Olivia Longott Talks Love and Hip Hop and Going Solo @1andonlyOlivia

Former first lady of G-Unit, Olivia Longott is out to make a name all on her own. Shortly after her separation from 50 Cents and gang, Longott went into hiatus to regroup and rebrand herself as a solo artist.

Now she has returned to the game with a new EP, new attitude, and a reality show in the works.

In a one-on-one interview, Olivia discussed her current relationship with Fifty, her new album and her new reality series Love and Hip Hop, which airs on VH1 March 14 at 10p.m.

By: Judith Wallace

I understand that your singing background is closely related to the church…..

Olivia Longott: Yes, I was brought up in the church. I was a member of the choir since I was seven years old, and that has always been a very big influence for me. I love Dorinda Clarke , Jay Moss, Smokie Norful; I am very into that genre of music.

So how did you transition from singing in church to the industry which ultimately led to you becoming the first lady of G Unit?

Olivia Longott: (Laughs) the world is an evil place. When I first sang for Clive Davis, I sang His Eyes was on the Sparrow and that’s how I got my first deal at J Records. I was still all about God. And then it turned into “I’m About the Bizounce.” I was actually playing around with that record with my artist Bingo, then it turns out everybody loved it. I did not think that they were going to make it the single. I am the first artist signed to J Records, I was 18 years old at the time. I’m gonna do whatever Clive says; I’m just happy to sing. So that’s how that came about.

So I am aware that at one point you were a part of G Unit. What is your current relationship with G Unit?

Olivia Longott: Oh, everything is fine 50 Cents and I are cool. We have seen each other and we have spoken so don’t listen to any of the rumors.

On your website there is a slogan that says new year, new show new music by Olivia. Can you tell me about your new music and your new reality show?

Olivia Longott: The new music involves the EP which is Love and Hip-Hop. We are doing eight songs as a follow up to the VH1 show Love and Hip-Hop, and its all love songs. I did a remake of a Rayquan’s song that’s called Love Is. I also have something from Maya Leslie with other great tracks. This is a follow up to the album that will be out in the summer and it’s called Show The World. I did not put any artists on this album because I wanted you to get what Olivia has to offer. Before this album, I was always with someone as a feature instead of me doing my own thing. Some of the producers involved are Missy Elliot, Brian Michael Cox, Sean Kingston Rockwilder and others. I am really excited that I took the time to do this, as I did not want to have any material that I use from G Unit. I just wanted to start afresh so that I can give you the real R&B sound that I have always wanted to.

As for Love and Hip Hop which airs on March 14 @ 10:30 PM on VH1, I am excited and happy that we all did it. I was a little skeptical at first, but Mona Scott who is the executive producer has always been a good friend of mine came to me with the idea of a reality show. I was very leery at first. Originally the show was supposed to be Jim and the family Jones show (Rapper Jim Jones and his family) because it was Jim and Chrissy’s show about their family. They brought me in as the best friend because I knew Jim Jones for years, but this was the first time I met Chrissy (Jim’s girlfriend) . We talked about the synopsis of the show and then they changed it and expressed that if they add me to the show, they want to showcase the whole dynamic on women in the business. Then came the new idea of making it about Olivia, Chrissy and Emily who happens to be the girlfriend of rapper Fabulous.

We were playing around with different names for the show and one of the suggestions was Hip Hop Wives. A lot of people thought I was going to be talking about fifty. The show is about Love and Hip Hop and I am the single one on the show, so I give my advice to Chrissy and Emily and I talk about my whole music career. You will see the ups and downs, partying with my friends, you will see my family, basically all my shenanigans. You will also see the dynamics between Jim and Chrissy with Chrissy trying to establish her own image, because she is always seen as just the girlfriend of Jim Jones. And the same situation for Emily (fabulous girlfriend) trying to establish her own image as well. So it is actually a dope show and of course you will get a little drama. But it is a really good show and if I was not in it I would still watch.

You know that sex sells and it often portrayed in your industry especially by the women. Do you feel pressured as a female artist to always have an image that sells sex regardless of how talented you are?

Olivia Longott: Not at all. I don’t want to sound cocky by saying this’ but I am already a sexy person. I don’t feel like if you know that you are sexy then you don’t have to put it out to the camera. You can wear regular clothes and still be sexy its really not that serious. In some ways I was a little offended at times when people would criticize me about my videos, for example the candy shop with me and Fifty. I mean how do you expect me to look it is what the song is about am just telling a story. You don’t normally see me dressed like that so its not that serious. My new material is totally different from what you are expecting. Don’t expect the Olivia that you saw in G Unit because that is what I had to do to conform to the style of the group. The new single we have coming out is Lick Salt Shot Lime everybody just named it LSSL. This is a club record; it was already leaked so we are going to put out the official version next week. The next single that we have promoting on the show for me is December, which is just an amazing ballad. All of the women are gonna love it; the men have no choice but to love it, its is gonna be great I’m excited.

I understand that you are very interested in acting and may have done it before. Are you pursuing an acting career as well?

Olivia Longott: Yes, my acting coach is Tracey Moore, and she has always given me scripts to read. I actually shot a movie with her called People. It was picked up by Warner Brothers, so you guys should see it on the big screen soon. I am excited as well as her because its her first movie, Terrance and Mike from the group 112 are also in the movie.

Who are your music influences?

Olivia Longott: Well from a young age I have been a big Bob Marley, Beres Hammond I still play them to this day. I burnt a hole in Beres’s cds. Some of my other influences are Luther Vandross, Anita Baker; they have always been favorites of mine. Janet Jackson, of course that is where I get my sexy struts from. And who is not an Alliyah fan? Basically I have a wide variety of artists that I am influenced by.

When you are not working what do you like to do?

Olivia Longott: I like to play with my puppies I have two Yorkies, Scooby and Shaggy and my god children I love children to death. I have ten godchildren and clearly they think that I am a great god mother. I do great adventures, Dave and Busters Chucky -E- Cheese. I do anything the kids want to do. I also love shopping, the movies, playing pool and I am also always at the games . I love sports very big on that basketball, football etc. I am a little bit of a tom boy (laughs).

It seems like you are on your way to creating a brand, is that your ultimate goal?

Olivia Longott: Yeah it is. You know when I left G Unit in 2007, I went to Europe. And this is one of the reasons why people thought that I stopped doing music because they did not see me in the U.S. I went to re-group and figure out my next move, I did not want to take a deal cause a lot of people were offering me deals at the time. But I got out of a big deal with the biggest rapper and then I had other rapper labels wanting to give me deals as well. But I needed to chill and get everything together and come back refreshed. And that’s what I did.

What about family and support because sometimes this business can get tough. How does your family fit in and support you?

Olivia Longott: The good thing for me is that I always keep my family around because I am very big on family. My old manager is my cousin and he is still around. I have always had great support from my father, he is an Aquarius just like me so he is my biggest supporter in the whole world. I can talk to him about anything he is actually on the show too which is really cute (makes me cry). My brother is great also, my mom is the skeptical one, because she does not understand the industry at all…but that’s always with West Indian moms they are extremely protective. She would probably be the like the Debbie downer and my father is the one who will say leave her alone she got this. But it is good to have this balance it works perfectly for me.

What is the one thing that you would say is unique about you and sets you apart form the rest of artists in general?

Olivia Longott: My personality

What is one thing that you would like people to know about Olivia that they don’t already know?

Olivia Longott: I am a comedian. A lot of people do not know that I am funny, they look at me and think that I am serious, but no I will have you laughing all day for no particular reason.

I know a lot of artist/ celebrities usually are involved with or contribute to charities but never talk about. Is there anything that you are particularly passionate about in that aspect?

Olivia Longott: Absolutely, there is a non profit organization called Epilepsy foundation of Long Island that I make donations to. For the children there is a charity in Rosedale Queens (cause I am from Cambria Heights) that helps a group of teenagers whose families are not able to provide necessities for school and school activities (uniforms, trips etc). So every year I donate money to them as well. Anything for the kids I am all for it.

What message do you have for your fans in general?

Olivia Longott: Well, my general message to my fans would be “don’t let anyone take your faith away”. If you believe in yourself, that is good enough just keep at what you are doing and you will definitely reach your goal.

Although you came in the business at a young age you do have a strong educational background. How do you think that have helped you to survive in this industry?

Olivia Longott: That’s helped me a lot. When I started with Clive Davis, I was still in Hofstra University. I left after two years because I was pursuing my dream. Most people go to college to figure out what they want to do but I already knew what I wanted to do. Even before I went to Hofstra I was going to Five Town College and I took all audio classes while I was there, so I was well prepared for this. This is why I know how to work all the boards, like everything this is what I wanted to do, so I prepared myself. Thank god I ended up in the field where I wanted to be. I don’t condone anyone dropping out of school but if your dream comes knocking at your door, you are going to take it which is what happened in may case. And that is the only reason why I did not finish my college education because I wanted to sing and I got the opportunity to sing and my time in college was preparing myself to fulfill this dream.

What advice do you have for young people who are trying to get in the industry?

Olivia Longott: As many no’s that you hear there will be that one yes that will make all those no’s worthwhile.

To find out more about Olivia Longott, please visit http://www.oliviaworldwide.com/.

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