Kandi Burruss’ Secret Weapon Selasi Talks Lawsuits & Making Stars

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Singer and actress Kandi Burruss has carved out a new territory in her reality TV Kingdom. After finding success on “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” the former member of Xscape has created a team to find the next music super star on Bravo’s “The Kandi Factory.” But when her panel of experts settle on a talent, Kandi looks to her producer Selasi to help make the hits. The Ghana-born Atlanta based artist who has produced, engineered, and co-written songs for everyone from Idris Elba, Keyshia Cole and Nas to Pimp C, Killer Mike and Trey Songz.

The editing is what makes me nervous. They can shoot you laughing and then put it in somewhere else to make it look like you’re laughing at someone – Salasi on reality TV

In this interview with TheUrbanDaily.com he talks about the concept behind “The Kandi Factory,” the ups and downs of reality TV and his take on the “Tardy for The Party” lawsuit between Kandi and Kim Zociak.

TUD: You’ve been Kandi’s right hand in the studio but how did you two meet?

Selasi: I met Kandi through a mutual friend who is also an artist I work with, Rasheeda from “Love & Hip-Hop.” This was around 2006.  Kandi is really particular about her music and her sound. Hands down one of the most talented writers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. You know that writing is a gift with her.

You have an EP of your own out called “Shades Of Grey.” Is it full of kinky f*ckery?
It’s an EP that is very experimental in sound. What I mean by that is…it’s all the colors between white and black. In that same reference it’s sounds that exist between African and American sounds. Some are afrobeat, pop, I put reggae with hip-hop and mixture. The project is just me throughout. My first project was a mix tape called “Coming To America” and I had more features on it. But I found it was hard to promote a song featuring other people when you want to shoot a video or be on tour. The whole point of having that musical motion doesn’t work. When the song picks up you have to move fast or it loses its momentum. So I decided to do it by myself so I don’t have to hunt people down to shoot a video. etc.

Watch Selasi’s “Call The Police” below:

They have used two of the songs from “Shades of Grey” on the “Housewives of Atlanta” but I didn’t use any of it on “The Kandi Factory.” I was focused on working with these new acts. We were shooting a new episode per week. Because of the turnaround of the show we had to work on two artists per week. So I slept at the studio two or three day per week.

What made you want to do a show like “The Kandi Factory”?

The Kandi Factory is a show that was more or less a spill off from us working with Kim on “Housewives of Atlanta.” After we did that we were just joking that we could make anybody sound good. But what if we took people from different walks of life and put them in the studio and try our best to make artists in a week? Some episodes feature someone who has never been in a studio before. Some that are like 40 years old. At the end of the day the artist that shows the most improvement in a week wins for that week.

You helped Kim Zociak with her song “Tardy For The Party,” but are obviously loyal to Kandi. What was your involvement in making the song and what is your take on this lawsuit?

I was brought in by Kandi to work with her on the record. It was a record she was doing because Kim asked her to help her. I engineered and did some vocal production with Kandi. I did post edits and the mix. But I think that situation is that it’s about Kim not fully understanding the way the music business works. Kim is also a friend of mine. I’m not taking sides but when you have someone who hasn’t been in the music industry experience this kind of success off of one record… there is a learning process. So she didn’t know how to handle the business side of it. And that’s where they bumped heads.

Producers are typically behind the scenes people. What are the pros and Cons of reality TV?

Reality is a platform. It serves as a window for the world to see what you have to offer and building your image. The cons about it are that it makes your life an open book for everybody to see. Ours is a little different because it shows the art. The editing is what makes me nervous. They can shoot you laughing and then put it in somewhere else to make it look like you’re laughing at someone. Like when we were talking about Kandi doing a gospel song they showed me laughing, but I didn’t laugh at her doing gospel. They edited that in for ratings.

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Selasi on “The Kandi Factory”

 

So what do you think of Kandi doing Gospel? She caught a lot of flack from folks when she released the song “Stay Prayed Up” but has a sex toy line.

You know it’s real funny. I’m a preacher’s kid. I don’t like to talk too much about it because at the end of the day the Bible says who is without sin cast the first stone. We all sin. So to act like she isn’t qualified to sing gospel, what doesn’t make her qualified? her lyrics aren’t’ a typical gospel song, she’s talking to God. The guys she features on the song is a pastor. If a pastor didn’t’ have problems with it…sometimes church folk are the hardest to deal with. They’re the same ones purchasing her sex toy line.
Watch Salasi on “The Kandi Factory On Bravo” Tonight. Check your local listings from times!

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