Since 1991 Toni Braxton has blessed us with unforgettable hit singles such as Unbreak my Heart, You’re Makin’ me High and He Wasn’t Man Enough and scooped six Grammy awards for her efforts. Brace yourselves – Toni Braxton’s sexy soulful voice is back! She recently signed to Atlantic Records and will be releasing her new album next month, featuring lead single Yesterday, a stunning duet with US recording artist Trey Songz. Flavour caught up with Toni to have a chat about motherhood, acting, that Trey Songz kiss and her sixth album, PulseHi Toni – we missed you. How have you been?
I’m doing great, thanks for asking. I’ve been pretty good. Everything’s going pretty well for me.
How’s are your boys doing? I’ve seen pictures of them – they are gorgeous!
Thank you, they’re good. They’re in school today.
How do you find juggling motherhood and your career?
Some days it’s pretty tough, I can’t deny it. I’m still trying to figure out a formula. But I love being a mum, and I love performing. But some days it is challenging.
Did you enjoy doing Dancing with the Stars?
I really enjoyed it – it was a lot of fun! I did it because after I had my little illness [a heart condition known as microvascular angina], I did it as a way to help me get over my fear. If I’m honest with myself, looking back I did do it a bit too soon though, because it was two months after my illness. I probably should have waited – if I did it now I probably would have done a lot better.
You look amazing in your new video Make My Heart. Was it fun to shoot?
Thank you, I was really hungry, I remember that! It was a lot of fun. I got to apply a bit of Dancing with the Stars, had fun shaking my booty a lil’ bit! A lot of the kids are on Randy Jackson’s dance-off on MTV – they were so talented and I was just sitting around watching and going ‘Oh my God!’ It was great.
What inspired the theme for your album cover?
We did that album cover gosh, last year, April. I had a different look, long blonde hair, like when I performed on the Soul Train Awards. I wanted to do something very soft and womanly, because at first the album was going to be called Woman. The reason we changed it to Pulse was because my album before last was called More Than a Woman and we said we don’t wanna confuse people, so let’s just change the title.
I don’t want to pry or be nosey but…
It’s OK go ahead!
Are you dating Trey Songz?
Oh God no. There’s nothing wrong with dating younger but, as a matter of fact, I’d never met Trey until the day before the performance. We recorded the song, I did my part, and he did a remix later. I’ve always been a fan of his voice, I love him, and the choreographer actually came up with the lil’ kiss thingy. We asked each other you don’t have the cooties, right? Your lips are OK? OK were good, OK let’s do it! Just for the song.
Are you currently dating, spoken for, just chilling? Are you happy?
I’m just chilling, I haven’t started dating yet. I’m a bit cautious and haven’t met anyone that I really like. For me it would have to be a referral. At least to start off, getting me comfortable with dating again.
I absolutely love How Could an Angel Break My Heart feat. Kenny G. What’s your favourite song you’ve sang?
It’s one of my favourites, too, Kenny is so talented. Probably Breathe Again; I remember when I first heard it. The song wasn’t originally for me, it was for TLC. First it was for Pebbles – she passed, then it was for TLC and they passed. What a beautiful song. They said oh she won’t be doing it, TLC’s gonna do [it], and I was like darn it! It’s so perfect I fell in love with it. It’s a great song.
Are there any new artists you would like to collaborate with? Lady Gaga perhaps?
I love Lady Gaga. She’s signed to my brother-in-law’s label – she’s like family to me. Oh gosh! A duet… I don’t know… I haven’t thought about that. Maybe me and Robin Thicke – that could be nice.
You’ve recently completed filming The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. How did you find your character Rosalie Rosebud?
I fell in love with the character. She’s a diva superstar singer and she travels with like 150 pieces of luggage! She always wears pink and everything has to have roses in it. She’s so much fun and it’s rumoured that her luggage is supposed to be [like] Mariah Carey and JLo’s. We were influenced by the rumours of those girls. What’s wrong with carrying a lot of luggage? Sometimes you never know what’s your gonna need! It was great. It comes out I believe in the fall.
Toni Braxton’s new album Pulse is out now
Interview by Kemi Giwa