Cynthia Loving Bryant, better known as Lil Mo, has been known for such hits as Superwoman Pt II, 4Ever and has collaborated with many of Hip Hop’s brightest stars from Keith Sweat to Missy Elliot to Bow Wow. She was also a member of legendary gospel music superstar Pastor John P Kee’s New Life Community Choir.
While she is a big personality on Twitter and a radio personality in D.C., it’s the charts that have been missing Lil Mo the most. It’s been about four years since her last studio release, but the wait is coming to an end. Lil Mo recently granted Socialtik an exclusive interview where we discussed the future of her music and brand as a whole.
You’ve been gone for about 4 years, what have you been doing? What’s new?
Well for the past four years I’ve just been reorganizing my whole structure, reorganizing my brand! Because I have such a solid foundation and fan base, the structure sometimes needs to be rebuilt. So it’s the same old me, with a new coat of paint. I even did radio for a year!
See a lot of people didn’t know that, I knew you were on radio (DC’s WPGC). How has that experience helped you develop?
Radio was a platform I used to reintroduce myself to people. And today, with the internet being what it is, people were able to hear me overseas and in broader markets. On radio I was able to see what the people really wanted to hear and see what really works, so I can come back better than ever.
Godmother of Hip Hop & R&B, a lot of people say you gave that moniker to yourself. Some even question whether you deserve it, where did it come from and what do you say to those skeptics?
See!!! I actually didn’t give that name to myself!!! I’ll tell you how I got it!!!! My biggest fan base is the gay community, and I did a show Upstate NY, and after the show people were crying and emotional. The promoter came to me and he said, “You have such an amazing anointing on your life and God is going to use you for more than R&B and since you know God and you are a mother, let’s call you the Godmother.”
Working radio, would you say that it prepped you on how to come back at the game??
Yup! I know how to come at it now!! See my target demographic has been and will always be 18-25, but now, I’m crossing over into a more mature demographic – 25-49. And the reason for that is that I did the Tom Joyner cruise and we (my team) were the youngest ones on that boat. You had these older folk who come every year and don’t mind spending their money. Young kids are trying to keep their cell phones on, or pay college tuition, they may buy an album, but they’re not gonna spend money to come see a show or to support my perfume line, etc. So I’m trying to reach out to that older market who has a piece of change saved and wouldn’t mind supporting my entire brand.
Let’s talk about your new album, PS iLove ME. Your first single, “On The Floor” is out. It’s a party song, But what can we expect from the album as a whole?
It’s deeper than the title PS iLove ME. See there’s a lot of people out there that don’t love themselves enough. We see it all with the bullying and the killings. Folk ready to kill themselves because somebody doesn’t love them. But the problem isn’t with somebody else loving you, it’s all about you loving yourself enough to not let the b.s. of life get to you. I don’t encourage anybody to love somebody else if they don’t love themselves first. The title cut “I love me,” is all about having fun and loving yourself! People look happy, but are one step from suicide. So I designed this album as a wake up call. I won’t jeopardize my life or freedom over nothing. Love yourself first then love on everybody else.
You’ve been signed to major lables in the past, but this new album is on your own label, Honeychild Entertainment. Do the benefits of being independent outweigh the work?
You know a lot of people hear “indie” and think you can’t get a deal or you’re not working hard, but you have to work even harder because you don’t have the major budgets from major labels. At the end of the day you see 100% of the returns, because you are investing in yourself as opposed to being signed and having people invest into you. However, I’m grateful to have been on major labels because I know the ins and the outs now. Everything I’ve done has prepared me and cultivated me for the place that I’m at now!!!!
Lil Mo has evolved as an artist and a woman overall and she is continuing her journey on her own terms. Not afraid to speak truth into her music and the lives of her fans, Lil Mo is the sweet soul that we have missed in music for quite some time now. Now it’s time to stay tuned to the Godmother of Hip-Hop and R&B and she what she blesses us with next.