I don't just want to be a cute girl in a comedy or the actress who just does the same thing over and over again. I want to play roles that are distinct. I want to have a more varied career like actresses Viola Davis or Angela Bassett - those are the people that I grew up watching and admiring.
I was excited to play Lil' Kim and I wanted to do the role justice. I worked really hard on that role, whether it was performing the rhymes, studying the dialect, her swagger and her stage performances. I wanted people to see my range and stretch my wings as an actress.
Starting in music, where I get a chance to connect with the lyrics of a song, I learned so much about performing on stage and connecting to your audience and to what you're singing about. Singing is very emotional. Every song has its own purpose.
As a black actress you've got to work doubly hard. But it doesn't ever get me to the point where I give up on myself. It just motivates me to be more prepared, focus and disciplined. That's why I care so much about doing black films and making sure that we represent and are represented correctly.
Singing is my passion and something that I still love to do and I'm always going to want to do it.
I think a lot of young people don't realize the price of fame is a lot higher than they imagine.
I want to do stories that inspire people.
I'm a true singer who grew up singing in church, so I love singing my heart out.
Oh, you know, I think it was definitely a little pressure, to remake something like 'Fame'.
I want to be back on Broadway one day. That's a dream of mine. There's nothing like live theater, and I think it's so important for me to be able to be on stage with an audience that responds.
I was pretty young when I decided I wanted to, well, more so be a singer. I started singing in church in my hometown, East Orange, New Jersey. I knew when I was about five or six that I wanted to be a performer.
I work out and go to the gym, but I still enjoy my soul food and snacks. But I'm a pretty petite young woman, and I just do everything in moderation and make sure that I just keep everything together.
One of my biggest inspirations growing up was Whitney Houston, so I was devastated to hear about her passing. I'm from East Orange, New Jersey, and started singing at New Hope Baptist Church, so she was like my fellow Jersey girl.