'Real Housewives of Atlanta’s' Kandi Burruss Opens 'The Kandi Factory' on Bravo Tonight

Kandi Burruss photo courtesy Tre-Media
Kandi Burruss has a new search show on Bravo, Kandi Factory

Kandi Burruss has been a force in the entertainment business for twenty years. She shot to fame in the 1990s as a member of the R&B girl-group Xscape with Tameka "Tiny" Cottle (T.I.’s wife). Those two ladies went on to pen the number one hit "No Scrubs" for TLC before Burruss alone wrote songs for artists such as Pink and Destiny’s Child. More recently, Burruss has become a Bravo network reality television sensation, first on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and now as the host and creator of the vocal competition program, The Kandi Factory, that starts tonight, Tuesday, April 9, at 10 p.m.

Burruss has her own sex toy empire, was the first African-American woman ever to win ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year Award, and currently has a smash on the gospel charts with “Stay Prayed Up”. This makes Burruss one busy woman.

“I wanted to do another show for Bravo, one where I could give people the opportunity to help them achieve their dream, their lifelong dream of doing music,” says Burruss. The concept came to her after her first year on the Real Housewives in 2009 when Burruss wrote and produced “Don’t Be Tardy for the Party” for one-time Real Housewife Kim Zolciak. Sadly, that hit song’s credits and payments are currently in litigation and off-limits in terms of conversation.

“After I did that song with Kim, so many people were coming up to me every day saying, “Oh, if you could do that for her I know you can do that for me.’” Burruss saw the power in the idea of a vocal talent contest for everyday people, folks who if they only had professional on their side, could show off their own inner strengths.

Not only would Burruss be the show’s coach and primary judge, she would show off her own strengths by writing many of the songs (along with members of The Kandi Factory team) that the contestants will sing. Competitors will get to perform their own compositions as well.

“These songs were written specifically for that contestant,” says Burruss emphatically. You know how most of the music shows I see have cover tunes. Not on our music show. You will not get that. We did that because obviously I’m a writer and wanted to showcase that side of it. Our show is about the whole artist’s development process. I think people totally forget about that. They just want to become a star overnight.”

Burruss went on to discuss her own long road to success, from Xscape’s first album and its gospel roots, and how they figure on her newest hit, “Stay Prayed Up.” Burruss states this new track is a testimony of what she’s been going through in the last few years. “Everybody’s seen me from the first year that I came on the show where I had a very traumatic experience (her fiancé died after a brawl in 2009). “People are constantly asking how I keep going, how I keep, you know, pushing forward. You really didn’t see me grieving or the things that I’ll be going through that’s not on camera.”

What sustains her during her times of need is staying prayed up.

Another thing that sustains Burruss – even when she’s battling with them – are the ladies of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. They don’t always get along. But certainly there are times when Burruss, a longtime professional who has made her own money for twenty years in the business, feels above the fray of cash-ins like donkey-booty videos?

“Everybody has their good days and their bad days,” says Burruss, laughing at my question. “I mean we’re taping for like five to six months. If you had somebody taping you for that long and you did something crazy, you know that’s what’s going to make the show. On a day-to-day basis, I think the girls are really cool and I think they all have, you know, success in their own right. I don’t think that I’m necessarily above anybody. I just feel like I stay in my lane, I do what I do and, you know, they do what they do.”

The Kandi Factory airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on Bravo

To read more of our Kandi Burruss coverage click here.

Kandi Burruss photo courtesy Tre-Media

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2013