Traci Braxton on Her New Album, ‘Braxton Family Values’, and Sisterhood

traci-braxton-wetvLet 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.”

Her Music

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.

Personal Life

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.

What’s Next

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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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

1 Response

  1. disqus_6Ehjth661G says:

    My favorite sister….has to be Traci. For years I’ve not heard much from her, but she happens to always be there to support her sisters. Never hear from the Braxton brother but as a powerful gospel family in the news it has to be incredibly hard to be in the front of society behind popular sister Toni Braxton. Now hat they are all older everyone acts as if they need to be in the lead. When Toni left, the other sisters had to pull it together all of the sisters have some sort of talent, wheel except for solo Towanda.

    Toni was the most known talent of the family, but today each sister has a voice; how they put that voice to use is no one’s business Towanda.
    Getting jealous of Tamar and Traci…not acceptable. Both Tamar and Traci each found a husband, had a child, and lives however they want. At times it may even seem extravagantly; but both have indivual singing talent; both generates the personal time, income, and efforts to promote to live as she does.

    She maybe the baby sister, but she IS a successfully, grown woman; wife, mother, and sister. Different strokes for different sisters, Open your mind, and step back! “Design some clothes”, “buy a new home”, but something to get “you” off of all of your talented sisters.

    As an outside observer, it’s hard seeing one of the nicest sister getting dissed, overlooked, and expected to be at ‘every family incident/ gathering, concert, show, and/or award ceremony. Traci, also has her own life in Maryland; all forget that each sister has lives of their own first, and a few are wife’s and mothers. When your marriage ends, find a friend, go work out, redecorate your homes, but stop taking each other for granted. Support EACH OTHER achievements! Running to support one or the other IS UNACCEPTABLE under any circumstance. She has her own family who need her. Blood is not always thicker than water. Everytime there is a family disagreement why is Towanda in the thick of it?

    Toni and Tamar are the biggest let’s not do something…and if it’s a family gathering…’everyone’ is committed to try something at least once or twice at a Florida amusement family get-to-gether!
    If Toni has to wear gloves, wear gloves! Whining, whining, whining, like Bishop said… they ARE SPOILED. Get off a ride, get the biggest, smallest, but suffer the consequences if God doesn’t allow it to turn out well.We all have choices, pick the best choice with God’s help, be satisfied, but always look for the Big Picture! Being family, around family, among other families was the ulterior goal and motive. Being together, taken out of the norm isolated away from everyone IS/WAS NOT the end result ladies. Even Towanda FED an Ostrich, but soon after washed away the germs.

    So many, many people like, admire, appreciate, and thank these sisters. Not because of their own individual “talents” but because they are the Gospel singing group/sisters, The Braxtons. As adults none obviously they are different, and each feeling neglected, taken advantage of, but when Gabe was pushing his way back in, no one but his wife made the choice to take his sorry but back. When each sister shared their doubts about letting him back in…all this time as he wife established money…he steadily counted the income. It’s not like he had any experience IN BUSINESS, Abut it was at this time she should have set boundaries, made him sign an agreement or contract to specifically divide the percentage he would be entitled to if they should divorce.

    Every talented performer, whether actor, performer, business, musical, family group knows this. Divorce IS inevitable in Hollywood gor a reason. In marriage…not ‘everything’ IS negotiable. Problems in the arrive started before she got into business. If Gabe contributed in some way, they obviously in CA split it down the middle unless the wife put in more collateral.

    This goes for all the Braxton sisters and brother. Antavius, in do cussing the Discovery process…we know Gabe has no talent, fell in love with and married a Braxton. Gabe IS NOT entitled to any of the $175,000 or the Chick’s that Trina came up with to start her business. Gabe cannot take anything, he is not entitled to Bar Chicks. He came into the relationship with way less, brought pain and anguish into their relationship. Trina is an intelligent business woman. Traci, backbone…Yes, she IS a Braxton!

    I knew, as well as the others; Gabe, tacky Gabe was bad news enough to wander, get into some unnecessary interludes…. how ever it occured. Whatever his problems were she put her trust back in Gabe, and didn’t prepare for what is happening now. have have successful marriages, but being together, and showing the world how it’s done in Florida. Please together you are awesome talented individuals leading different lives. Remember that first, call on your sisters second, not expecting, but appreciating them appearing to listen or help out.