LaToiya lined up a nice interview over at allhiphop.com. I basically cut and pasted from her site after I posted it there. Go ahead and read in full below:
Hey ya’ll! Long time no see and I apologize for that. I’ve been with Nate Dogg and his family supporting them through their time of loss. Also hopped on a track with Warren G dedicated to Nate Dogg… with any proceeds from this song going directly to his family. On top of that, I’ve been in the studio workin on some new tracks for this album. But I did find some time to sit down with allstarhiphop.com to talk about My Music Career, where its been, and where I am going! You can click here to check out more… or just keep reading below.
Los Angeles, CA R&B singer Latoiya Williams has appeared on countless tracks over the years, whether it was by singing backup or providing a hook. From gospel legend Yolanda Adams, the iconic Gladys Knight, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, Latoiya has used her powerful and unique soulful voice to give a song that magic touch. Although she was signed to Snoop Dogg’s Dogghouse Records in 2002 and appeared heavily on the labels Dogghouse All-Stars compilation, Latoiya never released an album to the amazement of many on the West Coast who had been anticipating her release. After her departure from Dogghouse, Latoiya still continued to resurface on tracks for various Hip-Hop artists, yet after each song she would once again disappear from the scene. However after much soul-searching Latoiya has renewed her efforts to pursue a solo singing career and AllHipHop.com caught up with her to hear what’s caused this decision and why it’s taken so long. A voice such as hers deserves to come out of the shadows.
AllHipHop.com: You started your career by working with the legendary gospel singer Yolanda Adams?
Latoiya Williams: I did and it was alongside the gospel group Mary Mary. All of us including the producer Warryn Campbell went to church together. I sang with them for a few years until I received a phone call from Gladys Knight’s management. They were auditioning for background singers and they ended up hiring me to sing backup to Gladys Knight.
AllHipHop.com: What was going through your mind knowing that you were going to work with the legendary Gladys Knight?
Latoiya Williams: Actually it was a weird time in my life. My grandmother was dying of cancer. I went to the audition looking “toe-up.” I was really sad and down and out. I was excited to have been picked to sing background but at the same time I was heartbroken because of what was happening to my grandmother.
AllHipHop.com: How long did you work for Gladys Knight?
Latoiya Williams: For about 6 years. It was from 1997 to 2003. After that I started working with Snoop Dogg. My god-brother Andrew Gouche had set that up for me. He’s a big time gospel bass player. He was responsible for everything at that point; Yolanda Adams, Gladys Knight, Snoop Dogg. We met up with Soopafly at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles because he had been looking for some artists and we gave it a try. It all worked out from there with Dogghouse Records.
AllHipHop.com: Why did we never see a Latoiya Williams album on Dogghouse Records? You appeared heavily on the Dogghouse All-Stars compilation and other songs but no album ever surfaced.
Latoiya Williams: At some point I wanted to take time off and figure out what I wanted to do because I wasn’t really sure. I didn’t know if I wanted to stay in this business or just remain as a background singer. On my part, I wasn’t ready. I wanted to have my own management and production team and be prepared for this game. At that time I don’t think I was mentally ready for all of that. I just laid low and sang hooks until I could figure out a way to brand myself.
AllHipHop.com: But did you have an album on ready to go?
Latoiya Williams: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of albums ready to go. I do have one called The Greatest Hits which is a best of all of the songs that I’ve been on. But yes I do have a couple of albums already done.
AllHipHop.com: Do you regret not going full-forward with your career at that time? Like it was a missed opportunity?
Latoiya Williams: I don’t regret it at all. Being in this industry and not really knowing the business, can harm you. I didn’t want to go in to it that way. I wanted to go in knowing what was going on with my career and with more control over it. I’m grateful that God has blessed me with a second chance.
AllHipHop.com: Even with being involved in the music business since you were 15, you didn’t understand how it operated?
Latoiya Williams: Right. I was singing background all of that time. Working with Snoop Dogg was a hands-on experience for me. It was a great experience and I am grateful for Snoop opening up doors for me. He believed in me and put me out there.
AllHipHop.com: You had no manager around to show you the ropes?
Latoiya Williams: I never had a manager when I was working with Snoop Dogg or singing background. I later learned that it was important to have a team of people to have your back and be concerned about your career.
AllHipHop.com: So you drew back on your career and got off of the Dogghouse label, yet you kept resurfacing on other people’s songs.
Latoiya Williams: I did tracks with Talib Kweli, Anthony Hamilton, Young Buck and Busta Rhymes.
AllHipHop.com: The Young Buck song was produced by Dr. Dre. How was that experience?
Latoiya Williams: That was a great experience. I love Dr. Dre. To me he is one of the best to ever do it. Working with perfectionists my whole life, I learned those qualities as well, and that’s what he is.
AllHipHop.com: Did he give you any recording advice?
Latoiya Williams: No advice. Most of the time, like with Jay-Z, they believe in me and know that if they call me I will come in and kill the song.
AllHipHop.com: You were on The Blueprint 2. How did you hook up with Jay-Z?
Latoiya Williams: Jay-Z called Snoop Dogg to ask if he could work with me. I went to New York and the song came out great. Even after I left Dogghouse, Snoop had his hands in a lot of stuff that I did. I couldn’t believe that I was in Jay-Z’s studio. He extended his thanks and told me that he was a fan and that he loved my voice. He even left me in the studio to just do what I do. He said he didn’t want to tell me how to sing it and just to do me.
AllHipHop.com: You recently refocused your singing career. What brought about this decision?
Latoiya Williams: After all of the stuff we just spoke about, I went back to singing background for Gladys Knight. She saw something in me and we had a conversation. She told me that I need to pursue my solo career because she could tell it’s what I wanted to do. She told me that I needed to grow and move forward from being a background singer. I took her advice and started moving.
AllHipHop.com: Were you happy being a background singer?
Latoiya Williams: I was happy but I outgrew it. I desired to do my own solo project and to learn the business. I admit that I was getting bored with singing background. I’m in the studio now working and recording. I have a good manager now who is helping me with a whole lot of stuff and we’re working on a new album. I have a soulful sound mixed with R & B. I call it West Coast R & B. I think it will fit in fine with today’s R & B. I’m bringing something fresh and new with an old school twist – something from the 70′s and 80′s. I will tell people to follow your dreams and to follow your heart. If you are not ready for something, please be honest with yourself. Take your time and do things right. Sometimes it’s just good to take your time so that you can make sure that you’re in the best position that you can possibly be in.
AllHipHop.com: Before I go, I wanted to ask you what was your favorite collaboration out of all of the songs that you’ve done?
Latoiya Williams: I would say the Young Buck song and the new ones that I just did with Snoop Dogg on his new album. One is called “Cold Game” and the other is “This Weed Iz Mine” featuring Wiz Khalifa.