Few music groups can say that all of their members were hand-selected by the iconic Sean "Diddy" Combs. There are also a small percentage of groups that can boost that they are certified platinum-selling artists. But, Danity Kane -- consisting of Dawn, Aundrea, D. Woods, Aubrey and Shannon -- are an exception, reaching that feat with their successful self-titled debut album.See Also:
Formed on the third installment of the MTV's "Making The Band" reality series, this quintet is no stranger to the cameras of the small screen. And to further back up that, they are back with "Making The Band: Battle of The Sexes."
With cameras rolling and once again being under the watchful eye of Diddy himself, the ladies have moved into a lavish Miami mansion, alongside side their newest male cast members of the MTB franchise, to record their sophomore release, Welcome To The Dollhouse, which slated for a March 2008 release.
In the wake of all this, BallerStatus.com caught up with DK's Dawn, Andrea and Aubrey for some girl-talk on music, guys, hair, success, fighting and what it takes to really make a band.
BallerStatus.com: Tell me what's the premise for competition between Danity Kane, Donny Klane and MTB male group on "Making The Band: Battle Of The Sexes."
Dawn: Well, it's not a competition. Diddy named it, "Battle Of The Sexes," but we all love each other and don't look at it as a competition. I think, for the most part, Diddy wants to show what it's like when you have so many artists coming out at the same time. There's a process to who comes out and who becomes his first priority. It's like a race. That's kind of what the show is about. [Diddy] is just showing the process of how an album comes out.
BallerStatus.com: You guys had only three weeks to record your new album. As platinum-selling artists, how did you feel about being given such a short period of time, by your label, to put your album together?
Aundrea: Actually, people never record albums is such a short period of time, but it's kind of something we just had to do and didn't really have a choice and we did it. We worked really hard on this album and it came out fantastic. We worked with amazing people like Brian Cox and Scott Storch. It just came out really, really good. We're really proud of it. We grew up a lot with this record and it's really Danity Kane, at this time right now. This time we got to write on the record. We got to really put our input into it. It's a full dance record and we're so proud of it.
BallerStatus.com: What's the best and worst part of living with six guys?
Dawn: The best part was just singing and learning all about music. It was like being in an art school, so many different personalities and you learn so much about your craft. I don't think there was anything bad. I mean, I think it was an interesting thing, because when you put guys and girls together, they're gonna have little relationships here and there.
BallerStatus.com: Speaking of which, are any of you in relationships with any of the MTB male group members? I know we saw in the previews of "MTB: Battle Of The Sexes," Aubrey and Donnie kissing and Dawn and Q pairing off...
Dawn: Um, [Q and I are] not together, we're just really close friends. We developed a chemistry. You'll see when you watch the show, our chemistry is just really undeniable. He's a great looking guy and he's sweet, but that's all it is -- a friendship. And [Aubrey and Donnie] are just friends. They're not together.
Cast photo of Danity Kane from "Making The Band 4"; Photo: MTV
BallerStatus.com: Between your season of "MTB" and the male group's season, Diddy prepared you both very differently. You had Jason move into your home, who notoriously yelled at all of you. The guys had Michael Bivens, who seemed to be more of a support for them. Did you feel that the competition to make the band was harder for you girls?
Aubrey: I mean, I think whatever went on with us made us strong and whatever when on with [the guys] made them strong. I don't think either one was better than the other. But I do think that Diddy was harder on us, but that's because he has really hard expectations on women. He wants perfection at all times. And you know, sometimes your hair's not always gonna be perfect and so, you know, it is what it is.
BallerStatus.com: Diddy gives you girls different criticism on your appearance throughout the seasons of "MTB." How does his style suggestions for your appearance get handed down to you from the label? Or does Diddy tell you himself?
Dawn: Yea, he does it himself. You know what, as women we're really strong and we're very firm on what we believe. We listen to his suggestions and we respect them. We respect that we are at a label and image is a big issue in the industry, but we also believe in standing firm in what we believe in and what we think is beautiful for yourself. But 9 times out of 10, we color our own hair and if we like it, we'll keep it. If [Diddy] says to dye it, we'll meet him somewhere in the middle. We'll make some changes here and there, to make Diddy feel OK, but for the most part if we like it, we'll keep it.
BallerStatus.com: Your bodies seem to always have to be on point for Diddy. What's your work out regimen like?
Dawn: We work out together or separately. What's crazy is, we love to work out. Whether it's a dance class or it's a regular work out, we love running and cardio, so for us it's not hard.
BallerStatus.com: Some of those dance classes, used to be taught by "MTB" chorographer Laurie Gibson. How did you feel about the episode where Diddy fired her from the show and have you spoken with her since then?
Aubrey: Um, I really didn't get a chance to see that one. She was really great to us and she was a really big part of what we've become. We wish her great stuff to come. We haven't really gotten a chance to work with her since then, we've been busy and she's been busy, as well.
BallerStatus.com: Viewers rarely get to see Danity Kane beefing with each other. That unity is something that is very hard for a lot of groups, especially with women. What's the secret to keeping peace within the group?
Dawn: We work really, really hard to make this relationship work. And honestly, it doesn't always work and we fight and we argue and sometimes we can't be in each other presence, because we're so angry and so hurt. But at the end of the day, we love each other and that's what sisters go through. I think, when you force it, it falls apart if it's not real. And we had to learn that, because we forced it, at first. We really had to come from an honest place. Sometimes we had to sit back and fight and talk about how we feel. It's like a marriage, you have to work at it. That's how we came to really care about each other. At the end of the day, if we duke it out, we'll fight, we'll cry and sometimes we'll feel we want to leave. But at the end of the day, once we get together on stage and sing together, we remember why we're really here. And it works every time.
BallerStatus.com: You co-wrote six songs on this new album. I know sometimes it's not easy for groups to talk their labels into letting them write on their album. Was this something you fought for?
Dawn: We wrote six songs and vocally arranged with Jim Beans, who is amazing. He basically put this sound together for this new album. He worked with us on the last album and we begged him to come back for this album. He did an amazing job. He was very in-touch with every girl and you will hear every girl on this album.
Aubrey: We really fought for it. [The label] wasn't going to let us and just kept going, saying, "Please let us do it." We put the work in and we're so glad that we were able to put ourselves in this album.
BallerStatus.com: You guys just got off of a major tour with Christina Aguilera, as her opening act. How was that and did you form any friendship with Christina, or was she reserved?
Aundrea: When we were on the tour, everyone was really nice and we had a few, kind of, wild nights, but [Christina] is a little more private. When we were coming off stage, she was getting ready and stuff. So, we didn't get chance to socialize too much, but she was really nice and we're huge fans of hers. Just to see what she does on stage, every night, is crazy. We're blessed to be able to go on that tour and learn from something like that. She's someone we look up to.
BallerStatus.com: What's a constant thing you hear when fans of the show approach you?
Dawn: Well, we always hear with Aundrea, "Oh, you and your boyfriend..." and she hates that. She doesn't want to be known for that. D. Woods hates the episode where Diddy goes after her about her weight, because she not even thick at all. She's beautiful size. I know Aubrey hates it when they call her, "Pretty Pretty Aubrey," from that episode. She doesn't want to be known as that. Right? We all had those episodes, but it what it is.
BallerStatus.com: When you appeared on Hot 97's Morning Show with Miss Jones, she told you on air that you all were wack and gave you a pretty unfavorable review. Was it hard for you to keep your composer and bite your tongue from not responding?
Aubrey: It was really hard and we took it pretty hard. But now thinking about it, we don't think much of it. People are going to say what they think, but we keep it moving. For every person that doesn't like us, there's others that do and we just gotta believe in that. It only makes us stronger in the end.
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