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23 | THE VOICE JUNE 28 - JULY 4, 2012


Kelly Rowland admits she was jealous of Beyoncé


Reggie Yates on lack of black faces on TV

VERONICA V Cash Money’s new princess

24 ! THE VOICE MAY 23 -29, 2013


They’ve made a name for themselves in one field, but these famous faces have blossomed in other areas too

LETHAL BIZZLE He rose to prominence with hit single Pow, but the UK rapper is reaching new heights (and audiences) with his line of Dench clothing

RIO FERDINAND The Manchester United defender, known for his skills on the pitch, has made a whole new fan base with celebrity magazine 5 and a range of hats

RIHANNA The singer, who has her hand in so many pies at the moment, recently launched a clothing line with River Island

JAY-Z He’s a multi-million selling US rapper, so what better business venture then to buy a New York nightclub to play and endorse his hits

JLS UK boyband JLS, who last month announced they would split, raised eyebrows when they launched their own line of condoms with Durex

MARIAH CAREY With a voice and a fortune like hers, we would just sit back and watch the cash roll in. Not our Mariah, she has a line of fragrances under her belt too!

TINIE TEMPAH He’s disturbed nearly every city around the world, so it’s only right he starts disturbing other avenues too. The UK rapper launched the Disturbing LDN clothing range in 2011

THE KARDASHIANS If they can do it, they will. The Kardashian trio recently launched a line in UK fashion retailer Dorothy Perkins. Of course, this is just one of their business ventures

BEYONCÉ Mrs Carter has a voice as smooth as chocolate, so it’s only right she smells as sweet. The former Destiny’s Child star recently launched her second fragrance, Heat

TINCHY STRYDER Our ‘Stryderman’ is one astute businessman. He balances a music career with his line of popular Star In The Hood clothing

KANYE WEST He’s got a baby on the way, so US rapper Kanye West is maximising all of his revenue streams. He debuted his spring/summer fashion collection in Paris last year

JORDIN SPARKS Singer Jason Derulo can’t get enough of his girl Jordin. Want to know her secret? We think it lies in her debut perfume Because of You

P DIDDY With a lifestyle that involves lots of drinking and partying, it’s advised to rehydrate with plenty of water. Do you think that’s why P Diddy launched his own brand?

CHRIS BROWN When Chris Brown isn’t busy organising his chaotic love life, he’s spending time working on his new clothing line, Black Pyramid

LEONA LEWIS The UK singer has one of the most enchanting voices, we wonder if her fragrances have the same effect? She launched her self-titled scent in 2011

:DUVDQ6KLUH USHER He may have a very successful music career, but Usher is becoming quite the perfumer, with a growing list of fragrances under his belt!

NICKI MINAJ Everything is pink when it comes to US rapper Nicki Minaj; her hair, her album title and her debut perfume Pink Friday

UPON LEARNING that her mother had been in a car accident, Warsan Shire could only think in poems. “Every person I spoke to and every scene seemed to be happening to me in the form of a poem,� the 24-year-old said. “That’s when I realised that if I didn’t have poetry, I don’t think I’d be able to function normally as a human being – I don’t think I’d be able to experience things and come out the other side,� she added. But at the time of learning about her mother’s unfortunate

circumstance, Shire heard some other news: she had been awarded the inaugural ÂŁ3,000 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, founded by creative writing lecturer Bernardine Evaristo, also a published novelist. More than 655 entries from emerging poets were received, which was then whittled down to a shortlist of six. Shire was a clear winner. One of the judges, Sharmilla Beezmohun, described her work as “beautifully crafted, subtle and understatedâ€?.



MAY 23 - 29, 2013 THE VOICE ! 25

US singer Veronica V talks to YV’s Dionne Grant about signing to Cash Money Records, working with Lil Wayne and empowering women


ERONICA V is a firm believer in the adage, ‘everything happens in its time’, because her journey into music has been testament to this. Starting life in the church, often “forced� to sing notorious chorus Jesus Loves Me at her mum’s request, and tirelessly seeking a record deal independently, the US singer was then headhunted by Cash Money Records. The popular label, founded by rapper Birdman and Ronald “Slim� Williams, also the parent company of Lil Wayne’s Young Money empire, got in touch with the owner of the Miami studio where Veronica would frequent to express their interest in the rising star. She explains: “The owner of the studio called me and was like, ‘Slim and Birdman heard

your music and they want to sign you.’ I was like, ‘What?’ “I’m a true believer in thinking that God has his timing. I just think that all the other scenarios just weren’t meant to be and that’s why they didn’t happen. When it’s meant for you, it’s effortless and it just flows. When I got that phonecall, I was at home playing a puzzle. There was no pressure and there was no drama.� The singer/songwriter, born Vanity Gardner, hails from Chicago and already had a portfolio of work, which included recordings with renowned producers Timbaland and Mr Beatz, to name a few, pre-signing. Despite her past experience, she admits she was still “intimidated� at the prospect of working with her new label mates, which include Young Money rappers Drake and Nicki Minaj and, of course, founder Lil

Wayne. “Although it’s a great honour, I will admit that I was a little intimidated to begin with. But I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes, so I just roll with the punches and learn from the veterans on the label. It’s actually funny because the pressure I feel is more fun than being bad,� she reveals. On being dubbed the label’s “new princess of R&B�, she says: “One thing I love about Cash Money is that they allow the artist to be themselves. They try and find the true essence of you. Initially you would think that it’s a rap label, so they’re going to make you do this and that, but they totally let you be you and I think that’s completely awesome.�

And if one was in any doubt, Veronica’s debut single What Happened To Us is proof of this artistic freedom. Veronica V, who worked on the sassy and sensual track with songwriter and record producer Polow The Don, explains that her personal experiences played out on the banger about lost love. “It was actually going to be called The Break Up,� she explains. “I definitely get inspiration from things I’ve gone through, things that I’ve seen my mum go through and my friends go through. For me, going through a break up it was, you’re happy, you’re sad, you’re ‘Oh My God, I’ll never find better!’ Then the next day you’re like, ‘Oh My God, I found better! I’ve actually experienced these things.� We both laugh at the familiarity. She continues: “There’s so many rollercoasters that women - and men - go through. I think What Happened To Us is a great starter record because it introduces this character and she’s not saying, ‘I want you back’. She’s saying, ‘Hey, I see you’re telling this girl over here the same lies.’ It’s showing a sign of strength.� And it’s that strength she hopes will filter to the women who listen to her music. “I want women in particular to hear it and feel like, ‘I’ve always

wanted to say that’. I think so many women are victims of bad relationships, but at some point we have to show strength and show that we can overcome.� The video, which features rapper 2 Chainz and has racked up over 80,000 hits on YouTube, is sure to raise a few temperatures as she cavorts in bum-skimming hot pants and shows off her perfectly toned midriff in a crop top. “It shows a strong woman who has not lost sense of her sensuality,� she retorts when I ask her about the over sexualisation of women in R&B and hip-hop. “I think it’s cool to touch on sexuality and it’s cool to show people that you’re a woman, but at the same time, you still need to do it as classy as possible because it can affect all women negatively.� KELLY ROWLAND:


The singer, who is keen to stand as a role model for young women, hopes to diversify into acting and modelling after she has made her mark on the music industry. She hopes the latter will show women “that you don’t have to be a stick figure to be a model. You can be a normal-sized girl who is successful.� “I would love to be the face that promotes that,� she says. “One thing I don’t believe in is perfection. I believe that everyone has flaws and flaws are beautiful. Right now I want women to hear themselves in my record and my album. There is a lot of great music, a lot of great production and a lot of great lyrics. I think it will touch a lot of people.� What Happened To Us is out now through Cash Money Records. For more information follow @Veronicaymcmb on Twitter




Dear Kat

I met this guy recently and we exchanged numbers. We have been talking every day since meeting and have gone on a few dates, but now he has gone cold. He doesn’t start any conversations with me and takes ages to reply to my messages or missed calls when I try and reach out. I’m confused because we were getting on so well. I don’t want to ask him if there’s a problem in case he thinks I’m paranoid, but at the same time, I really want to know what’s wrong. I’m writing to you because I really like him and don’t want to lose him or chase him away. What do I do? Anon

Hi Anon,

There are plenty of reasons why he may have withdrawn. They might include school, college or work commitments, family issues or things concerning a past relationship. I can understand why you’re upset at the way things have gone, but you’re only torturing yourself by wondering what those reasons could be. Just ask him. Explain that he’s been on your mind and you’re just wondering if he’s okay. If he doesn’t want to answer, he won’t, but on the flipside, he may really like the fact you’ve noticed and taken an interest in his well-being. It’s obvious he likes you, he wouldn’t have met you after date number one if he didn’t. Be brave and call.







RIS: Slick, effortle ss, stunning



TWEET OF THE WEEK UK comedian Richard Blackwood, who is currently starring in the West End adaptation of Shrek, has announced that he will launch a line of hats in the coming months


A: She’s gorgeo us, dress isn’ t!

Richard Blackwood

““R.B "Real Boss" snap backs coming out soon. Different colours! My new line WATCH THIS SPACE!!”�

26 ! THE VOICE MAY 23 - 29, 2013


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Young Voices Veronica V Edition  

US singer Veronica V talks to `Young Voice's Dionne Grant about signing to Cash Money Records, working with Lil Wayne and empowering women.

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