Since debuting back in the 2001 with the single “Bizounce,” Jamaican-born, Queens-raised singer Olivia has had a bumpy road to R&B success. As a cast member on VH1’s new reality show “Love & Hip-Hop,” she’s made friends… and frenemies. Most importantly, she’s showing viewers the challenge of becoming a respected R&B artist without getting her hands dirty in scandal and drama. Olivia chatted with Parlour about her beef with the other “Love” ladies, her music and whether black women are the new Flavor Flav.
PARLOUR: How did you join the “Love & Hip Hop” cast?
Olivia: Mona Scott-Young, the executive producer of the show and a friend of mine, called me when the show was still “Jim & the Family Jones.” When I met Chrissy, Jones’ girlfriend, for the first time, we hit it off. Then the show was changed and it became about the women, their careers and finding themselves and relationships.
What’s going on with you, Somaya and Emily on the show?
I don’t have a relationship with Somaya, never have. The show was the first time I met her and we don’t talk. I met Emily a little before taping the show and we were trying to build a friendship, but you see everything that’s been going on in the show. We’re cool now, I don’t have any issues with Emily.
How did you feel when Darrelle Revis tweeted that you two weren’t dating after you mentioned your relationship on the show?
That was an old situation, we actually taped the show last year. He probably didn’t know how they were going to edit the show. I told everyone we’d broken up but I knew they were going to use the footage, so there was nothing I could do about it because they are going to do stuff for ratings.
With the rise of female-dominated reality shows like “Basketball Wives,” how do you feel about the way reality shows depict black women?
I don’t think it’s the way they depict black women because it’s what some black women give on screen. You don’t see me arguing with everybody and that’s why you see me walk away because I won’t argue with a fool. You give them the stuff they’re going to use on TV. If you see people acting like that, that’s because that’s really how they are.
How’s the reaction to your new single “December”?
It’s great! All people talk about on my Twitter page is how much they like “December.”
After ten years in the music business, what have you learned?
You have to be strong and a little cockiness doesn’t hurt. Sometimes you can be taken advantage of if you don’t know what you are doing. I learned a lot from 50 Cent in that sense, I needed to learn the business. When I came on the scene I was naive, I never knew the politics now I understand all of that.
What do you want people to take away from your new album, Show The World?
Real R&B music. I appreciate all the support from my fans. I wish they would’ve noticed my talent sooner but everybody has their time. My time is now.
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