She is a mother, singer/songwriter, actress, record producer and an author. She is one of the most adored, elegant and classy entertainers ever to exist. Once dubbed “The First Lady of Bad Boy Entertainment”, DivaScribe got up close and personal with Faith. This Soul Sister talks about life after B.I.G and how she combines her career with family life.
Who inspired your current album ‘Something about Faith’?
I would say it's a combination of my kids and my peers whom I have met over the years that inspired me to make another album. Over the last few years various people I have met have all asked why I haven’t made another album yet. So, all of that gave me the inspiration to take the time to create this album.
Does each song have a meaning?
Some are more personal and meaningful than others. There are a couple of songs in the album that I didn’t write but they definitely sound like the type of songs I would write. Overall, I am happy with the album.
Do you think the industry has changed?
Yes, the industry has changed. All the technological advances have changed things and it’s easier for artists to get themselves out there also. It has certainly opened the window for things that may not be so enjoyable but if the audiences like what they are listening to, that’s the main thing. Things have moved on a lot - there is always something different out there. I would consider doing the same thing if I were just starting out and was looking for a deal. It’s a case of rolling with the times and if you can’t beat them - join them.
How difficult is it to be a full time mum and wife and still stay 100% focused on your career?
I have been in and out of music due to family commitments and I could have recorded an album with my last label but I have to feel that the deal was worthwhile for me. Capital records went through internal changes so I felt it was best to stay out of it. My project wouldn’t have been handled the way I wanted.
I completed a Masters in my spare time and I looked at the situation ‘cos I want to be the driver of my own destiny. If I’m going to crash I want to be in control so to speak. Another aim was to get an independent deal which I have done. I am very happy with that because as I said, I like to stay in control. I am able to work with both my career and be a mum, as my family especially my daughter gives me a lot of support and I am grateful for that. She helps me out and has really been there for me, she’s 17 now and she has stepped up and has become like a co-mum. She is also driving now and picks up the kids from school. She has made such a huge difference.
My kids are all very musically inclined but in my house school comes first so they know it has to stay a hobby until they are more grown up.
My daughter is about to go to college next year and she has been a straight A student all her life. She has also been heavily into music and would like to do a Major in music at college and of course I will support her. Outside of that, the boys have more to prove so they know they need to get those grades but they are all very talented.
What was the toughest part of your career and how did you overcome that?
The toughest part of my career would be the loss of my husband (late B.I.G…her voice gets perceptibly lower) but I still had to be an artist, stay professional and make music although I did take a break. I continued going and completed the tribute (I’ll Be Missing You) during this period, I really had to hold it together but I think that really was the hardest part.
How hard was it explaining to your son Christopher that his father (Biggie) had passed away?
I didn’t have to describe it to CJ because he was always around plus - he has Ms Wallace (his grandmother). He hasn’t had many questions. But after the movie was filmed that really gave him an in-depth insight to what his Dad’s life was like and what he went through. It also gave him an insight into Junior Mafia.
It’s a situation that has worked itself out if you understand what I mean. But he was fully aware of what was going on and he grew up in a legacy and I handled Biggie’s Estate with his mother, Miss Wallace.
In one word how would you describe Biggie?
If it had to be one word I would say, “Phenomenal”.
You worked on that (I’ll Br Missing You) with P.Diddy and there were other musical collaborations. Can we expect more in the near future?
Yes, I have a song with El de Barge which is on his current album and I have a song with Eric Bennett on his new album. I also have songs with Keisha Cole and Redman on their new albums. I am about to record a song with Robin Thick for his next album - I have also recorded some material with Shareefa.
You are one busy diva…
(Laughs) Yeah I like to keep busy….(Laughs again – this diva shows that having it all doesn’t mean you have to get lazy).
Let’s take you right back when you started – could you describe your experience when you first started out as a backing vocalist working with Al B Sure? Were you always confident that you would make it as a solo artist?
I met Al B through my daughter’s father and he had also been a producer for Christopher Williams. I would be at the studio with Al as the designated driver, and one day Al heard a backing demo I had done and was blown away by it as he didn’t believe I could sing, and from that day on he had me singing in demos for songs that he wrote. He would be the first person that paid me for singing. From then on - I was getting paid every week. Our working relationship is very strong I look up to him as a type of big brother. I feel blessed to be where I am today and I am very grateful to the Big Man upstairs, my family, management and fans.
So tell me about this new look, is it here to stay cos we love it. Would you ever wear your natural hair in public again?
What new look are you referring to the one where I'm not back in shape, me not having lost the baby weight or me wearing different hair styles (laughs). (If that was looking out of shape, then call me a man who has lost his marbles – Faith in the flesh, has still got ‘IT’).
For the last few months I’ve been trying out different wigs and hair pieces to see what I was most comfortable with and see what length of hair I wanted to have. I did like the red but at the same time I had to give my hair some rest as it seemed to be screaming in shock. So I decided to give it a break for some time until it was healthy enough to come out and play again (laughs). But yes, I like this current style it's the right length it's not uncomfortable on my neck, so I think I will stick with it for a while.
I would like to ask some general questions posed by your fans. What is your favourite food?
Sushi - it’s great. I had sushi last night here (London) the lady was really rude. Normally, they are very lively but not this time, it was really somber (laughs) but the main thing is the fish was fresh (giggles).
Do you remember a company called 5001 flavours?
I remember 5001 flavours but I haven’t heard from them in a while I’m glad they are still doing fashion - but I haven’t bumped into them as I did back in the day. Biggie did a lot of work with them for his shoots and videos.
What are your pet hates?
I hate people with bad oral hygiene (laughs) it annoys me to look into someone’s mouth knowing that they don’t take care of their teeth. I’m always at the dentist’s making sure everything is well looked after. I am very serious about that - I believe it is very important to look after yourself.