My interview with actress, singer and Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Demetria McKinney to discuss her new single “Easy” as well as her forthcoming debut album Officially Yours, Saints & Sinners, and more! “Easy” is available everywhere music is purchased online. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/easy-single/id1189165178?app=itunes / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzsTXa0ZjWI
Terrance - You play Tamara Austin in season one on Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners, tell us how did that come about.
Demetria McKinney - Tamara was supposed to be on for four episodes and make her exit but the writers loved what I was bringing to the character and so they decided to extend the storyline to where I’m now a season regular on season two. It’s been great you know? Being part of something innovative because this is the first time Bounce has really, really done something like this so it’s been awesome and exciting and the way they’ve been able to up the ante in season two versus the amazing ratings in season one, I can’t wait for you guys to see that and that comes out March 7th.
Terrance - Followers of the show were wondering about season two so thanks for confirming that.
Demetria McKinney - Oh yeah, that’s definitely coming.
Terrance - Tyler Perry’s House of Payne was a major breakout for you in TV, but do you think people tend to confuse the Janine character with your real life?
Demetria McKinney - All the time (laughs). I have to remind people that I have never touched a crack pipe, I do not have four children. I love playing Janine in the sense that she made me feel more aware of choice. Her addiction was brought on by one choice to try something she shouldn’t have but just like she made that choice, she made the choice to come off of it, she made the choice to love again and to reconnect and to grow as a woman and to become a career woman and all of these other things so that was incredible and yes it was my breakout role but it’s a role I will never, ever forget.
Terrance - I know you recently opened for R. Kelly on the Black Panties Tour, what was that experience like?
Demetria McKinney - It was amazing having a legend believing in you enough as a novice in the entertainment industry to the point where they share the stage with you is humbling, scary (laughs), it’s electrifying, but to also be able to watch him do what he did and to be able to learn every night from connecting with the crowd and all of that stuff that made him reinvent himself after all these years have been an absolute awesome experience.
Terrance - On the heartfelt ballad, “Talkin About Love” you collaborated with Lyfe Jennings, how did that come about and what was it like working with him?
Demetria McKinney - Oh wow. I’ve been such a fan of Lyfe Jennings for a while, one of my favorite songs from him of course is Must Be Nice and I knew he had a new album coming out and his team actually reached out to me knowing I was an up and coming singer and that was another example of someone giving me a chance. He brought me in the studio in the midst of writing the song and the collaboration came out so pretty. It was such an awesome experience and to do the video and the way it kind of touched people was really cool.
Terrance - Talk to us about the new single “Easy” and the inspiration behind it.
Demetria McKinney - Easy is my first single from the upcoming album Officially Yours. It’s a change from what people think they know about me. It’s sexy, it’s grown, and I’ve been honored people have been calling it a new female anthem. What it’s saying is something I truly do believe in. The pre-hook is “I ain’t no stuck up chick, I ain’t picky I just want what’s best for me I can’t let no one get the best of me unless they want the best for me”. We as women give so much that we forget about ourselves. We forget about what we need in order to replenish what we have to give back to who we give it to you know? And having been in and out of relationships and friendships and being a mom who have to constantly give to a son I realize that I’m deserving of all the great things I give, all the love, all the support, the dream chasing, the soul-stirring stuff, I want it back because I know I deserve it and that’s why it won’t be easy because if you don’t qualify then you ain’t in the running boo! (laughs).
Terrance - Can you briefly share any details about your upcoming album, Officially Yours, what can we expect as far as direction, producers, guest features.
Demetria McKinney - Expect not to know nothing. The beautiful thing about being an actress is you get to walk in everybody else’s story but this is actually my first time really telling the story of Demetria as a woman, as a person, many different facted of me is what you’re going to see. There is no one type of song on the album, it’s whatever i’m vibing to or feeling at the moment you guys are going to get to experience it and that’s why it was so important for my boy Courtlin Jabrae. I Executive Produced it and he was really, really instrumental in having to A&R it and i’m so thankful having the team on board that he has is amazing because putting yourself out there that way can be very scary but at this point I realize my vulnerability is part of my strength and i’m really looking forward to the experience.
Terrance - You and Kandi Burruss-Tucker collaborated on the song “Unnecessary Trouble”. What is it like working with her?
Demetria McKinney - We really got to connect during Real Housewives of Atlanta and that was during such a tumultuous time that it would have been easy to say, you know what? I’m putting her over there in that block with these chicks, but understanding that television is going to show what television wants to show and at the core of it I’ve been a Kandi fan since Xscape. People know about that song but she also have a production on the album called, “B.S.” about what women are feeling so fellas if you’re reading take note to that song, that’s what you don’t do. There’s also a producer by the name Travis Cherry who is amazing and added such a different spice to the gumbo that is my album. I’m just very excited for the opportunity to express myself in so many different ways.
Terrance - Are there any other TV appearances we should look out for?
Demetria McKinney - The Quad which is another show I’m in is currently on BET. Saints & Sinners season two will premiere March 7th on Bounce TV. I got two more really, really big projects that I can’t discuss yet but I'll give you a couple hints if you know anything about who my muze is and if you know anything about my history, those two will give you really good hints as to what’s coming up and what’s to be expected. I’m now the Ambassador for Dark & Lovely - they have their own Au Naturale Line and everybody’s been rocking really hard with me with rocking my own natural hair and I’m so elated to be part of the Dark & Lovely family.
Terrance - Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Demetria McKinney - I want to say thanks to everyone out there reading. You can also follow me @demimckinney on twitter, @demetria4real on instagram, the website is demetriamckinney.com and I just really want to thank my Demetrians and everybody especially people like you who look out for the independent as well as well-known artists, thank you for spreading the love of R&B and the support.