Khasi interviews Grammy nominated artist, Shanice, also of OWN TV”s “Flex & Shanice”.
How have you and your family been all these years?
Everyone is well and doing great, and we are doing fine.
You and your husband have had such a wonderful and long relationship. What have you guys done to keep that spark alive? First of all, whomever you marry, there has to be a great friendship and before we even dated we were really good friends. We enjoyed being around each other, and we prayed a lot. I don’t think without God we would’ve lasted this long. At the same time we love each other, we enjoyed chatting, we try to keep it fun, and we have date night. You can’t get too comfortable. I try to keep myself together because I want to be the same person I was when he married me 15 years ago. When we both got married, we said divorce was not an option. I’m not saying that the sun is always shining. We have had hard times and a lot of couples would’ve probably divorced over some of the things we have gone through. But, you know we just hung in there. We have beautiful kids and a wonderful family, and we just always make it work. And you know my husband is a comedian so he finds humor in everything. I mean, even when we lost our house. We lost everything at one point and were not where we use to be, but things are much better now. But at one point, I mean we literally lost everything and even during the hardest times he kept me laughing. He jokes about everything so we kind of laughed our way through the hard times.
So tell us a little about the projects you are working on and any up projects you may have.
I have been working on my music, and I’ve been doing stage plays here and there, just to keep myself going. I’m excited because we have our new show. It’s simply because seven years ago, I had a vision board. And I wrote on my vision board a check, and I put reality show on it and that was in 2007. And here we are seven years later in 2014, and we have a reality show. It has been sheer craziness just watching it all unfold. I even put Oprah Winfrey’s name on my vision board, along with several other things as well, but it is just amazing to see it all happen.
Your show “Flex and Shanice” is such an inspiration to my generation. Why did you feel this was the right time to bring the world into your home?
Well, I have wanted to do a reality show for a long time. We were thinking about the show, and I prayed about it. Flex felt like we really had a story to tell. However, Flex is the one that finally said you know what, let’s do this. He said, maybe through our story we could help other people that are going through the same thing. This show may help others get through their hard times. So that’s why we decided to do the reality show.
You’re a singer, and actress and you performed in plays. What area have you not tackled in your career?
I’ve always wanted to be a movie star. I would love to do some film work. I’ve done a lot of theater, and I’ve done Broadway, but I’ve never done a movie. That would be really cool; I am working on it. I have to find an agent, and I have to start going on auditions and definitely go and give it a good try.
With both you and you husband growing up in the industry, how did you keep your children so humble and grounded?
I told them the same thing my mom would tell me when I was growing up. You know I was 11 years old when I signed my first record deal and she told me “This may come and go. You cannot totally depend on a music career, or being in the industry. There’s more to life than just that”. My mom always kept me grounded. I guess people get big headed when things are looking great, but you’ve got to always remember where you come from. I think they live a really normal life like. We’re in the industry but we aren’t of the industry. We don’t go to a lot of Hollywood events. We sing and act because it’s our job, and we enjoy doing it when were asked to. After we do our job we come home, and our life is pretty normal. They go to a regular school, and they live a normal life. They hear incidents where there have been other celebrities who just weren’t too nice to their fans, and they’ve always said they’ll always be nice to their fans if they get some. They said that they never want to treat their fans badly, and I said “that’s good” because we want to keep them humble and grounded.
Your daughter, Imani, is almost the age you were when you your singing career was taking off. What would you do to encourage her if she expressed an interest in being a singer or actress?
Well first, I told her that education is always first. She went through a period where her grades were going down a little bit, and we told her if you wanted to be an actress and singer, you had to have good grades. And now she’s making straight A’s; we are really proud of her, but we keep telling her that this industry is no joke. You have contracts thrown at you, and you have attorneys, but you have to be able to read them yourself. You also need to know how to take care of your money. At first, we didn’t like the fact that our kids wanted to be in the industry, because it’s so cutthroat, and you really have to have tough skin. If you don’t, it can really break you. Some kids can’t handle it; we take them to church, and we take them out to make sure that they know there’s more to life than just the industry. You have to be able to accept rejection, and we don’t want them to go through what my husband has been though, but we also don’t want to block what God wants her to do. We just have to protect and lead them along the way.
Looking back over the last 20 years, or so is, there anything you would change about your career or your life in general? No, there is nothing in my career I would change. I have been a part of the biggest record labels from Motown records to A&M Records to LaFace Records. I have traveled the world, Grammy nominated. I have done major things in my career, and I have always wanted to be a businesswoman. The fact that I’m not with a major label pushes me to be that businesswoman I have always wanted to be. I look up to the P. Diddys, the Jay z’s, and Kimora Lee Simmons of this world and still aspired to be that businesswoman. Now I have my own company, and I put my music out on my own label so I don’t a have any regrets. The stuff I have gone through in my career has prepared me for this time right now.
The only thing is financially, my mom and aunt were my managers and they always made sure my taxes were paid, and my finances were straight, and I never had to do any of that stuff; it was always done for me. So, when I got married, I wasn’t on top of my finances; I got comfortable and when the money was running low, I didn’t really notice. Everything was paid and there was money in the bank but that is one thing I do regret is not staying on top of my finances. Now this go around, I can do things right.