Getting To Know Betty Idol: Recording Artist, Writer and Reality TV Star
You may know her from VH1's hit show, "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,"but there's so much more to know about singer/songwriter, Betty Idol. Betty recently spoke with Too Much Info's Tiana Lanee for an exclusive interview and gave us some inside info about who she is beyond reality television. Check out what we learned about Betty, her time on Love and Hip Hop, how she got her start with music, her newest projects and some of the biggest names she has collaborated with in the industry.
Q: Tell us, who is Betty Idol?
Betty: I'm fun, cute and animated. I'm an artist. I love my family. I'm very family oriented, traditional...and super loyal.
Q: What inspired you to get involved with music?
Betty: My mom and my grandma inspired me. I pretty much looked up to my mom when I was really little and watching her come home and go to the studio. She would come home and listen to her music and write, so I would just watch her the whole time and I was like “Oh my gosh, I want to do that too." Then, I ended up writing. I remember one day I wrote a song for her when I was seven and that was the first time I wrote and she was like, “wow that's really good !" From there I kept on writing.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
Betty: Well my dad's columbian and my mom's black so I grew up listening to Salsa, Hip-Hop and R&B and Blues. So I have a wide variety from Hector Lavoe, Sade, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, 311. I like rock, I like Nirvana...3rd Eye Blind. My variety just keeps on going.
Q: You've worked with some of the top artist in the industry such as Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, you were featured on their Thug Cry single. What impact did such a collaboration have on your career?
Betty: It actually had big impact because a lot of people were like, “Wait...that's you? That's you singing on that song?" Then a lot of people wanted me to write with them and they wanted me to be featured on their record, so it definitely woke up the industry. I had more A&Rs calling me to send them hook references and stuff like that. It's definitely been a good impact on my career. Even though I didn't get my feature credit, it didn't say featuring Betty Idol but it's still in there.
Q: You have a single out with 2 Chainz titled, Blue Dolphin, how did that collaboration come about? How was it working with 2 Chainz?
Betty: Working with 2 Chainz is the best! His energy, his vibe... he's so positive and chill. He's very funny, like he's super funny so we're always laughing in the studio. But, creating Blue Dolphin it's such a crazy story. He was actually bench pressing and working out in the studio. I got there at like eight at night and it was pretty much packed, there was people in the lobby area playing pool...it was damn there like a party. Then, we created that song it was like six o'clock in the morning and it pretty much came out of no where. Everybody ended up leaving, but we're like little vampires so we ended up being wide awoke and he was like, “Betty just go through the beats and see which ones you like." So, we started vibing to some beats and I was like, “omg I love that one," and he liked it too. He started coming up with the flow and I had an idea and he wanted to hear it. I started singing my idea and he was like, “GO IN THE BOOTH!" Then I was like, "Okay job well done, time to go home and get some sleep." (laughs)
Q: Your new single Pluto is a major hit right now, and we had the chance to sneak a peak of your rehearsal during an episode of Love and Hip Hop. What was the motivation behind the song?
Betty: My motivation behind the song was because I'm a super emotional person and I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve. That song was actually inspired because I broke up with my boyfriend at the time. I was going bak and forth with him. He was kind of the guy where I damn there had to prove to him that I loved him and he was always saying, “I need you to show me, I need you to it prove to me." I was just like, “Well what the freak, like what do you want from me?" He just kept saying he went through so much and he was having a hard time. I really loved him so I pretty much wrote in the song that this is how you're making me feel...when I'm with you it's not even Pluto I feel like I'm all the way above it. He's taking me on another level and yeah we fuss and fight all the time but we do this. I'm his rider, i'm his ride or die chick and I'll be there no matter what...so that's pretty much what it was.
Q: Can we look forward to a visual for Pluto?
Betty: Yessssss! I'm actually shooting my video very soon. I actually had to push the date back, so I'll be shooting my video in Texas. it's going to be a movie. People are going to be like, "WOW."
Q: Tell us about your experience as one of the newest cast members of Love and Hip Hop ATL, was it what you expected and can we expect to see you next season?
Betty: Well, this season was cray. This season was crazzzyy! I honestly felt like I needed to show the world what love and hip-hop really is. A lot of those people on the show don't even do music anymore. They're not even putting out records, so I'm like why are you on the show? You're giving people a false representation of what real love and hip-hop is. So me and D (D. Smith) were like, we're going to go on this show and we're going to show people this is what love and hip-hop is , we do this shit and it's real life for me.
I wanted to be more focused on my music and I had a boyfriend at the time but he was not trying to be on there...but we broke up because he was getting on my nerves. I really just wanted them to focus more on me in the studio but of course they had to throw in the drama. Then i met Tammy, and instantly a fight broke out. it really started off with me being a best fried and a sister to my sister and I was just trying to figure out what her deal was. She wanted to have my best friend model her swimsuit line, so like what are you trying to do? You want her to model your line but your husband said this, we need to get this straightened out before any business gets involved. So, that was drama.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far within your career?
Betty: I would say getting my first placement ever. I had got a placement with loud on the King of Hearts album the track was called Bang. At that time I was known as Salo, that was the name I went by. I've changed my name so many times. At first I was going by my birth name and then I said no because so many people couldn't pronounce it. Then D was like, " look we're going to name you Betty, and we'll figure out the last name." So D. pretty much helped me with my name. But my biggest accomplishment is getting my placement I was screaming, I cried and I called my dad and mom and was like, "omg we're finally going to be rich." I was so happy.
Q: What projects can we look forward to from you in 2016?
Betty: Just putting out these bangers pretty much and my EP is coming very soon it's called 16, and it's going to be amazing, like I say "movie"! But also just showing young ladies and women that you can be independent. I started my own label and I'm doing everything independently and i'm doing things on radio so everything is very comfortable so I'm showing people you can do it just believe in yourself.
Be sure to catch the beautiful Betty Idol on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta Mondays at 8pm on VH1. Also, be sure to look out for her newest visual for her single, Pluto.