With the Atlanta Soul Life music festival right around the corner, Atlanta is gearing up for another unforgettable experience. Among the many hard hitters on the bill are Angie Stone, Goapele, Lalah Hathaway, and the amazing Syleena Johnson. Syleena, also known as a key diva on the TV One hit series R&B Divas, has started this year off with the crazy bang. Between tours, festival preparation, family time, and a new book release, she took time out to give an exclusive interview to SHEEN!
What’s new in the life of Syleena Johnson?
Well, pretty much everything is broadcasted because I try to promote myself as much as I can. I am recently trying to release a workout DVD called Mommy’s Got Soul. I’ve been attempting to release it since season two of R&B Divas and now I’m just getting it how I want it. Plus, my book The Weight is Over.
Yes the book! It’s already been considered a great read for many women! Why did you decide to write the book The Weight is Over?
I dreamt about it, which is what encouraged me to write it. It’s about my journey with body image. I feel like women have such a skewed view of beauty and I just felt the need to share my story. I believe it really will help women to appreciate their bodies.
How are you preparing for the Atlanta Soul Life Music Festival?
You know, I always prepare the same. It’s great to be with these artists. I’ve worked with all of them before. It’s also nice that it’s in Atlanta. I’m very excited for that because it’s much easier for me! All I have to do is drive right down the street and go right to the show! Plus, a lot of my friends and family get to come, which is really great.
When on a bill for a show, what are some requirements in your dressing room?
One of my favorites that some people don’t like, but I love is ginger root. Sometimes I don’t get to use my ginger root because they may not have the water and steamer, or it’s not cut up properly, and I just don’t have time to prepare it. But ginger is excellent before a show. I also like to gargle vinegar before I perform. It really does clean out your cords. I got that from my vocal coach; she hooked me up with that one.
What about your beauty regimen? What are some must-haves for you?
For a performance, I have to use MAC Studio Finish Foundation. It’s a thick one and I sweat a good bit on stage so it works. I also use MAC Primer. I pretty much use MAC everything! But one thing that I just have to have and I use it all the time even on my lighter make up days, is Two-Faced bronzer. That’s my favorite!
Here’s a question from your home girls out there. Hair grease or hair oil? Or are you even into natural products at all?
I’m a natural girl. I don’t use grease because it’s just too heavy. I love coconut oil! I put coconut oil in everything. Some of my favorite products right now are Shea Moisture and Jane Carter. I also like Miss Jessie’s products too, but Shea Moisture is definitely my number one right now.
What has been your biggest motivation throughout your career?
My children and the Lord. I just have an innate drive to accomplish my dreams. Some people have mentors. I don’t really have those. My sisters are my confidants; we encourage one another, but I do not have a mentor. If there is anyone I owe anything to, it’s God. People have been encouraging to me throughout the years, and have even said words that stuck with me.
I mean, I have been blessed to have some great people in my life, but I am self-motivated. Sometimes it’s okay to be proud of your damn self, you know? Just for getting you through to the next level; because it takes you. So for me, it’s me. I have an amazing husband who is an awesome foundation, without whom I couldn’t do things. My family is my number one reason to keep on keepin’ on.