D. Woods of Danity Kane sits down with D. Shanks of HHNLive.com to discuss her Rap aspirations, the status of Danity Kane, working with Diddy, outselling Christina Aguilera AND Outkast and much more.See Also:
D. Woods on her Rap mixtape: "Aubrey (Danity Kane) did a feature. Aubrey's rapping! Don't even front...she's the new Eminem right now!"
D. Shanks: Before we get started I just want to let you know that I requested this interview personally. I don't usually interview R&B folks. I usually interview "hardcore rapper dudes"...
D. Woods: Well I am a hardcore rapper! You ain't hear my mixtape?
D. Shanks: (Laughs) I told my editor I was a fan... not of Danity Kane per say, I'm a fan of D. Woods.
D. Woods: Why not? Why are you not a fan of Danity Kane? Danity Kane is an extension of me.
D. Shanks: Danity Kane is cool I guess but I'm a fan of you.
D. Woods: Well if that makes you buy a record then I guess it's ok (laughs). Ask your first question before you get led astray.
D. Shanks: Aiight...let's start from the beginning. What led you to the Making The Band audition? What were you doing prior to MTV?
D. Woods: I was doing exactly what you see me doing now just on a different playing field and in a different arena. I was dancing... actually the day before the audition I was dancing for an artist that was like Snoop's protégé. His name is Ooh Wee. We were on the How the West was Won Tour...the US leg. So I was dancing. I danced for a few artists because I guess you could say dance is my first language. Like if I could speak English, French and Spanish, I would say dancing is my first language, singing would be my second and acting would be my third language. I can speak all of them very fluently; however, I'm most at home with dance because I've been doing it the longest.
D.Woods: Yeah I started dancing when I was 3 and the other talents just kind of fell into place. I didn't really have a person in my life that made me feel that those things were separate. My instructors, my parents, all encouraged me and my sister to do it all. So we were really blessed to be supported in that way.
D. Shanks: Well speaking of everything falling into place right...everything on you seems to fall into place very well...
D.Woods: What do you mean?
D.Shanks: Your body...
D.Woods: ooohh, don't be fresh now!
D. Shanks: I wanted to go back to an episode of Making The Band where it seemed like Puff and/or you were having some issues with your body type...I can think of that specific episode when you came out...
D. Woods: I know which one you're talking about...
D.Shanks: Well the question is: How did you deal with that during the show and are you still dealing with it now?
D. Woods: The only way I'm dealing with it now is when people ask me about it or bring it up. What's funny is...I just knew he was gonna come for me for some reason. Because I didn't really have any particular problem or issue while we were doing the competition. He never pinpointed me about my body type during that point. He was looking at other girls and some of them I was looking at like "we're basically built the same so I don't see why he's looking at you and not at me but I'm good." "I'm good with how I am and you look fine too so he's trippin'." There was a couple times during the competition where he would put me up against Denash or Shaquita because we had that same body type. You know the Venus and Serena Williams, Flo Jo type bodies. And he would always say "there can't be more than one of you in the group" so I guess I won out but I felt like he would bring it up at some point. When it actually happened that was like the first week that the group was put together. There were a lot of things that were going through my head when it was happening. It was like "what do I say?" "No, you probably shouldn't say that." "He is still in charge..." But it got to a point where I really started to feel disrespected. I'm feeling like he could have handled it a little better. Like this is just humiliation for humiliation sake. And how do you really express that to someone like Puff? Especially when you don't have that type of relationship with him. So people think I was just crying because he said some harsh words to me but there were a lot of other things that came into play. I wrote an essay about it that you can read on my myspace page, www.myspace.com/yagirldwoods The name of the essay is "Brick House Confessions".
D.Shanks: Now the album was pretty successful, you (Danity Kane) opened up for Christina Aguilera on tour...
D. Woods: We passed her numbers our first week you know. That's how we ended up getting the no. 1 position.
D.Shanks: Oh yea you did! And then you opened up for her on tour. That wasn't even my question but how was that? That had to be crazy!
D. Woods: I mean that was a crazy coincidence because two people that we really respect in music, Christina and OutKast, we ended up passing that first week. The high school I graduated from here in Atlanta, Tri-City HS, is the high school that OutKast went to so you can imagine I was like "yo these are like my idols and I passed them in the soundscan? Are you crazy?" Then opening up for Christina Aguilera was great.
D. Shanks: Yea she packs them in. She does big arenas! That had to be a crazy experience. You were already touring as a dancer with artists but this had to be different.
D.Woods: Yea I was wearing a different hat this time. I knew the ropes because I had done it before but I never done it like that before where it was like "this is my soundcheck. This is my bus. These are my little snacks in my dressing room."
D. Shanks: So the band is still in tact? Is there still a Danity Kane?
D. Woods: I don't know where that came from but it ain't true. No one has left the group. Everyone is good!
D. Shanks: Ok. Well then why am I talking to you?
D. Woods: Because you like me?
D. Shanks: I do like you.
D. Woods: (laughs) Yea I know that's the question you really wanted to ask me but we got into some other pertinent information. But I know the rumor (of our break-up) stems from some of the other things that I have been involving myself with. Like I told you in the beginning, I got bars. I got a mixtape son and I'm rapping! I got a writing team here in Atlanta called The Girls Club. We did a mixtape called The Girls Club Mixtape: Vol. 1 and basically it's some remixes we did of other songs, some original material, and some stuff we did with other female artists cause The Girls Club is more like a movement. It's an alliance of females in the industry who are doing the damn thing. You have myself, you have Shanell aka SNL , she just signed with Compound Entertainment, that's Neyo's camp, and we have my girl Mika Means who has a lot of things out here and overseas. We took the opportunity to join forces a while ago and support each other's careers and along the way we picked some other female artists to work with. We are spreading our wings and trying to do a lot because everyone says that females can't work together...like you were trying to get the dirt on Danity Kane breaking up... but anyway, you can check out the mixtape on The Girls Club's myspace page,
www.myspace.com/thegirlsclub07 You can listen to some tracks...Aubrey (Danity Kane) did a feature. Aubrey's rapping! Don't even front...she's the new Eminem right now!
D. Shanks: Wow!
D. Woods: So also with the mixtape and all the writing projects that I'm involved in, I'm also gearing up to do a workout series which ties into your concern with my body (laughs). It involves another partner in crime of mine, Torwa Joe. She's a personal trainer and dancer and we teamed up while I was doing the competition stuff for Making The Band. I knew her before that so I had to go to my home girl because she understands me and where I come from. She knows I'm a dancer and I'm not trying to be in the gym getting all buff. So she got into what I like to do, what I don't like...because usually dancers don't like to work out for some reason.
D.Shanks: Probably because you're dancing all the damn time so I would assume being all sore (from working out) is not a good look.
D. Woods: No it's not! So we came up with a lot of quick, on the go, workouts for me to do and then out of the results...cause it didn't take too long to see the results...we were like, "we might need to package this up and put it on the market." So that's what we're gearing up to do. The first series is called Crunk Abs.
D.Shanks: Crunk Abs?
D. Woods: Crunk Abs! We have a promo on YouTube.
D. Shanks: So it's about young ladies with curves...helping them to know what to keep, what to tone up. It's not some go crazy and lose 50 pounds...
D. Woods: Naw, because I'm not the type of person who would tell anyone that in order to make it in this business you have to lose 15 pounds. People have told me that and I didn't like it. Especially women of color, it's like the standards are so out of whack and they just don't understand that certain things aren't going anywhere. So it's just how to tone up and how to be the best you.
D. Shanks: Ok. I have to ask about the Lloyd video.
D. Woods: The Lloyd video...what about it?
D. Shanks: You know your stock rose real heavy in the hood after that video right?
D. Woods: That was good wasn't it?
D.Shanks: I was getting calls...I'm just gonna confess that I've been on you for a second.
D. Woods: mmmhmm?
D.Shanks: But a lot of dudes were sleeping.
D. Woods: We had to wake them up!
D. Shanks: I know you're getting approached off of that.
D.Woods: Yeah. It's so funny because Lloyd was one of the artists that I danced for. So just in making that contact which was like a year before I did Making The Band, we kept in contact and he was in transition so he was like supportive of me when I was trying to do my thing and I was like "he's about to do his thing and come back out so I gotta show him some support." He asked me to do the video and I was like "yeah. When do I need to be there. What day, what time and what am I wearing." So that's how we did it.
D.Shanks: Hmmm. So that's like a nice little working relationship?
D. Woods: Yeah. Yeah. He's actually about to go on the road for the Scream...I don't know what number it is...Scream Tour, and my accomplice, SNL is actually helping him out put his show together along with his other choreographer. So we keep it all in the family. In our circle of friends and everyone is uplifted and working. Because we all know there's gonna be a time where I need some help so I better help out when I can.
D. Shanks: True. Now speaking of choreographers, I have to ask because this just happened recently. The Lori Ann (Gibson) episode of Making The Band 4. Do you have any thoughts on that? Did you see it?
D. Woods: I actually didn't see it but I heard about it when it happened and I was shocked. I was in shock and I really don't have any words on it cause I don't want to...
D. Shanks: I understand. You're under contract. (Laughs)
D. Woods: (laughs) yeah. There you go. I was shocked like everybody else was and I hope they work it out.
D. Shanks: So that's not something that you would say is atypical in the camp (Bad Boy)?
D. Woods: I mean I've never experienced anything like that. So that's why I was shocked.
D. Shanks: Ok. So going back to all the new ventures you have going on. Do you have any concerns that you might lose your pop audience with the stuff you're doing now? I'm assuming it's more edgy. You said you're spitting so it must be more edgy.
D. Woods: Well it definitely is more edgy but then I am the edgy one in the group. So I don't think it will be shocking to anybody and if it is I would just say...sorry? I got a lot of positive feedback from the mixtape. You have to take into consideration that out of the five girls (in Danity Kane) I'm the one that's always wearing the uptowns (writer's note: Uptowns are Nike Air Force One sneakers) and the bamboo earrings so I don't think people's perception would be that far away from what they expect from me. And anyway, that's good cause it's all about spreading your wings and doing new and exciting things. Hopefully, I won't lose any fans.
D.Shanks: You might lose some but you might gain some in another light. Either way you have no fear I see.
D. Woods: The worst thing to do is to not try and then you're always wondering, "what if." At least I'll know. I'll find out.
D. Shanks: What does Puff think?
D. Woods: I actually haven't heard directly from him what he thinks of the mixtape. I'm not even sure if he's heard it yet. Puff's a very busy man. I think they probably feel the same way I do; that I'm the more "urban" one (in the group). I just did something for Gorilla Zoe (Block Entertainment/Bad Boy recording artist). I just did a feature for his upcoming album so if they didn't think it was cool for me to be involved in a project like that... I think that me having a mixtape and saying more edgy things, I'll be fine.
D. Shanks: You also mentioned acting. Is anything popping off with that? Are you reading scripts?
D. Woods: I am. I'm reading scripts and delving back into my acting roots cause that's a large part of my background. Theatre and the stage. Just trying to hone in on my skills again and stay sharp cause if you don't use it you lose it.
D.Shanks: Ok so what would be your preference? Theatre/Stage? TV? The Big Screen (Movies)?
D. Woods: I really have my aspirations set on the big screen because that is something that I haven't been involved in as much as I want. I did a cameo in Stomp The Yard and I did some smaller background stuff before Making The Band and I just caught the bug and I wanted to do some more. It's like the actor hustle, the artist hustle, the dancer hustle; you have to be very focused because you'll just run yourself crazy so I was like "I'll come back to that one." But I definitely want to get into film and I want to get back to the stage because a lot of artists are venturing into that world now. Usher did Chicago, Fantasia is doing The Color Purple...but it's a large commitment and I don't want to jump in until I'm ready.
D.Shanks: So in the next 5 years what mark are you trying to leave in the game? I can see that you're trying to be a triple threat or quadruple threat.
D. Woods: I am a triple threat. That's definitely my goal. I want to be a household name. Not just to be famous cause you can be famous for a whole lot of things and they're all not good. I want my work, my talent, my creative projects to inspire fans and little girls watching like when I was a little girl watching in my bedroom. That's why I work so hard at what I do because I know there is a little girl somewhere watching in her basement trying to flip over a chair the way I used to try when I was watching Janet Jackson. That's definitely how I want my legacy to be made.
D.Shanks: Ok. So one last time let's make sure we got everything straight. Danity Kane is still together.
D. Woods: Mmmhmm
D. Shanks: No one knows when they're putting out new music because D. Woods is trying to take over the world.
D. Woods: I'm taking over the world with Danity Kane. Just stay tuned. There are a lot of things in the works. We just can't talk about everything.
D. Shanks: Everyone is good at Bad Boy. Puff is good with D. Woods doing her thing.
D Woods: Yeah...Oh I have one other thing to add to all the extra curricular activities I do. I just did something with Flow TV (www.flow.tv). It's an online lifestyle, behind the scenes, show. I hosted it for the entire month of July so it might be too late to catch it online. It's also a part of Time Warner and Comcast Cable On Demand options so you can try and check it out.
D.Shanks: Any last words for your fans? Let them know how they can reach you again.
D. Woods: Once again, you can get a hold of me on my myspace pages. Either the Danity Kane page, which is
www.myspace.com/DanityKane or my page, which is www.myspace.com/yagirldwoods or
www.myspace.com/thegirlsclub07 And the Enter D. Woods site will be ready soon which is all about your girl D. Woods.
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