My interview with Mrs. Adina Howard. It’s been 20 years since Adina rose to fame delivering feminist anthems like “Freak Like Me”, “(Freak) And U Know It”, “T-Shirt and Panties”. Setting the blueprint for female Hip Hop artists like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and Trina, Adina was frequently met with scrutiny for her overtly sexual themes. Through the adversity and setbacks, she’s back with a new single called, “Bad 4 Me” that’s available everywhere online.
Terrance - Hey Adina Howard. How are you doing?
Adina Howard - Better than good, I’m blessed. Thank you for asking.
Terrance - Tell us about your latest single “Bad 4 Me”. What’s the inspiration behind this song?
Adina Howard - We all have had dysfunctional relationships in some way, shape, form or fashion and this song addresses what a person is going through. The emotional tug of war that takes place when you have a love/hate connection with something and/or someone.
Terrance - Is there still an album in the works? Because I remember awhile back you released a single called, “Switch”.
Adina Howard - Right now an album is not my focus. That’s too much of a financial investment and being that I am independent, I need to spend my resources wisely.
Terrance - Do you think you got a great deal of mileage from your documentary, Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation?
Adina Howard - The documentary wasn’t about seeking attention or getting mileage. The documentary is a labor of love for a young man by the name of Gezus Zaire. He approached me about doing a documentary because he wanted to share my story and shed some light on the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Terrance - Do you think music has embraced the provocative lyrics and images more now than before? You were one to pave the way in the 90’s for the urban scene but was often criticized and television networks even banned your video, “Nasty Grind”.
Adina Howard - Yes, it’s obvious they embrace it more now than before. Look at what the young female artists in R&B and Rap are doing and saying in their music and videos. The criticism that I received was par for the course. The world wasn’t ready for me.
Terrance - What are your thoughts on the current state of R&B?
Adina Howard - For my generation, most would say that it is in dire straits. I think the current state of R&B is where it is supposed to be. We still have great R&B artists’ repping for the genre. Young as well as seasoned artists. However, R&B had to take a back seat to the music that the industry is promoting now. It’s the ebb and flow of life.
Terrance - What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media?
Adina Howard - It depends on who you are and how you’re using it. Personally, I think social media is excessive. I feel it feeds into the microwave mentality of “I can have it sooner than later”. Creating a mentality of impatience, greed and intolerance. I believe it also feeds into ones insecurities because now people are looking to see how many likes, comments and shares one can garner based off of what one has posted. Seeking approval and immediate gratification from people more often than not you don’t know and don’t know you. I can go on and on about how unhealthy life has become due to social media, especially on a personal level. On the flip side, when it comes to business, having that instant feedback is a beautiful thing. Being able to reach the masses is so much easier. Staying connected or establishing connections has become a lot less taxing. When it comes to selling your product and/or brand social media can help make or break it. Social media needs to be used wisely.
Terrance - Who are some of your favorite artists today?
Adina Howard - Tech N9ne, Jessie J., Meghan Trainor, John Legend, J. Moss, Mary Mary, Rihanna, CeCe Peniston. This list is extensive, I love music.
Terrance - Would you do R&B Divas or any reality TV if offered?
Adina Howard - Absolutely, there are some things in the works now. I’m like this, as long as it’s not about foolery and coonery, I’m in.
Terrance - How did the song “T-Shirt & Panties” come about?
Adina Howard - Jamie happened to be in my studio session when I was working on a song for my second album “Welcome To Fantasy Island”. He approached me about the idea for the song T-Shirt and Panties. I told him I was interested and to get it demoed for me so I could hear it. A few days later it was done, I heard it, fell in love with it and the rest is history. I’m grateful that people love the song and can’t get enough of it.
Terrance - What was it like working with Warren G. on “What’s Love Got to Do With It”?
Adina Howard - Honestly, I don’t remember that studio session at all. But I can say he is good people.
Terrance - Let’s reminisce on your debut album, Do You Wanna Ride?, which was released 20 years ago. What was it like recording that album?
Adina Howard - It was like going to work. A lot of long nights and unhealthy food. I would be in the studio from like 2pm till about 3 to 4 am in the morning. Then would have to drive home about an hour away. Then get back up and do it all over again the next day. There wasn’t anything fun about it. I didn’t go to play, hang out with my folk to smoke, drink, chill and crack jokes. I went to the studio to make sure that what I set out to do got done. Being in the studio for me was my job.
Terrance - Did you think “Freak Like Me” would blow up the way it did? Where were you when you heard it on the radio and what was your reaction?
Adina Howard - I didn’t think anything. I just did what I was supposed to do and that was gointo the studio and sing. The first time I heard “Freak Like Me” I was driving down Sunset Blvd. listening to the radio. At first, I was like this song sounds familiar. Then I realized it was me and I got excited. It was short lived because it was on make it or break it and I wanted to hear what people thought about it. All I remember from that moment is one of the radio personalities saying “we’ll have to see if the record label will support it.”
Terrance - Fans have their personal favorites from that album but what’s your favorite and why?
Adina Howard - I don’t have any favorites. I know that may sound disappointing to some, but I don’t.
Terrance - Adina, it was nice chatting with you and the true R&B music lovers look forward to your next venture.
Adina Howard - Thank you and God bless.