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April 16, 2014

Brandy and Ray J Talk About Their 'Family Business'

by Kelly Woo, posted Apr 9th 2010 12:00PM
Brandy and Ray JMixing business with pleasure is usually a bad idea.

But the combo may just work for siblings Brandy Norwood and Ray J in their new VH1 reality TV show 'A Family Business' (premiering Sun., April 11 at 9Pm ET). The singers will be working alongside their mother, Sonja, and father, Willie, while taking on a bigger role in their family's record company, Rn'B Productions.

The siblings spoke to AOL TV about the secret to working with family, what they fight about and whether Ray J's dating show, 'For the Love of Ray J,' will be returning for season 3.Brandy and Ray JMixing business with pleasure is usually a bad idea.

But the combo may just work for siblings Brandy Norwood and Ray J in their new VH1 reality TV show 'Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business' (premiering Sun., April 11 at 9Pm ET). The singers will be working alongside their mother, Sonja, and father, Willie, while taking on a bigger role in their family's record company, Rn'B Productions.

The siblings spoke to AOL TV about the secret to working with family, what they fight about and whether Ray J's dating show, 'For the Love of Ray J,' will be returning for season 3.

How did you come up with the idea for the show?
Brandy: My brother brought the idea to me and to my family, and we were all kind of hesitant at first because with reality TV, your life becomes an open book. We've been pretty private all of our life, so I was a little nervous about that. Reality is just taking off in TV right now. I thought it was a great idea for our family to be captured -- the moments that we have together in business and also personally. The dynamics in our relationships are just so interesting, I felt like it could really inspire a lot of people and also make a lot of people laugh, cry, everything. After [Ray J's] convincing, you know, it worked and I was all for it. I thought it was a great idea.

Is it difficult to mix business with family?
Brandy: That's what it's about. That's what the struggle is: Business and personal. That is the show and that is tough. It has it's up and its downs, but when you're family and you love the people that you love -- that's what matters at the end of the day. I just feel like people are really going to be able to look into our lives and understand us as human beings, not just as entertainers or artists or as just celebrities. I think people are going to get a chance to see the behind the scenes of who we are.



What can you tell us about this first season and the story lines we'll see?
Brandy: I can talk about it a little bit without getting too much in detail because I want you to see the show for yourself. But basically, it's just about Rn'B Productions, it's our production company -- Ray J and Brandy -- and it's about us branding ourselves as a brother and sister team. You also see the individual careers as well just -- Ray in the studio, me in the studio -- and doing our own thing as well .. and then just capturing the special moments that happen in our everyday lives.
Ray J, jumping in: Yep, that's how I feel about it too.

Oh, hi, Ray J ...
Ray J: Yo, how you feeling? Whatever Brandy was saying, she knows what she's talking about.

Do you guys fight? There must have been some sibling rivalry or bickering.
Ray J: Nah, never that. Never that.
Brandy: Oh, we don't fight a lot.
Ray J: When I'm off key or something, she might be like, "Damn Ray, get some notes together ... That sounded terrible." But for the most part, we're all good. We love each other. We're a team. We don't go at it like that.

Is there some little thing that annoys you about each other?
Brandy: Honestly, not really. I don't like it that Ray doesn't tell me everything. I want to know what's going on and he kind of hides certain things from me, and I don't like that. I actually hate that, but that's about it. But other than that ...
Ray J: You know what I'm saying? I got certain things I can't let it be known because I'm out on my hustle.

[Ray J drops off the call]

Brandy and Sy'raiBrandy, how has being a mother influenced your career?
Brandy: Being a mother has influenced my entire life. My daughter is the biggest inspiration in my life. She keeps me on my toes and everything I do is for her and to set an example for her and she's just the light of my life and so everything I do, I have her in mind, of course. Like, "I should do this because that's just how it is."

Is Sy'rai going to be on the show?
No, she's not going to be on the show. I just want her to have her own normal life without all the hoopla coming along with being on TV every week.

You're doing reality TV now, but would you ever venture back into acting?
Brandy: We do everything.
Ray J, back on the call: We're everywhere! This is just a chapter in our book and I feel like this is the chapter that we needed to make sure that we let people that never knew about us, know who we are, remind people that really knew what was up, remind them of where we've been, remind them where we're going. This is historical for us because this is our new platform to venture out into all the new things we want to do. This show is going to be the platform for that.

Did anything surprise you when you dug deeper into the business side of music?
Brandy: I don't really have any surprises, but for me, I'm a very emotional person and everything is a personal thing, even in business. I have to learn -- and I'm dealing with it now -- I have to learn to separate personal from business. I can't take my emotions into business and that's a very hard thing for me to do.

Ray J: Nothing really. I've been doing it for a minute as far as this reality stuff and as far as just kind of running my own business independently, trying to catch up to where Brandy has already been. I would just say it's just a challenge to have more responsibility on you. Like you've got to make sure contracts are right, make sure the deals make sense, make sure you go out and you get the deals -- so it's just more hard work for us and I don't think that's surprising. I think you just know that you have to do that in order to step up to the plate and hit a home run.

Sonja and Willie NorwoodSo, what is that magic secret for working with family?
Ray J: The secrets are all going to come out on the show. That's what we did the show for -- to kind of create a blueprint on how we did it and this is the situation that we were in and that's the goal in doing the show, for people to get inspired. They want to go back and connect with their family. There might have been an argument or a thing that's been missing for a long time in someone's family and they pop on 'Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business' and go, "You know what? I'm gonna call my brother. I'm gonna call my momma. I'm gonna call my pops and make it right." That's what this show is about and I think once people watch it, they're going to get to see that and experience that like a 3D IMAX movie.

You guys are working with some big name collaborators, like Timbaland, right?
Brandy: Yeah, I love working with Timbaland and I hope to work with him more and more in the future. You do see us perform on the show together ... I can't wait to really go hard and get in the studio and create something that I really know will be good.

What music do you listen to these days? Who is somebody who has really caught your eye from the business side of things?
Brandy: I would have to say Monica right now. I think she's really killing the game right now with her comeback and you know, I'm very proud of her. So I'm in major support of her right now so I'm gonna have to go with her.
Ray J: That's what it is. Shout out to Monica. "My Life." Got a lot of love for Monica. What's up, Monica?

You're both very active on Twitter. Do you enjoy it?

Brandy: Yeah, I do. I love my fans. They are the greatest. They're so supportive and you can just tell when somebody loves you. There are fans out there who talk to me all the time and really show a lot of love and support in whatever I do. I love that I can talk to them back and forth because I know if Twitter was out when I was a kid, I would really love to be able to talk to Whitney Houston and all the people that I loved on the Internet. That would have been amazing so I know how they must feel to be able to talk to you know, your favorites. [Follow @4everBrandy on Twitter]

For the Love of Ray JWhat's going on with your love life, Ray J? What's happening with 'For the Love of Ray J'?
Ray J: Thanks everybody for watching. We had a good time. I met a lot of cool people. Right now, it ain't about love, it's about business, it's about the family, it's about the family business for me and that's why I'm happy that I get a chance to spend time with the people that I already know I love ... It's much less challenging for me and it's much more natural and it's coming from a good place -- a good, honest place -- so that's where I'm at right now.

So there's not going to be a third season?
Ray J: Nah, there ain't going to be no more seasons for me right now. I'm just saying for me right now, I'm chillin'. Love is love. Everybody loves love but right now I got work to do.

Would you ever do a dating show, Brandy?
Brandy: Heck no.
Ray J: Why you gotta diss my show like that?
Brandy: I'm not dissing your show. She asked me would I do it and absolutely not!
Ray J: I'm just making sure. I'm cool.
Brandy: You are cool, brother. I just wouldn't do that.

Too personal for you?
Brandy: It just freaks me out for guys to compete over me for my love. I don't know if love happens like that. It's weird. Love just seems a little bit more spontaneous for me and I'm a little old-fashioned so I don't know. I don't think so. It's not my thing.

What reality shows do you enjoy? Or dramas?
Brandy: I really love 'American Idol.' That's pretty much the only reality show I watch and '24' and 'Lost' are my other favorites.
Ray J: I'm all about Jack Bauer, '24.' I'm into season 7 though, I haven't gotten to season 8. I'm waiting. Because I use it as like a time when I just really need to go outside of the world and channel into something else, so I'm into that on '24'. Jack Bauer!


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