An Exclusive Interview with R&B Diva Stacy Francis!
SEYMONE KELLY MARCH 9, 2015
I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Stacy Francis. For those who don’t know, she was a contestant on X Factor USA in 2011. Stacy made it through boot camp and was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger. Unfortunately she was eliminated in week 4 after ending up in the bottom 2 with Astro. Even though she didn’t win the competition, in my opinion she has one of the best voices of our time. With a vocal range of 5 octaves, I know she will go far.
Seymone: Since you are from New York, did that have a lot to do with your musical style?
Stacy: Yes absolutely. I grew up in the church. You know in New York, there’s a church on every corner. Having that musical influence definitely helped me. You know I sang in the choir. I was telling someone the other day; I literally grew up in the church. There was a church downstairs; I lived right upstairs on the top floor. I was literally in church every day. It definitely, had a lot to do with my musical influence
Seymone: At what age, did you know you wanted to be a singer?
Stacy: Well, I wasn’t one of those kids that grew up knowing I wanted to be a singer. I grew up singing all the time. My uncle was a preacher and he would call me up to sing at the age of four years old. I was always singing. I don’t know if you know Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Sharon was my choir director. For the age of four to sixteen, I was singing at church and at 16 is when I got my record deal. So I was always singing
Seymone: But you know that saying, once you in the church, you will always find your way back. My mom always says that.
Stacy: You can run but you can’t run from God. My uncle and my aunt, they were both pastors. My aunt still is but my uncle pasted away a free years ago. I had five preachers in my family. My mom’s a pastor; I come from five preachers in my family. I never did drugs because I was always afraid of what would happen to me. I would think the devil would get me, so let me keep my nose and hands clean. My godmother who raised me is an assistant pastor.
Seymone: You mentioned before, you were in a girl group, called “Ex-Girlfriend.” How was it being in a girl group? Would you do it now?
Stacy: I definitely would not do it now. At the time, it was challenging because egos, sharing, everyone wants to be in the front. If they think you are the better singer, they don’t trust you. The wonderful thing about participating in a girl group is at this point of my life, those girls are still my friends. It was like a family, sisters that I didn’t have. It was a disciple that I learned because we would rehearse 10 to 12 hours a day. So when I went to do Broadway for 6 years that was in my body. It was cool, with my upbringing, even with the girl group it was kind of a unique training, without going to school.
Seymone: How was it being on Broadway?
Stacey: It was pretty incredible. I did a song on the soundtrack for the show. Stevie Wonder came to the show. Luther Vandross, when he was alive at that time, came to the show. Prince came to see the show a couple of times. He flew me to Minneapolis. I sang with his band and I have a very close relationship with Chaka Khan since that time. I would love to do Broadway now. I love the interaction with the audience, the immediate response with the audience. It’s very awesome. You don’t get that at a recording studio, it’s a very different feeling. I love acting, I love storytelling. I love it very much.
Seymone: Would you do movies or TV shows now?
Stacy: I love television. I did a couple of shows, some pilots that didn’t go through. I did some on WB. I love comedies. I took a break because I was in an abusive relationship. I’m back on my grind. After doing the X-factor, things have gotten a lot better for me.
Seymone: Speaking of X Factor, if you can do anything differently what would it be?
Stacy: I would have not read social media. It got in my head. A lot of people were lying. Perez Hilton did a whole campaign against me. Nothing he wrote was true ever. He was behind the scenes emailing me saying sorry but on his website he would write crazy things on his blog. I wouldn’t have listened. I was trying so hard to prove them wrong, saying they weren’t telling the truth. It took me out of my game.
Seymone: You have two children?
Stacy: Yes I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old.
Seymone: If your children were to come to you in 5 years and say ‘Mommie I want to be a singer’ or ‘an actress or an actor on Broadway.’ Would you say yes?
Stacy: I would have to support my daughter. My son is an athlete. My daughter at this point is a great singer. I can see her wanting that. I think that education is very important. The thing that I would do with both of my children is to make sure they have a solid education. I became educated more later in life, I went back to school. I do study a lot now, I read a lot. For my children, I would make sure they have the education first approach. I’m all for supporting children and their dreams. It’s a very important thing.
Seymone: Education is key, I’m glad my parents pushed me.
Stacy: It goes into a very deep conversation with me but criminals are created without it. There’s so much power in having education, in having that knowledge and wisdom, that awareness. You come into the room with a lot of power; people respect you, when they hear you speak in a very intellectual way. We are very big on education. My daughter’s father is very smart. My son’s father is a dentist. It’s something that we are big on, education.
Seymone: When your children get older, would you ever let them watch the shows that you were in? For example the X Factor, or read any of the blogs? How would you shy them away from mommie at home versus mommie at work?
Stacy: Well I don’t know if I could hide it from them. As they get older, they can find it. I was telling someone the other day. I think the best way for me to tell them is if I write a book. I want to write a memoir. I want to do that for my children. I want them to know the truth about mommie. So when they look at anything online no offense I do call the media merchants of chaos. They sell a lot of chaos. And people buy it. I write this information for my children and they read it firsthand of who mommie is. As they get older, they will know who their mom is. They are around it; they are here with me in Hollywood. I’m not afraid; there are a lot of good things about me online too.
Seymone: How is it being an R&B diva? How did you become a part of it?
Stacy: I became a part of it because someone approached me and asked me. I was very excited about it. I was in another deal for a couple of years with a show. That show was taking a little bit too long to take off. So I’m happy to come over into this franchise. I appreciate doing the show. I know what it is, it’s reality television but I also wanted people to get to know me first hand. It was a very interesting dynamic. If people saw me in a conversation or my care factor, my intellectual capacity, first hand. That was very important to me. Some people might not agree that reality television is the platform to do that. I’m really happy about it. I got a chance to sing and do some music, so how much I love people. It was really important to me. Of course I have a big mouth. I voice my opinion I don’t mind being confrontational in a good way. I’m a communicator. There will be some people that love it or some people that hate it. That comes with the territory. I don’t back down. I make people take responsibility for their bull crap. There you go.
Seymone: Are you close to anyone in the group from R&B Divas LA?
Stacy: I fell in love with Lil Mo. I fell in love with her because she keeps it real honest. She has an opinion and she speaks it. I really appreciate it that about her. She knew she had some weaknesses. She wasn’t afraid to show those weaknesses and I liked that. She wasn’t trying to hide the things that some people were trying to hide. You have a psychological problem or drug problem. It’s best if you show that to the audience because there is someone at home that can relate to it. Someone that needs help, as a celebrity there is a lot of responsibility. So if some of the people we didn’t see, didn’t try to hide it, so much, it would help people. And say you know what they are just like me. I see that they got help and I can get help. The worst thing you can do as a celebrity is make your fans feel as if they are stupid. I can see that there is a problem or issue. And some people go on I just sing a song. And you are like no you are human. That’s what I appreciated about Mo. I put it out on the table, this is who I am. People fell in love with her for that, I fell in love with her and I think it’s awesome.
Seymone: Was there anyone in the cast that were giving you a hard time because you are new to the cast of R&B Divas?
Stacy: Yes, there was one particular person who walked away from it because of what she heard about me in the media. She didn’t give me a chance to actually show up and show who I am. I think she made a big mistake. I hope the audience, well I don’t know how it’s going to go into editing or what the producers show. I hope the audience will learn a lesson from that. You can’t assume the worth of people based on what you hear. It is always best to get to know someone for yourself first.
Seymone: When I was doing my research on you, there was something that I read about an incident that happened between you and the late Whitney Houston. Do you feel as if you doing the show R&B Divas will help take peoples mind off of the incident that happened and focus on more of who you are now?
Stacy: People will assume what they want to assume. I loved Whitney; I was a big fan of hers. I really would love it very much if we could all respect her legacy, respect her for the icon that she was, as I do and stop talking about it. That would be my wish. We owe her the respect of not talking about it anymore. WE don’t need to focus on it anymore. Sadly we lost an icon. She was someone that I looked up too. Someone I studied. I loved her. I think it’s an unfortunate situation that happened and that people know me from that. I’m hoping that we can move on, and the things that I do can become my legacy. People will see me on the show and see that I have a heart for people. That I am a mom, that I do care about people, I sing, I have my own voice and that’s it. That’s all that I can ask for.
Seymone: Do you have any up and coming projects?
Stacy: Yes we are definitely going to release a single for “I Still Believe.” There are a couple of episodes that I do sing that song, you will hear about it. I’m shooting the video for that real soon. My album will be coming out in the fall. I’m definitely going to write a book. I don’t know how soon. I do have a skincare line out. I did the skin care line because my son had eczema when he was much younger. Every time I would put something on him, it would burn him. It was weird and there wasn’t a lot on the market that was organic, animal free or fragrant free. So I decided to create my own line. All of my products are organic, I have an anti-aging serum. That I’m offering, people say all the time I look much younger. So I wanted to share my secrets with that. I have about six products. I’m really looking forward with that, doing my music and working on the book. It’s on my website iamstacyfrancis.com. You will see the launch party on R&B Divas but you can get it off the website now.
Seymone: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Stacy: I would love to work with Simon Cowell on one of those shows. I would love to have a big record. I have my own web series now called, ‘The Stacy Francis show.’ I would love to expand on that. Have that be on a major network. Have guests come on, develop other artists. Doing a book, doing everything. Helping this young girl out, whose 15 years old that I have come across. Never giving up on your dreams no matter how old you are. Just being an inspiration to women across the world. I have a lot of fire inside of me. The female Steve Harvey would be great! Doing radio and television shows, we need a female Steve Harvey. My idol is Oprah Winfrey, so that would be great. You know I keep my head up, my faith down to the floor to God. I pray that the doors continue to open.
Stacy did mention she will be in New York for the reunion show. I asked her who will be hosting; she just laughed and told me I would have to wait to see. She also said she is hoping to do a show in New York in the future. If you want to find watch R&B Divas, turn to channel TV One on Wednesday at 10pm. This last week is when Stacy first met the ladies at Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Birthday Dinner. She received an Arts and Entertainment Humanitarian Award at the dinner for her efforts with giving back to the arts. I know Stacy will go a long way. She is talented, a believer of God and has a lot of fire inside of her. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for her.
If you want to find out more about her and her skincare line go to her site: iamstacyfrancis.com
Also R&B Divas comes on channel TV One every Wednesday at 10pm.
– See more at: http://respectthenext.com/2015/03/09/an-exclusive-interview-with-rb-diva-stacy-francis/#sthash.YcseJ90F.dp