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Real Talk: From Danity Kane to Solo Fame By Phonz Reyes

Former Danity Kane member, Wanita D. Woodgette – better known as D. Woods is not damaged about her career as a solo artist now days. As a matter of fact, she embraces it and is looking forward to a future not only in music but other entertainment business ventures. D. Woods along with Aubrey O’Day was kicked out of multi-platinum selling group Danity Kane during Making the Band. Fans stood still as they watched D. Woods leave the offices of Bad Boy Entertainment that day and yet never understood what really happened right before their eyes.  But you can’t keep a determined woman down. D. Woods has since been on her grind – from modeling, acting, releasing her mixtape, Independence Day Volume One, to stomping yards – this young woman will definitely be the next artist to shine in 2009. She took a moment while literally just getting off of a plane to talk with us at BE-New York about what she’s currently working on and to clear up some misunderstandings. This is an exclusive interview that everybody should be listening to. Expect the unexpected now that D. Woods has her independence and is free to be as much of a bad girl as she wants to be.

D. Woods: Hey how are you?

BE-NY: I’m fine. I heard you just got off a flight?

D. Woods: I did. My flight was delayed because our pilot was sick. I think he was removing himself from the confined areas as they told everybody.

BE-NY: Did you fly first class?

D. Woods: Ahh, business?! (Laughs) Yes!

BE- NY: How does it feel to be a solo artist now?

D. Woods: I feel the same as I did before. But I feel some sort of freedom because I don’t have to confine myself to make four other people comfortable. And I’m kind of more… freer with my choices with what I want to do but I’m still going at it with the same like ‘luster!’ Is that the right word I want to use? You know what I mean! (Laughs)

BE-NY: Your mixtape, Independence Day Volume One – dropped in February and the single on there that’s really hot on the internet is On My Side. Will there be a video for that single and how did you come up with the concept for the mixtape?

D. Woods: Yes, there will be a video for the single. And I came up with the concept to the mixtape basically it came out in February so there was a lot of Black History Month symbolism in the tape, on the cover and everything like that. But also it was just kind of like a statement that ‘I am now an independent artist, I am independent from the situation I was in.’ Like I said, before – feeling restricted, feeling trapped in a situation that was not really letting me do my thing as an artist and express myself freely. And uhm… then… try to get out of my contract! (Laughs) Which I was finally freed from, I was emancipated from my contract almost immediately after the mixtape dropped.

BE-NY: Word on the street is that you are also about to release an ‘urban workout DVD?’ What’s that about?

D. Woods: Yes, that’s been in the works for a little while. ‘Fine for the Summertime’ is the title of the workout series. Myself and my trainer came up with it. She was working me out with the things that I was mostly concerned with – not having a lot of time, not really wanting to get extra swole in the gym or whatever. It’s really fun because a lot of people don’t enjoy working out or they have to get really motivated. But it’s something that will motivate you to take part and do, and anybody can do it. So that’s what ‘Fine for the Summertime’ is.

BE-NY: Okay, that’s what’s up. I’m going to have to cop that DVD when it comes out. (Laughs)

D. Woods: (Laughs)

BE-NY: I remember at your birthday party in Atlanta you performed with The Girls Club which consists of you, your sister Shanell, and Mika Means. Will there be an album with The Girls Club – what’s going on with that?

D. Woods: Myself, Mika Means and Shanell – we’re the founding members of The Girls Club. The Girls Club actually consists of quite a few – everyone from artists to dancers, to radio personalities, female deejays. Just any female that’s involved in the entertainment industry who wants to kind of change the stigma of women working together, backing each other up in the entertainment industry because it’s kind of a catty stigma that women have that we can’t work together or there can’t be more than one female in a crew or it’s going to be problems. So we wanted to change that and that’s what The Girls Club is all about. So there’s a lot of females, and actually we just had a little social last night in Atlanta. I don’t know if you were Twittering and saw it online but everybody there was Twittering. From Necole Bitchie of NecoleBitchie.com, Megan Rochelle, and Carlisia Levert – it was like a lot of really up-and-coming and also established females there – from film and television, bloggers, to recording artists. Going back to your original question, there probably will be a compilation album. When? I’m not sure because everyone’s situation is kind of like about to pop off. So when we all feel comfortable enough in our individual situations, that’s when we will force the hand of our record companies to let us do a compilation album.

BE-NY: My other part of the question to that was is Aubrey O’Day part of that Girls Club thing? Because I remember at the birthday party she kind of…

D. Woods: Yeah, she performed with us!

BE-NY: Yes!

D. Woods: Yes, Aubrey is apart of The Girls Club.  She was on the original Girls Club Mixtape Volume One. But she has the same kind of goals. She has the same mindset that we all can get ours. She knows what she’s good at, she has goals and what she has going for her is not a threat for any other female. She’s a doer so we support her and she supports us!

BE-NY: There’s also something called Project Girls Club? It’s a not-for-profit? What is that exactly?

D. Woods: Yeah, Project Girls Club is like this philanthropic sector of The Girls Club. We’re setting up projects for younger girls who are coming up and trying to find their way. We provide different programs to inspire them to get them involved in stuff to expose them to new things. Where they can choose whatever career path or get more information about the field they want to go into and have a platform to express themselves. So that’s what Project Girls Club is all about.

BE-NY: Now, can we talk ‘real’ for a second? Just for a second?

D. Woods: YES!! Let’s get ‘real!’ (Laughs)

BE-NY: October 14, 2008… All the viewers of Making the Band Season 4 learned that you and Aubrey were no longer members of Danity Kane. Diddy said you two had to go and most recently the entire group broke up. A lot of fans felt the recent reunion special still left a lot of questions unanswered. The first question is… Is Danity Kane really broken up or is this a publicity stunt and will you ladies reunite similar to how Destiny’s Child did?

D. Woods: To my knowledge, no we will not reunite. It was for real because you guys saw it on October 14th, but for me and Aubrey it hap
pened almost a month and a half in advance. It was very real, it was very unexpected. No one walked into that room knowing what Puff was going to say and actually we didn’t even know that the meeting was going to be… talking about that. We thought that we were going to be talking about the tour that we just finished, how well we were doing in sales, and how much of a great response we were getting in each city and then he flipped the tables. There was a decision by the three remaining members that they did not want to make a stand for me and Aubrey to stay in the group and so that was the end of Danity Kane. Almost immediately after Puff made that decision, you know if Puff is making that decision and then the other girls don’t feel that they want to risk their standings with him to keep us around – then there was no point in fighting to stay together or stay in a situation that obviously has enforced you out of it. So to my knowledge at this moment, no, there are no plans for a reunion.

BE-NY: Is there a beef between you and Dawn (Richard)? I know she made some sly comments on the most recent season of Making the Band that just ended, where she was talking to Que and kind of saying slick comments. So is there a beef there?

D. Woods: I don’t know if she has a problem with me per say. I don’t know why she would have a problem. I was very disappointed by a lot of the things that she did say in the media and her different interviews. People are kind of aware of her comments and then also of course on the show, those comments were definitely going to get back to me. I was really disappointed and I don’t know why she would go that route. And if it was to depict her as the victim and everybody else is the bad guy… I don’t really know where all that steams from, but to me it’s like she has her situation. And as you guys saw, I congratulated her as I was walking out the door! So it was like I don’t have a problem and I don’t know why she would have a problem… but she might, I’m not sure. (Laughs)

BE-NY: If the opportunity was to present itself where Dawn asked you to record a song with her, would you do it with her considering her recent commentary?

D. Woods: Absolutely! I never turn down an opportunity to be creative and everything. It was actually really surprising that Aundrea reached out to me after seeing the special, and I hadn’t spoken to her for… I don’t know how long! I don’t have any animosity towards any of the girls. Like things happen for a reason, it’s time to move on you know, chapter ends. People are in each others lives for a reason and a season, as they say! So there’s no reason to hold any grudges, uhm however – the way that you present yourself, the actions you take, the comments that you make can lend themselves to having a ‘beef’ or having animosity. If she did ask me, I would say ‘sure, let’s do a song together!’ Will she ask me? I don’t know! We shall see about that! (Laughs)

BE-NY: Okay, okay moving on I got another ‘real’ question that I have to ask because you were the ‘real’ girl in the group that I know I can ask and get a ‘real’ answer to my question. You were on the show during the season right after Day26 got formed. They were around you ladies; you recorded a song with them on the Welcome to the Dollhouse album. Tell the truth – which one of the boys in Day26 is the gay one?

D. Woods: (Bursts out into loud laughter) You stupid! Ha, ha HA! You know what, I… I don’t know to tell you the truth. I’m not in any of their bedrooms and I don’t know what they do behind closed doors. Maybe you’d be able to tell better than me because sometimes my ‘gaydar’ is off (laughs), but uhm… it’s none of my concern really.

BE-NY: Okay, that’s a good answer. We’ll let that one slide this time D. Woods! When can fans of D. Woods expect your solo album?

D. Woods: You can definitely expect something – like a full album or… it may not be a full LP it may be an EP that’s released – but definitely by the fourth quarter of this year, 09’. You definitely expect a major release of the single this one… that’s what’s on the calendar right now.

BE-NY: Now you’re still shopping around for record labels?

D. Woods: There have been a couple interested parties that everything is all in negotiation. It’s really a good place to be right now to know that people are checking for me.

BE-NY: I heard a ‘whisper’ that came all the way from Atlanta up here to New York City. Someone kind of ‘whispered’ in my ear…

D. Woods: That’s a loud whisper! (Laughs)

BE-NY: Wasn’t it though?! (Laughs) They said that you were actually thinking about signing to Polow Da Don’s Zone 4 record label. I just wanted to know if there was any truth to that ‘whisper?’

D. Woods: Wowww… Who told you that?

BE-NY: I can’t tell you who my informants are! (Laughs)

D. Woods: (Laughs) Well, like I said – there are a number of interested parties! I have a lot of great relationships with people in the industry, execs and producers that now have weighable situations. So it’s all about what’s the right situation!

BE-NY: I don’t think a lot of people realize that you have been a very busy young lady. From making cameos in music videos, hosting television shows, covers of magazines – by the way if you have an extra copy of that KING Magazine, please send it to me…

D. Woods: (Laughs) Okay

BE-NY: Being the face of Luxirie by L-R-G women’s clothing line and you even tested your acting chops in Stomp the Yard. What’s next for D. Woods besides the music?

D. Woods: All of that that you just named! Just more of what I’ve been doing is the tip of the iceberg that I was able to get into while I was a part of Danity Kane. So now that I have free range to do what ever I want, I’m going to do that! (Laughs)

BE-NY: Throughout your experiences thus far would you have changed anything?

D. Woods: Nope!

BE-NY: And what advice do you have for someone trying to chase the same dream you’ve chased and made a reality in the music industry?

D. Woods: I would have to say that if they really want it then keep on pushing no matter what obstacles come in your way. There are going to be setbacks, you have to make the effort to push harder and harder… give yourself a pep talk, brush yourself off, pick yourself up and keep on going if you want it.

BE-NY: Independence Day Volume One out now on the MySpace. ‘Fine for the Summertime’ workout DVD coming soon. What’s your Twitter page for the BE readers that may not know it?

D. Woods: Yes, my Twitter has been blowing up! I was literally sitting there watching my numbers go up, calculating! (Laughs) So hit me on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/YaGirlDWoods. Hit me on MySpace at www.MySpace.com/YaGirlDWoods and check out my personal web site, www.MissDWoods.com. Music, gallery photos, blogs, see where I’m going, where I’m at – all that good stuff!

Written By Phonz Reyes

About the author

Jason Dinsmore has written 1330 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

J.Write is the Owner/Editor-In-Chief of BE Entertained Magazine. He's previously written for The Source, Dapper, DOWN, Break, & Full Blast Magazines. He's also contributed to a numBEr of blogs across the U.S.

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