Have you ever wondered what happened to some of your long-lost favourite artists? Well, we do, and thanks to technology we’ll be tracking down a few memorable names and faces who created the songs that are still played today to find out just where they are now. First up is American R&B singer Adina Howard, famous for the hits ‘Freak Like Me’ and ‘T-Shirt & Panties’...
Hello Adina, how are you doing?
Hey now! I’m blessed and marinated in high favour, thank you for asking.
First things first, what have been some of the best moments for you throughout your career?
Great question. Travelling this beautiful world of ours. Entertaining and meeting my fans, and seeing their faces during my performances are times in which I feel are some of the best moments in my career.
Your family was supportive from the start in helping you pursue your dream, but was music the path you always wanted to follow?
Truth be told, the path that I set out on had nothing to do with the music industry. After high school, my chosen career was forensics. Inspired by the movie Silence of the Lambs I wanted to be a forensic psychologist.
Who was Adina Howard back in the 90s?
Adina Howard back in the 90s was a young untameable female who enjoyed all the fruits that life offered.
Who is Adina Howard now?
Adina Howard is a seasoned woman. I’ve lived a life that has helped me grow up spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I am a no-nonsense type of woman. I’m more about living a purposeful life than a reckless one.
In 1995 you released ‘Freak Like Me’ – did you ever contemplate its chart-topping success?
No, at the time my focus was to finish what I committed myself to doing, and that was the music.
The Sugababes also enjoyed commercial success with their cover of ‘Freak Like Me’. They are also known for changing their line-up of members – if the opportunity arose, would you join them?
No, I do not believe that I would be interested in anything like that. However, depending on the situation, I wouldn’t mind working with the young ladies.
During your career you were seen by many as one of R&B’s top sex symbols – how did it feel to have such a status?
I never got caught up in the hype, so I didn’t feel any kind of way about it. I’ve been labelled many things in this life and that happened to be one of them.
Your image also inspired and opened the door for the likes of Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and Eve to incorporate sexual lyrics into their works. Does that mean you’re sort of responsible for their career?
I don’t think so; though I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I am the reason for the season. I feel like this: I may have opened the door, but they had to walk through it. So at the end of the day, those ladies busted their butts and made their careers happen, not me.
The newer generation of artists, such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Ciara and Nicki Minaj are also perceived as sheer eye candy. What are your thoughts? Do you think they deserve the label?
Be clear – they are eye candy and there’s nothing wrong with that, but they’re more than just eye candy. They’re businesswomen. So do they deserve that title solely? No, they deserved to be observed as more.
Speaking of Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj, you may know they have been feuding – what are your thoughts? Is it healthy for females to go head to head?
I’ve heard about the feud, but I have no relevant opinion about their situation. As artists, I find them both to be talented and I respect their artistry. Is it healthy? If it’s about making money, absolutely. If they are seriously feuding, they need to grow up and get over themselves because it’s not that serious and they should respect one another for the success that each has achieved.
How have you dealt with fame?
Fame is overrated, so I don’t put a great deal of stock in it. I see myself as an everyday person blessed with doing a job I love. However, I will use it for what it’s worth.
So, we’re pleased to hear you’re working on your fifth album. What can we expect?
When it comes to the new album, expect the unexpected; my goal is to give the fans something they are going to love and did not expect to hear.
And can you tell us more about these rumours we’ve heard that you’re writing a cookbook?
Yes, they are true. Once I get it together, that will be a treat for my babies (fans).
What are your future plans, beyond the upcoming album?
Right now I am in culinary school, working towards my degree in Culinary Arts. So my future plans are to continue to build the Adina Howard brand beyond the success already achieved.
Interview by Noel Phillips