Brandy says she joined the new ABC drama "Queens" because it was a "dream role," combining all of the performance interests that she loves.
"Music is my first love, so to be able to do music, from singing to rapping, and also being in a supergroup, you know, dancing, acting all in one role, that was the attraction initially," said the R&B icon. "Then, when I read the script…it was a page-turner."
"Queens" follows the fictional popular 90s rap group the Nasty Bitches, who broke up at the height of their fame. But two decades later, the rappers, which features Naomi aka "Xplicit Lyrics" (Brandy), Brianna aka "Professor Sex" (Eve), Jill aka "Da Thrill" (Naturi Naughton) and Valeria aka "Butter Pecan" (Nadine Velazquez), attempt to reunite after one of their biggest hits is sampled by a new, popular artist.
Of course, with any music group break up, there's tons of drama. Some of the storylines vaguely mirror situations some of the actresses experienced in their personal lives and careers, which resonated with Naughton.
"It's definitely a little eerie to me. When I read the script…I actually experienced some of the drama and breakups and makeups of being in a girl group, being in the business, being manipulated," said Naughton, who was a member of the 2000s R&B girl group 3LW. "That sense of identity is one thing that I connect to with my character, Jill. I always felt like I didn't have enough time to learn who I really was."
The music and raps in the show are all original, crafted by super-producer Swizz Beatz and his team. Naughton, who starred as Tasha St. Patrick, wife of drug kingpin "Ghost" in the Starz flagship show "Power," says she was already prepping returning music before she took this role, and "Queens" has encouraged her even more.
"I was actually recording before I booked 'Queens,' and everyone's been asking like, 'Oh, Naturi, when are you going to get back into music?' I'm actually working on a solo project," said Naughton. "All the people that are working on the 'Queens' music, it has definitely inspired that spark in me again to continue with my music."
Brandy, who stated she's open to pursuing film roles, released her "B7" album in 2020 after a long hiatus. The "I Wanna Be Down" singer says she has her hands full with "Queens," but new music should come soon.
"This is really having me really focus on (the show), but it's not going to take me eight years to come back out with a record because I'm so inspired by doing this kind of music," she said, referring to the TV series. "So in a few, I'm going to start working on my own stuff."