Traci Braxton on Her New Album, ‘Braxton Family Values’, and Sisterhood
Let me introduce you to Traci Braxton. One fifth of the cast of WeTV’s Braxton Family Values, she has taken great leaps in establishing herself as an artist outside of her sister circle. She starred on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, her debut single “Last Call” has ears buzzing, and her debut album Crash and Burn will be hitting stores October 14th. I had the great privilege of chatting with the rising star on everything from the reality show to her music career to her bumpy road with her family.
Coming Into Her Own
Traci Braxton has spent the last year or so investing in herself and her career outside of her sisters. In the early seasons of Braxton Family Values, she carried the nickname of “The Wannabe” and many miscontrued this to mean that she just wanted to be like her other sisters.
“I tried to take that and turn it around as a positive thing that I wanted to be with my sisters. And I hadn’t been with my sisters in over 20 years. So, you know, I was like ‘I want to be with my sisters so I can make some music them and everything’. But, you know, it didn’t work that way.”
It wasn’t until Cliff Jones, the CEO of SoulWorld Entertainment, overheard her singing that her solo project started to actually take shape. He was so impressed just hearing her sing with the radio that he decided to “do something about this.” Now that she has been granted this chance, Braxton is taking her career by the horns.
“I was tired of waiting for my sisters. It was like an orgasm that never happened … I’m still waiting on my sisters, but I had to fulfill my destiny and my dream. I didn’t want to look back and say, ‘Well I coulda shoulda hada whena beena.’ I didn’t want to do that ever again. So I just took it by the horns and I rode with it, honey. I got the chaps on, the spurs on, the boots on, the cowboy hat. It’s like ok; I’m ready to go.”
Braxton is beyond excited for her debut album. She describes its sound as Adult R&B, and she gushed over singing with Raheem DeVaughn and being blessed to have long-term R&B veteran, Tank , and her brother Michael Braxton write for her album. I asked her what we could expect to hear on the album, she highlighted lyrics from the title track “Crash and Burn”
“Crash and Burn came from a song I have on the album called ‘Crash and Burn.’ And the words say ‘If I fall then let me fall; even in I crash and burn; I will be shooting for the stars; even if I come back down to earth.’ I’m basically talking about relationships. And in relationships you have that significant other that is right behind you all the way…they always want to be there.”
For her, the song is symbolic the importance of freeing yourself from the safety net of a relationship in order to learn and grow as a person. This idea seems to be central to the course of self-discovery and self-empowerment that Braxton is on. There is a feearlessness and tenacity in her that is inspiring; she is pursuing her dreams despite what the potential pitfalls may be.
Braxton has shared many intimate areas of her life on the show, one of the most prominent being her son’s life living with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. For Traci, her son is inspiration to persevere in the face of adversity.
“My son everyday at times can be in so much plain and he doesn’t complain whatsoever. And when he does complain, I know that he is in so much pain that he just can’t bear it. Just to see him move on and say ‘You know what, I’m in pain but I have to suck it up’ … just to see him struggle everyday and say, ‘You know what, I can overcome this’ … I look at him and I’m like wow, if he can do that, I can do that also in my life.”
Another on-going issue that has been prominent on the show has been the state of her marriage. There have been allegations of infidelity (on both sides) and even a rumor that her husband Kevin fathered an illegitimate child. So, to better their relationship, the duo joined the cast of WeTV’s Marriage Boot Camp Celebrity Edition. Braxton had nothing but positive things to say about the experience, stating that it helped her to learn how important it is to understand your spouse and why you love that person. She seems to have grown immensely from the experience.
The Braxton Sisterhood
As is common with any reality television show, much of what we see on Braxton Family Values centers or the disagreements and arguments that the sisters have. This leads many viewers to speculate that they are divided or fractured. Traci Braxton responds by speaking to the strength of their bond.
“Even though we fuss, argue, and get on each other’s nerves, we are still each other’s best friends. Don’t get it twisted; nobody else can talk bad about us outside of our ring.”
This is one of the most interesting facets of reality television. Personal lives are put on display for entertainment value, but it is an edited version meant to tell the best story. Inevitably, things get left on the cutting room floor, and viewers never get to see the “whole story.” Traci Braxton wants you to know that no matter what you see transpire on the show, the Braxtons are a united front. Jealousy is never a question for them.
“That’s not even in our vocabulary. We were never brought up saying ‘I’m jealous of this. I’m jealous of that.’ We’re very competitive women … we’re very competitive like brothers. But it doesn’t change the fact that we love each other.”
It’s good to know the Braxton clan has their priorities in order.
With all of the changes that have transpired in her life, Traci’s main focus seems to be on reveling in it all, being thankful, and trying to remain humble.
And on whether that Braxton album is going to happen or not, she says “Your guess is as good as mine.” Hopefully, we will get some news on the forthcoming album soon. I’ll be first in line to take a listen.
Be sure to keep up with the sisters by tuning into Braxton Family Values every Thursday at 9PM on WeTV and follow Traci Braxton on Twitter.
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