“I had to get it out the mud. Nothing was given to us. We gotta go take it.” – La’Britney
Ahead of any spotlights on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Hollywood TV series, the multihyphenate, La’Britney, established a social imprint with the gift of performance throughout the Motor City region. Her LaNation Entertainment agency’s birth was inspired by the then 14-year-old expectant musician’s eldest son.
Arm’s reach from the iconic Hitsville U.S.A., a revived La’Britney commenced by singing and dancing at local venues, garnering notoriety in preparation for her debut single, “Look@Chu.” Consistently pushing her pen, follow-up tracks like “Show Me Something” and “Ride” developed a knack for melodies and an in-demand underground presence.
The budding star’s YouTube song covers, and choreography views soon placed a face to a name across the blogosphere. “I began using social media to share my LaMix videos. From there, people in different corners of the globe started to support LaNation,” the entertainer explains. Each labor of love fueled the energetic breakthrough of the “How We Do” music video.
Donning eccentric style and a charismatic smile — La’Britney’s around-the-way aesthetic postured her beyond the independent circuit. From the “How We Do” dance breaks to its vibrant graffiti-splashed set, the newcomer fashioned its vision — start to finish. Subsequently, an accumulation of buzzing earworms such as “Forget About Me,” “Booty Drop,” and “Love Ya Style” cemented a foundation of La’Britney’s premier mixtape, La’vintage.
The 7-track tape balanced notes of love and cash with bass-rattling energy on wax. LaNation’s corresponding “Xxxtra” video demonstrated the artist was just that — illuminating her diverse facets — including her Afro-Cuban identity. But the Detroit collab, “Actin’ Funny” with Kash Doll, channeled La’Britney’s voice nationally over mainstream radio stations.
“Kash Doll and I linked up with some great energy in the studio. We would perform together, and the people at our shows loved the song,” La’Britney recalled. Each red latex close-up of her rapping manifested her soon-to-release sophomore EP’s success, Never Fold. Much like La’Britney’s experience on season 5 of the reality TV series Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, her show-stopping tendencies were front and center.
A lifetime of being a self-starter assures La’Britney‘s staying power. The Knockturnal conferenced with La’Britney to discuss her forthcoming television show, motherhood, and entrepreneurship. As she juggles business ventures, La’Britney wants to show her fans what is possible if you remain “a true believer.” Here is what we learned.
The Knockturnal: La’Britney, you have independently released two projects, La’vintage and Never Fold. What has that process taught you about the business behind your music?
La’Britney: As an artist and a businesswoman — Yes, I am an independent artist — I have learned a lot. Ashley, [my manager], and I have been best friends since middle school. We have been working with one another our whole lives. We have been building LaNation Entertainment.
The Knockturnal: What is LaNation up to presently?
La’Britney: We are concerned with my career as an artist and a budding actress. So, this affects her career as a manager. We have been together for the last twelve years. I wear both hats. The artist side of me allows me to get excited about my work.
It is like, “I want the music out now!” My past projects taught me business-wise the importance of preparing, planning, and properly executing. Still, I am happy I went for it. A lot of times, as an artist, you tend to want things to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect.
Sometimes [perfectionism] can delay your progress. You are consistently trying to fix something, and it is like, “Look! You have to just put it out to the world.” I hear what listeners think about it. Something that you hate — they may love.
The Knockturnal: Yes, but I understand the need to be thorough. Someone being first is not always an indication that they are the most qualified.
La’Britney: Yes, it is about taking the time to prepare, plan, and execute properly. I do this while still staying in my creative bag, too. I am so excited about my next project. The most beautiful thing, to me, is watching my evolution. Every time it gets better.
La’vintage was put out independently. We distributed that on our own. Then the EP, Never Fold, was released after we linked up with EMPIRE. We did a distribution deal through them. The next project will be distributed independently, but I am excited to see what this project will be like in comparison.
The Knockturnal: You are a multihyphenate, but credit yourself as a mother first. How does this responsibility fuel your entrepreneurial endeavors?
La’Britney: As a mother, I have to develop patience. I mean a real sense of patience. You know? It helps me as an artist and as a businesswoman. This is the game of hurry up and wait.
The Knockturnal: Who are you tellin’?
La’Britney: It does not matter if we are shooting a music video. If I am on set shooting a TV show, it will not matter if I am present for 6 to 10 hours. It may take that long — before I can sit in front of a camera. And I have two sons.
Okay, I had my first son when I was 14 years old. Now they are teenagers. My eldest is 17. My youngest is 13. Now I am dealing with these damn attitudes — these personalities turn from boys to men. Lord knows! [Laughs]
The Knockturnal: I am a product of a teenage mom. By the time she was my age, I was half of hers. You do not realize those nuances when you are young.
La’Britney: Yes, I have children that depend on me to eat every single day! I can’t give up. I have no choice. It is either I go hard and grow, or I settle. Maybe that would be me getting a day job. I do not know.
But me doing that… would be me giving up. My kids would be seeing me defeated. They watched me build this business since they were born. This way of life is all they know.
So, it teaches them and me to stick to it. Keep going, no matter what. This is especially true when you have people depending on you for their every meal. They are my little broke best friends. [Laughs]
The Knockturnal: Your forthcoming single, “Ducked Off,” was produced by DJ Camper & Price. What was your time like together in the studio?
La’Britney: The song was written by all three of us. My experience working in the studio with Camper was very elevating. As a producer and artist — he is gifted musically. To work with someone musically, that has the gift that Camper possesses [inspired growth]. I learned!
The Knockturnal: What did you learn?
La’Britney: This lesson is encompassed [regarding] artistry, production, writing, melody-wise, and more. He would talk to me. “La’Britney, you just so chill. When you walk into the studio, you come in here with a T-shirt, sweat pants, and a bun,” he said.
“That is the artist we want to see. This girl who is here in the studio is also who we want to see on television.” The studio with him is a well-rounded experience. It helps you grow as an artist and as a woman. I appreciate our relationship.
The Knockturnal: What can fans anticipate from you musically?
La’Britney: Oh, man! This is R&B vibes. There will be feel-good music. It is those songs that you are going to be able to clean the house to on repeat. You can listen to this music in the car, while you are in traffic.
The Knockturnal: Okay, you have replay tracks.
La’Britney: It will be on repeat because the music is very relatable. I always talk about things I am going through in my life. It talks about detaching myself from a relationship to be able to focus on myself and growth. I had to duck off, so I can be a better me. It is helpful to everyone around me.
The Knockturnal: On social media, you spread positivity. Why is it essential for you to keep fans uplifted?
La’Britney: It is essential just to keep myself uplifted. I do know that when you speak life, it grows. The type of energy you put out is the type of energy you receive. Manifestation is a real thing. I want to manifest all the good things. I want all things positive, and all things of God. You know?
The Knockturnal: You are trying to be the light.
La’Britney: I have a voice that reaches! I put my thoughts out to the world. I do know that it inspires and motivates the people around me. They tell me every day.
It can be received by way of a DM, fans messaging me, them coming to my show. It is so crazy. The smallest thing you do can have an impact on someone’s life. I want to continue to spread positivity and life amongst everybody globally.
The Knockturnal: What does the word influencer mean to you?
La’Britney: When you are able to have influence, you can affect the way someone thinks, walks, eats, and the way they dress. It is merely affecting someone or something. To me, that is all influencing is. I know that people look up to me.
This extends as a mother, dancer, and singer. People look up to me for the positive energy that I feed to people. That is simply what having influence [should be]. It is people who look to you for something, and you influence the way that they move through life.
The Knockturnal: You also are an actress.
La’Britney: Oh, do not call me an actress yet, because I just took my first acting class yesterday. [Laughs]
The Knockturnal: This is what is en route. It is what you are manifesting. No?
La’Britney: Absolutely! I am an actress. [Laughs] Yes! I am an actress now, for sure. I’m excited about this new door that I am opening. I’m a perfectionist. I want to study the craft and hone the skills. I just started, and I will be in there three to four days a week.
The Knockturnal: It is not what you are called — it is what you answer to — you are an actress.
La’Britney: I am so excited to see my growth. Yes, I have already done movies. There is work of mine on Amazon Prime. I have been on multiple TV shows. Still, that is reality TV.
And reality TV is still scripted. [Laughs] You feel me? I be acting on reality TV. This is different. Now I am looking to land scripted TV and movie roles. You know I am looking to develop as an actress.
The Knockturnal: Previously, your single, “Actin’ Funny,” was a success. What did the viral collab set the tone for?
La’Britney: “Actin’ Funny” was fun. Kash Doll and I linked up. It was great energy. We have fun every time we performed it. The people loved the song. It was just a certain type of life that “Actin’ Funny” gave off… that I knew the people could relate to.
It was dope to see when my first music video hit a million views on YouTube. I can remember not being able to get one hundred views on a video. “Actin’ Funny” was another stepping stone. It was another accomplishment that I feel I checked off on my list.
The Knockturnal: What came first, the rapping or singing?
La’Britney: Singing came first, and then I started rapping. I was not as confident as a rapper. I was like, “I do not know how to rap.” Then I began to try different melodies. I got in the studio with a couple of producers.
They’d say, “Yo! La’Britney, rap this.” I learned. Shit, I just started flowing. When you listen to my music — that is why it is a combination of melodic sounds and rap. I go in and out. I have some sound where I am singing on the hook and rapping on the verse. It is diverse. It is my style. I do both!
The Knockturnal: Who builds out the storyboards for your music videos?
La’Britney: It starts with me. I build my files. Sometimes I will put together a Pinterest board. When they look at my bedroom, my friends go off on me. Most women our age have these beautiful, fancy, and relaxed-ass bedrooms.
The Knockturnal: I love my bedroom. [Laughs]
La’Britney: Trust! My bedroom is still nice. However, my keyboard is at the foot of my bed. There is a microphone near my bed. My wall is covered in whiteboards. That is literally all I do.
Sometimes I dream about some shit. Yes, an idea will pop up, and go write it down on my whiteboard. The pictures always start really with me in my head, and then I can take it to whoever I may be working with at that time to execute it and bring it to life.
The Knockturnal: In what ways is your project en-route your best yet?
La’Britney: It is a much more mature sound than previous music that I have released. There is elevated production. My tone on these tracks is very chill. The project is giving you vulnerability lyrically. This is in reference to me speaking about a man. I have had vulnerable music before.
However, most of my music talks about the hardships of love. Yes, the struggles of life. This music features more relationship vulnerability. It is that type of vibe.
I dig into my love life, which I do not have much of. I usually do not do that. Now that is the vibe! The forthcoming release is going to give you a 90s R&B feel. This is going to be “Sittin’ Up In My Room” by Brandy. Think Monica, too. We are giving those vibes and that energy.
The Knockturnal: Detroit, what should your fan base know about your city?
La’Britney: When you come from our city, we are relentless. We are the true definition of making something out of nothing. Yeah, we are notorious for making something out of nothing. In Detroit, we do not have [the same] opportunities. It is not sunny days, and palm trees like it is here in California. It is night and day.
The Knockturnal: The urgency in California is different.
La’Britney: What I love about Detroit, though — it teaches you how to get it out the mud. You know what I mean? My friends and I get this shit in our little apartments, having meetings, and putting our brands together.
It is literally just building this shit up! Nothing was given to us. We gotta go take it. That is what people should know about Detroit. You can’t stop us. We gon’ get it — every single time.
The Knockturnal: You have a soft tone when you sing and a bold reputation following your days as a Love & Hip Hop Hollywood cast member. Why do you feel it is essential for the mainstream to see this?
La’Britney: I am a Gemini. [Laughs] I think that explains best. That probably answers the whole question.
The Knockturnal: There is a new reality TV series, Notorious Queens, soon-to-release. What should viewers know about it?
La’Britney: Notorious Queens represents four Black women who are entrepreneurs. Two of us are from Detroit. The other two women are from California. We tell our stories. We talk about the things we have endured in relationships.
Also, there is an emphasis on what we do as women, businesswomen, trials, and highlights. There are ups and downs, being a Black woman trying to survive in the cold world. It is uplifting, classy, and inspiring. Nonetheless, it is still reality TV.
There will always be drama, but it is not tacky, wack shit. I am excited about this show. It is one of the best productions I have ever been a part of. I am so happy and thankful to have this opportunity. I am incredibly grateful with thoughts [concerning] COVID-19, as there have been people who have not worked all year.
The Knockturnal: 2020 was a trying year. What is your message to women in these most sensitive times?
La’Britney: Focus! Right now is the time to really sit down and learn yourself. That is what I had to do this year. I had to take some time to focus on La’Britney.
What that did was help me to eliminate a lot of unnecessary baggage that I had. It helped me to prioritize. I questioned, “When the world shuts down — who do you still have? What do you still have?”
The Knockturnal: Who is La’Britney?
La’Britney: She is a true dreamer. La’Britney is a true believer. I want to be remembered as a woman who was not afraid to be herself. She was one hundred percent herself.
She lived out her dreams. She was not afraid to love people. She was not afraid to speak her mind. That is how I want to be remembered. Period.