What made you agree to join the cast of “R&B Divas: Los Angeles”?
Perfect timing. I wish it was called “R&B Chicks Who Can Sing Mad Good and Mad People Know ‘Em”, because I don’t think I’m really ready to be a diva yet. But, hey, if the shoe fits–this one right here’s gon’ wear it.
Did you know your co-stars before you started filming?
I knew everybody before the show, except for Dawn and Michel’le. I knew Kelly from church. We are the church girls who made it cool to sing R&B, we showed the world that you could be saved and still sing secular.
Over the past decade, you’ve written lot of popular tracks. How did you decide to stay in the loop through songwriting?
When I first met Missy Elliot, she was like, “Make sure you write.” That just stuck with me, and it’s what’s carried me. Writing is everything. It’s also the best form of [self-expression]. It’s just like journalism. So, I’m actually a journalist but I sing my words.
The turn of the millennium was an incredible time for you. What was it like, to be part of a hit machine that cranked out so many back-to-back club hits?
I was just excited. Once my parents said, “Go get ‘em. This is your job, this is what you’re supposed to do,” I was so hyped. My mom used to have pictures and clippings of everything I was in. It was all a dream come true. You can’t pay for that kind of love and the feeling of elation when people really appreciate your voice and your gift. When everybody started calling, from the Jay-Zs to the Ja Rules, it was just crazy. They would call me directly.
Is your goal to return to that level of prominence? Is that why you joined the cast of “R&B Divas: Los Angeles”?
I hope to surpass it, because TV exposes me to a whole different audience: people who wouldn’t normally know who Lil’ Mo is. I think TV One is in 58 million households. You can’t beat those numbers and you can’t buy those numbers. They called me and I packed up my kids, my husband. We trekked out west, like from Baltimore Hills, well not Hills, but [more like] Baltimore Hoodbillies. Hello!