Check out our exclusive interview with Adina Howard.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about your beginnings in music and how you originally were noticed and signed by East West Records to record your debut album “Do You Wanna Ride”.

Adina Howard: I was working with a couple of guys and one of the them approached me and told me that he knew he wouldn’t be able to take me where I was wanting to go with my music, so he introduced me to someone he felt could take me to the next level. That individual took an interest in me and we began working on my demo package. Several months later, I ended up in Maryland with a group of guys called Mass Order. My manager had a conversation with them about how I handled mine and they ended up writing the song “Freak Like Me”. At the time there was an independent label called Mecca Don that was interested in signing me, but they didn’t have major distribution. That’s where East West comes in. Once “Freak like me” was completed and presented, East West came on board and we began work on “Do You Wanna Ride”.

YKIGS: What do you remember most about recording your debut album?

AH: What I remember the most is the journey. I remember the labor pains that I had to go through to give birth to my dream. The long hours, days, weeks, and months. The nay sayers, the doubters that didn’t believe in me or the project. The people that supported and believed in what we were working towards. That’s what I remember most.

YKIGS: Although the album went on to be Gold certified, you were criticized by some for your provocative and raw lyrically content and overly sexual image. How did you respond to those critics?

AH: I don’t recall how I responded. I’m sure my response was one of “I don’t care what you think or how you feel” because I was used to people feeling some kind of way about how I did me.

YKIGS: Talk about what was supposed to be your second album “Welcome to Fantasy Island” and why the album was eventually shelved.

AH: Truthfully, I was out of line about something I said and it got back to that individual and they decided they were no longer going to be a part of team Adina and decided to blacklist me and pull the plug on my career. That’s it in a nut shell.

YKIGS: Do you feel like this album being shelved hurt your career?

AH: The one thing I know is that the God I serve does things for a reason. His denial is sometimes just a delay in the process. So, that situation like many of the others that have taken place in my career are minor setbacks, but they have set me up for a major comeback. Don’t get me started.

YKIGS: How did the collaboration with Jamie Foxx on “T-Shirt and Panties” come together and give me some background on that song?

AH: I was working with Billy Moss on a song for the “Welcome to Fantasy Island” project and he happened to know Jamie. At some point during our session Jamie approached me about a song idea he had in mind. I told him to demo the song so that I could hear it. A few days later it was done and someone played it over the phone for me and I said I wanted it. And that’s how “T-Shirt and Panties” came about.

YKIGS: You released your next album “The Second Coming” in 2004 which featured similar lyrical content to your debut. How were you able to keep the same style of music without compromising and remain relevant in music?

AH: I think it’s because no female at the time was willing to go there which left room for me to do me.

YKIGS: How did the collaboration you did on “Freaks” with Play-N-Skillz and Krayzie Bone come together?

AH: I guess because of the concept of the song they felt that I would be a perfect fit. So they contacted my manager at the time and asked if I would be interested and we made it happen.

YKIGS: You released “Private Show” in 2007. What do you feel prevented the album from becoming a success?

AH: The label didn’t have the foundation it needed to support the album. When I say foundation, I mean they didn’t have proper distribution in place, nor did they have the financial means to market and promote project.

YKIGS: What have you been working on since the “Private Show” album.

AH: I’ve been in the studio recording, but I recently decided that going back to school was a necessity. So right now I’m in pursuing my degree in culinary arts, while working on new projects.

YKIGS: Are you currently working on a new album?

AH: Now that is something you will just have to see on, I can’t tell you everything. I will say however that my education is my priority. Once I graduate, you will be seeing a lot more of Adina Howard.

YKIGS: When you release your next album, how will the content compare to that of your previous albums?

AH: The interesting thing about that is, if you listen to my other projects like “The Second Coming” and “Private Show” there were other subject matters addressed like “Missing You”, “That Man”, and “I Forgive You”, but most seemed to focus on what aroused them sexually. However on my next project, the focus will be on the unexpected than the expected.

YKIGS: Talk about how the landscape of r&b music has changed since you first released your debut album.

AH: To me the only thing that has changed are the players and the sound, but that’s the natural ebb and flow of progression.

YKIGS: Share with me one of your fondest memories of your time spent in the music industry.

AH: My fondest memory is being with my road dogs. We had so much fun experiencing life as artists together.

YKIGS: If I were to look at your iPod and check the last three artists you played, who would they be?

AH: I don’t own an iPod, however the music that you would find in my car would be Chrisette Michele and cds with a mix of different artists on it like Kevin Michael, and some old school.