MMHighlights was fortunate enough to recently sit down with the songstress. Watch what she had to say and read part one to the interview below.
What is your favorite musical memory?
My my favorite musical memory is when I sang for Bill Clinton when he was the president. It made me feel like a million bucks! lol After I got done showin off my chops he then told me he was also a musician and played the saxophone! I was so young then! Only 11 years old! I look back now and not also feel like my experience was monumental, but also a tad bit comical. ha!
What is the 1st memorable track you heard? What made it memorable to you?
I remember the first time I heard Donnie Hathaway “A song for you” I will never forget that experience. I felt touched, connected, and moved. I feel like God speaks to us through music. Music is therapy but It can also be a guidance if heard with your heart.
What attracted you to music?
I grew up around it, I was born with the gift. I feel like music came out with me when I was born!!
Do you ever feel torn between not caring and just writing your own music; versus doing what’s seen as “hot”?
Never! I only sing what I feel. My music is my expression.
Do you think NYC is still the place to be to foster a career in music?
NYC will always be the place to foster a career in music. New York’s heart beats for music. I love NY!!!!
What’s the best music advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I ever received was from Barbara Streisand when I was a little girl singing in a gospel group called “ALL GODS CHILDREN” – we got this amazing opportunity singing back up with her for a fundraiser. She said to me, “Is singing what you want to do?” And I said yes. She told me to never give up and to love myself. I have applied it. And her wisdom will forever stay with me.
You’re out on the west coast. Would you ever move to NYC?
I would and WILL be moving to NYC! I love NY! Of course the West beats in my heart! It runs through my veins…I want to be an R&B representative on the east coast. The ambassador for the WEST COAST! lol
How do you dress when you perform?
I dress how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I’m hella comfy, and sometimes Im really funky. My outfits can be pretty fun…last show I had I wore a giant bow as a top with high rise skinny jeans, high tops and some fun funky jewelry…it was really cute!
Is there pressure to dress a certain way?
There is always a pressure to dress a certain way…I normally get pressured to be cookie cutter or the queen of the ghetto. I’m neither. I choose my own way.
Do you ever wish you lived in a different decade?
I have to admit, sometimes I wish I had been doing this music thing in the 60’s. The 60’s and 70’s were one of the greatest times for music. Real musicians came from that era.
How do you think music has changed in recent years?
Music is having a roller coaster ride effect. I believe that true music is beginning to be revealed again because of the financial toll the industry is suffering from. Now gimics are seen for what they are, and people are hungry for something real.
Tell us about “Next to Ya”. What does this song mean to you?
Next 2 Ya is a sweet and cute way to let someone you care about know you will never leave their side. We all need a “Next 2 Ya” type of person in our lives. I’m blessed I was able find one at the time! =)
How is it working with Ryan Leslie?
I get asked that all the time…If you havent then you must Watch his youtubes!!! It’s like going into a lab and working with a mad scientist. He’s crazy talented! But the proof is in the pudding!
Congratulations on going into remission and beating cancer. How was it battling cancer?
Thank you my luv! Battling Cancer is an experience that I can never really express fully into words. It was so scary for me and my family, and I would never want anyone to ever go through it, not even my worst enemy! There were times when I felt utterly broken, but I am so blessed to have such a caring and loving God. He surrounded me with so many of His people and I never felt alone. I never gave up hope on my dreams either! After losing my hair to the chemo treatment I would get up in the morning put on a wig, put on some makeup and go out to network! I even did shows! I never and will never give up! =) Its just not my nature.
For those who don’t know, what is non-Hodgkins lymphoma?
It’s an attack on the lymph nodes; those are all over the body and produce what we need to fight sicknesses, so without lymph nodes we are in bad shape. The cancer breaks down the lymph nodes thus breaking down your body. 10 years ago I wouldn’t have made it, but thanks to research and new found studies, I was able to get the correct amount of chemo treatment to fight it off.
How has this experience changed your way of life?
It’s changed my whole course in life. Sometimes I get people who contact me and tell me my story gave them hope or helped them get a better understanding. It affects me the same every time. I’m like “ME????” I can’t lie – I always get emotional but it touches my heart because now I feel like I can really stand for something incredibly positive. I’d like people to be encouraged by my story.
Has it affected or influenced your music in any way?
Absolutely. My music reflects my heart and soul. My new material is clearly a mirror effect of what is going on inside of me.
What’s currently in rotation on your ipod?
Right now I have a lot of praise music. CeCe Winans, Kirt Carr, Donnie McClurklin…earlier I had Kelly Price, Floetry, and Joni Mitchell. Im a bipolar music listener, my moods constantly change. You would be pleasantly suprised as to what I listen to. haha
What’s your musical background?
I grew up in a small black baptist church called Mt Zion in Inglewood, my dad was a deacon. Thats where my musical roots are, gospel. My father then became a pastor of his own homeless ministry on Sunset in Hollywood for many years. I sang for the homeless growing up. I also grew up around the whole Mo-town era. My dad worked for them in the late 60’s and early 70’s, he still had many friends from that time. So I got to experience many different elements of music. I grew up inside of music. My father is also a singer.
Was it difficult for you to get into music having religious parents?
I get asked this question all the time. Religion can make people act pretty ugly sometimes. My family is spiritual, we don’t like religion. We believe its important to have a relationship with God but we believe that Jesus disliked religion too (it separates the body of Christ/His people), so no they never scolded me or frowned on it. Actually my dad understands the grind because he was in it for so many years at Mo-Town.
Your music is typically classified as R&B then pop. Being a white female, do you feel there’s pressure to conform to the latter?
All the time. When I first started…I actually had someone tell me I should learn how to sing “A little more white” because they felt it didn’t fit the way I looked. Haha! I of course laughed.
Have you always been a solo act?
Not always, I use to be in a gospel choir called “ALL GODS CHILDREN” then after that I was invited in many girl groups but I never had a desire to join one. Just wasn’t for me. =)
You’ve written for artists like Omarion. Which do you prefer – writing or performing?
OOOH!!! Thats a hard one! Writing! Because it’s my performance recorded live! hahaha Performing is such a wonderful part of my music! That is such a hard call!!!
You’ll be opening for Day 26. How does that feel?
Very fun! I love opening up for people! Its like…”HI WORLD! LOOK WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER TOO!” lmao!
What’s next for Krys Ivory?
My mixtape!! Working on a mixtape with some of your favorite songs being remixed…Teena Marie, Mary J blige, even a Total and Mase song! It should be pretty interesting! Its gonna gave features like Freeway, Bizzy Bone, Glasses Malone…and more! =) DJ CLUE AND DJ SNS WILL BE HOSTING IT.
I wish success and blessings on everyone! Be positive and in the words of my homegirl Devi Dev from 93.5 KDAY…”BE A BLESSING!!” xoxox, Krys Ivory