VV: Wale is featured on the song. Why do you think you and Wale work so well together?
CM: You know, me and Wale have watched each other go through lots of ups and downs. We’ve watched each other be afraid in the music industry then overcome those fears. Wale is really great at tapping into lifestyle scenarios and articulating it so that everybody can understand it. From the song “Shades” to “Rich Hipster,” I just feel like he always says it the best.
What is the best advice he has given you?
We just push each other to continue to be honest with who we are. I remember right when I was about to shave my head Wale said, ‘Man, nobody else got dreads, I don’t look like everybody else. I’m not gonna win with these dreads.’ I told him, ‘Wale don’t cut off your dreads. They are beautiful.’ He kept his dreads and he braided them back for the Ambition album cover. He ended up having a top record, everybody fell in love with him all over again and all he did was be himself.
Both of you tend to go against the norm and are committed to giving your fans quality music. With that being said, what is your view on the mainstream music industry?
The mainstream industry is full of so many things that you can’t comment on it as a whole, but individually, I feel that I was in a very unhealthy space when I gave out my last album. There were a lot of negative sounds, sounds that might have made you sad when you listened to it. It’s not a bad thing to be sad, but I’d rather not be the reason. I want my music to bring you to a place of happiness and peace.
So, how is life now for Chrisette Michele?
I am having fun. I am not worried about if I am underrated or overrated or rated at all. I am just excited to be a singer who travels around the world and touches peoples’ hearts. That’s it.
Better is in stores and available on iTunes now.