, it was a big headache, but we got it out and people got to hear it and see the video. We received 100,000 views on Vevo. It was pretty good and I’m glad to be where I’m at with it.

HT: Would you say its good as well because the single kind of brings you into this new project that you have coming out, because it was like you hadn’t been on the radio for a little bit?
JB: I wasn’t on radio, but I was still making music. I think a lot of times people don’t know where to find music other than the radio. You have people who listen to the radio, who listen to music through social media or who just go to the club and listen to songs, so its different fans in different places. I have people that have been with me when I wasn’t on the radio and that know my songs and none of these songs have been on the radio. Then there are some people who only listen to the radio and they look for Just Brittany on the radio. I make music for the radio and the streets. I never stopped making music. There just wasn’t a single that was on the radio until “Slow Bangin”.

HT: But you realize you can kill it on the radio scene? You are the only female artist here that is killing it on the radio.
JB: I guess it’s just picking the right songs to be on the radio. It’s a lot when it comes to picking the single for the radio. It’s always the opposite song that’s not my favorite, but it’s everybody else’s favorite, kind of how “Call Me for That Good” was.

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HT: But “Call Me for That Good” blew up and had major success, what impact would that have had on you, if it had not has success the way it did?
JB: I don’t know because of the way everything happened. “Call Me for That Good” launched my career. I saw success off that single. It was kind of scary because it happened so fast. I met my manager C-Moe and he was actually an artist as well. My friends had dragged me to the store and I saw him. I didn’t know his name at the time, but he was selling CDs and wanted to sing for me. So he sang for me, and I was like ‘this guy is talented. He’s out here selling CDs and has a voice like this?’ I felt like he had to know something about the industry. I bought his CD and the next morning I called him to set up a meeting, but I got his voicemail. I was just really on him. I kept calling. He ended up calling me back and we finally met up and the next day, we went to the studio and we made “Call Me for That Good”, like two days later. It happened so fast because after that song, I started work with a coalition of DJs called the Go DJs, and they really helped launch the song. Then it went to radio. I didn’t think it would happen how it did. I always dreamed of it happening this way; I just didn’t know when.

HT: That song got you discovered by Cash Money right?
JB: The single caught the attention of Cash Money. I had a friendship and partnership with Birdman (Baby) before I was even signed. I told him about my music and wanting to be an artist, but this was before “Call Me for That Good” even came about. I knew him before then; before I really became an artist. So when the single made it to the radio, it caught his attention and I was signed by Cash Money Records and it was on from then.

HT: But then you and Cash Money went your separate ways?
JB: I decided it wasn’t the right situation for me at the time. So we parted ways, but we all still have great relationships.

IMG_0738 copyHT: With the single, “Slow Bangin” you pay homage to some legends from Houston. Of course, DJ Screw, but you’re also paying homage to the screw era. What type of impact would you say, DJ Screw, Hawk, Pimp C, and those artists that came before you during the screw era, had on you to start doing your music?
JB: DJ Screw (RIP), Fat Pat, Hawk and Pimp C were their own individuals with their own individual sound, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m making my own sound, to where the people in the audience will be
comfortable within my sound. Really I’m just doing the same thing that I would want someone else to do when I’m not here. That’s to pay homage to me when I’m gone and still remake my music and play my records. You know what I mean. Listen to me because my music reached their hearts, like the late greats’ music reached mines.

HT: What type of sound would you say that you are creating?
JB: I would say it’s Hip-Pop. It’s a mixture between rapping, singing, pop and hip-hop all in one. It’s not just hip-hop, its Hip-Pop. It’s a whole different lane. A game changing type of thing.

HT: Speaking of rapping, you’ve mentioned that Beat King started you rapping, when he told you to rap on the “Crush” single. You said you were originally going to sing it. If he would have never told you to rap that verse, would you ever have went down that avenue?
JB: Beat King made me realize that I was rapping. The plan was definitely to be a singer. I didn’t have any plans on being a rapper. I knew what I wanted to do and that was sing. I didn’t even know rapping was an option when I first came into the game. That’s just how adamant I was on being a singer. The crazy thing about it, “Call Me for That Good”, was actually out of a song that I was rapping, but I didn’t know I was rapping. When I did the “Crush” song with Beat King, I started singing it and when I was in the booth, he was like, ‘No no, rap it.’ I was like ‘rap it?’ So I put my little swag on it and did it. Ever since then, Beat King made me realize that it wasn’t really about me just rapping, it was just about the swag. He made me realize I was already rapping. It’s how you put the swag to it and your words and lyrics together to make people feel it. Would I have done it if he hadn’t? I think yes, but it was right for that time.

HT: “Call Me for that Good”, “Colors” and “Slumber Party” topped the billboard charts, so going from that point to now, what’s your thought process when it comes to preparing yourself to top the billboard charts again in the future?
JB: My thought process is making music that people can listen to when I’m no longer here anymore. “Colors” and “Slumber Party” are songs you can listen to. It doesn’t put you in just one frame of mind, there’s feelings. You can always be thinking of someone and always want to go party. That’s something that people love to do. So my new CD, Something Different, is my thought process, giving the world something different, giving them Just Brittany, Hip-Pop, something they can listen to and they can judge it on their own.

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HT: With this new album, Something Different, what are people going to feel when they listen to this body of work versus what they’ve heard from your mixtapes, Queen of H-Town 1 & 2?
JB: I feel all my “Call Me for That Good” fans, my “Slumber Party” fans, my “Color” fans, “Crush” fans, “Lil Dip” fans, will have a least two songs on this CD that they will all love, if not all 13. It’s me being real with my fans and being more personable and letting go of my feelings and really just telling them what’s going on with Just Brittany.

HT: Who all did you work with on Something Different?
JB: I work with a producer name Glenn, he produced “Ridin Round the City” and “Westheimer”. I worked with Drathoven also. The Narrators, they write a lot of things and I wrote a lot.

HT: If this is a more personal album for people to get to know another side of you, then what was the side of you that people witnessed in your previous projects?
JB: The other side of me was my hustling side. The other side of me was being in the game, being a dancer and that whole one-sided type of life. I never showed me being insecure or being impatient or cranky, having a little attitude or me being in love and feeling vulnerable. I never showed that side of me to people. All they know is a harder, rougher side of me, like ‘this Just Brittany, may have an attitude or be a bitch when I first meet her.’ That’s how people feel about me because my music gives them a certain type of view to look at me from. This new CD is going to be something different, so they can see the other side, which is more of the real Just Brittany. The side that has more power over the turn up side.

HT: What’s the message in your single, Young Queens, on Something Different about and why did you want to do this song?
JB: We are all Queens in our own nature, and I just want to inspire young girls and everyone coming up and let them know that you are Queens. When I was growing up, I didn’t have a father to tell me some of the things that I really needed to know as a young girl growing up. So I want to be that voice. I’m not saying that I’m the perfect person or this role model that everyone can look up to. I’m just being me, and wherever I’m able to help a person, that’s what I want to do. I just feel like you deserve it. You have to know that you deserve it and know your worth. Nobody is perfect. You all are young Queens. You are the future and I want to make sure they know that.

HT: You’ve always said that you wanted to be a singer, but at what point did you feel and know you wanted to pursue singing?
JB: Once I was really able to financially back myself, to get me to the next level. I’ve always said what I wanted to do, but if you don’t have the financial backing to do it, then you can only say what you want to do. That’s when I really took it 100% serious because it was serious at that point.

IMG_0732_2HT: Being a dancer and then transitioning into an artist, did people take you serious as far as going from a dancer to doing music and separating yourself from it?
JB: They definitely didn’t take it serious. That’s why I had to choose one. I had to choose whether I was going to be a dancer or did I want to be an artist. I couldn’t straddle the fence anymore and try to play both sides. The crazy part about it is while I was a dancer, I had a single on the radio. I use to be embarrassed because people would see me and say ‘That’s Just Brittany and she’s dancing?’ I had a single on the radio and everything was going good for me, but people didn’t understand that me being a dancer is what helped fund my music career. The story I was trying to tell through my music. Being an entertainer is what helped me fund being an artist. That’s why I really straddled the fence for so long. I loved doing music, but I couldn’t be an artist without having the proper funds to be the type of artist I wanted to be. So with the money I was making from being a dancer, I would put it all into my career. I would leave work at 5 o’clock in the morning and have a video shoot at 6 or 7 o’clock. Or I would go to the studio. Everything was surrounded around my music. I lived two lives, but people didn’t really understand why I was still doing both. People feel like once you get on the radio, you’re a millionaire and it doesn’t work that way. That’s only the beginning. People didn’t really understand. But the way things are going now, everything is coming together and the picture is a little bit clearer.

HT:Has there ever been a moment when you wanted to give up?
JB: Yes! I feel like that a lot of the time, but I could never just give up. Its like as soon as you quit something, it takes you that much longer just to build it back up. If I were to quit music then everything that I’ve built up, I would have to start all over just to get back to the point where I was and surpass that level. It just wouldn’t make sense to give up. What does make sense, is to keep going and show how strong you are and show everyone else that even as a woman, you can keep going too. Quitting isn’t an option. That’s why I work out hard, I play hard, and I’m in the studio hard. I’m on 30, as Drathoven would say.

HT: What’s some advice you’ve received from anyone in the industry that’s stuck with you to help you keep going?
JB: Some good advice I’ve been told, was to never worry about what other people say. That really stuck to me because once you lose that and start living your life for other people, you lose yourself.

HT: Being a female artist in this male dominated industry, especially here in Houston. What are any struggles you’ve faced or still do?
JB: Just gaining peoples respect, keeping their respect and making sure people respect you for what you are doing and not what they perceive you to be. Making sure people understand where you’re coming from, so they can be able to respect you. I still face small struggles every day, when it comes to men and just being a female. Men don’t look at you like an artist, especially when you look good. Its like if you can get past my looks and really see what I’m capable of doing, you would go even crazier. They only see the physical and not what’s really going on. That’s my struggle. I’m not just a model or the girl that uploads pictures all the time. I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.

IMG_0726HT: How do you deal with that part of it?
JB: I have to revamp my focus. I have to watch the things that I put up. I have to make sure that people get that I’m an artist, whether it’s only putting up songs or anything dealing with my music. I have to make sure that people know I take this serious, so that’s what they will be focused on. It’s in my control what I put out, especially if they’re looking at me through social media.

HT: A lot of people coming on board now and in the future are going to get to see another side of Just Brittany. Is that necessarily a good thing to look at you in a new light, instead of the old Just Brittany that you want to leave in the past?
JB: I want them to see something different. I saw a comment before where someone told me I was a new sound of music that we need, and that my voice and sound is very different and something that we’re missing. That’s a comment that stuck out to me because someone finally realizes what I’m trying to convey to the world. My fans inspire me and I inspire them; it goes hand in hand.

HT:Something people may not know about you, if they don’t follow you, is that you were going around visiting schools and speaking to the youth. What made you want to do that?
JB: I just really wanted to give back to the community and really just show the youth, I came from the hood and look where I am. I just want to let them know that you can achieve the same things that I’ve achieved. When I was younger, I can’t really remember anyone coming to my school. I wanted to make sure they remember me coming to their school when they were young and have something to hold on to and inspire them

HT: There was talk of a Love and Hip Hop Houston earlier this year. Not sure if VH1 reached out to you, but if ever it came into play, would you do any type of reality TV?
JB: When Love and Hip Hop came down here, they actually reached out to me to do an interview. I went and did an interview for them, but I don’t know what else happened with the show. I wouldn’t do a reality TV show because of the terms. It would have to be on my terms. I would have to have some type of control in what’s being portrayed. When it comes to reality TV, you’re not really in control with what happens. They’re not really portraying you in the best light. So if I were to do reality TV, my team and I would have to have some control over it.

HT: You’re reintroducing yourself to Houston as a new artist, ultimately. What are any changes in your style that people will see this time around?
JB: I feel like me talking about Houston in my music and just being so H-town, that people from Houston like it, but its like ‘okay we’re from here, but that’s not what I really want to listen to.’ And me being an artist showing love to my city and showing them I’m down for the city, its not what they want. They don’t want to listen to me talk about Houston all the time. So now when I do something different, it’s going to be that different type of love. As if I were never to say Houston this or Houston that, in my music, then people will be more comfortable with listening to it. That’s really why I changed my whole style of music because I know Houston loves me, but they really need to see a different side of me for them to really be sold on Just Brittany.

HT: So you’re saying sometimes you’re too much Houston?
JB: Yes, I feel like that. Sometimes I’m too much Houston. I feel like I’m showing love, but it doesn’t get the same type of response I feel it should get because I’m from Houston.

HT: If you stop referencing Houston in your music and your career takes off and blows up and you never mention anything about Houston in songs, people will probably question your love?
JB: But what about all the times that I did show love, they weren’t paying attention at that time? Its never a problem to show love to your city, but when you show too much love, why aren’t they playing this type of music. When you come to Houston, do you just hear Houston music in the club or on the radio? And that’s my point. Its not like I can’t show love to Houston, this is where I was raised. Everybody knows I love Houston, but its just time for a change and change is good. I want people to see a different side of me and not just look at me as this certain type of person because I have feelings too.

HT: Who is Just Brittany as an artist? You said that you are Hip-Pop, but elaborate more on exactly what you want people to know about Just Brittany?
JB: Just Brittany is on the verge of black and white. This is the world that she lives in. I live on the dark side. I look at the dark side as the entertainment life, the strip club life and that’s the part of my life that I’ve been telling everyone. That Just Brittany is cocky, she’s a bad chick, definitely a hustler, but she knows how to be a chameleon throughout different situations. There’s two sides to her. One side is black, which is the bad. And the white is like the good girl. When I’m wearing black and white, I’m in between feelings, in this gray area. But when I have color on, that’s when I feel my happiest. I’m more gregarious. People will to have to keep up with what’s going on with me, so you can really put the pieces of the puzzle together.

August 2014


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