The Grammy Award-winning soulful singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele is at an exciting place in her personal life and career right now. She and her longtime manager, Doug “Biggs” Ellison, recently became engaged and she’s polishing off her fifth (yes, FIFTH!) studio album entitled “Milestone.”
Not only that, but in an exclusive interview with theJasmineBRAND.com, she reveals some tidbits about her progress in shopping her current YouTube series “Becoming Mrs. Ellison” to television networks, her August 2016 wedding’s theme, the “feel” of her latest recordings, and so much more. Peep the excerpts below.
On her upcoming album:
It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be uptempo. The ballads are big ballads with heavy bass lines, so they almost have like a pop feel to them. Nothing is soft and gentle. Everything is hit you over the head.
The most challenging part of making an album is:
Hoping that it’s approved! Now that I have my own record label [Rich Hipster], the approval process is a lot different. Of course, I’m on the board of approval and that makes it a lot easier. But there are still people who are paying for things, funding things, sponsoring things and you wanna make sure that everybody’s happy with the product.
On her wedding’s theme:
I’m gonna do The Great Gatsby theme as the wedding. So it’s gotta be…really just extra. Very grand, very silly, very fun. Very not serious. So I’m hoping that Tamar Braxton is not incredibly busy that day and she can fly in real quick, do a little ditty, do a little dance, and head back to her show.
On the history between she and her fiancée Doug:
We started off as manager and artist 12 years ago way before I got signed. Then we got into the music industry and things got incredibly shaky. Long story short, when it was all said and done, when it was all over, we decided that we didn’t want to be in this music industry alone. So I started my record label and then I was like, ‘I don’t wanna do that without him’ and he didn’t want to do his life without me so we decided to do our lives together.
On the success YouTube series “Becoming Mrs. Ellison”:
I’ve been offered shows since I did ‘R&B Divas: L.A.’ I was offered deals and given money to produce a show myself. We’re talking about now having ‘Becoming Mrs. Ellison’ be the title of the series that I’ll do. I didn’t do that [the web series] to get a show. I’ve been YouTubing for 5 or 6 years since I did my Audrey Hepburn mixtape a few years back. I just love YouTube. I’m a YouTube junkie. That’s why I’ve decided to do my own series.
On fan’s thoughts about her upcoming wedding:
Part of what I’m experiencing is for them [the fans] and as an artist, you decide on your contributions. When you realize that something is meaningful to somebody, you make art from it. That’s what ‘Becoming Mrs. Ellison’ is.
On being a huge fan of Love & Hip Hop New York’s Cardi B:
She is so funny! Cardi B. is just sexy. She’s beautiful and she’s hilarious and then she has all these, like, silly sayings. I follow her on Instagram and sometimes it’s a little like….you feel like you’re misbehaving. I feel like ‘oh am I supposed to see that?’ But you keep scrolling and you’re like ‘AAAHHH!’
On whether or not there would be another “R&B Divas: L.A.,”:
I don’t think so. I don’t think that they’re doing it again. It was a really, really fun time, I think, for all of us. And I think that a lot of us were sad to sort of see it dispel the way it did. But it is what it is and I think we’re on to bigger and better things.
On the Bill Cosby controversy:
So it’s two sides right? One side is a part of our legacy that we’ve created as to what the black family ‘looks like’ he helped to create a new idea. And so I grew up calling my dad Bill Cosby because he wore sweaters and he was at home. He lived with us. So it’s sad to see that image tarnished. But the other side is that he’s human and he did something that really happened in real life whether or not I was there. I can’t decide what actually happened but when humans make mistakes, unfortunately there’s repercussions.”
You can watch the full interview here where Chrisette talks about managing her own multi-faceted company, Rich Hipster, her recording/writing process, and even what her stripper name would be!
By –Liz Cook