More than a wife, more than a mother, more than a woman, Shanda Denyce does it all. Shanda burst on the scene during season two of “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” with her husband Willie Taylor formally of Day 26 and captured viewers hearts with her bubbly personality and her ability to hold her family down through adversity.
Now settled in L.A. and the California lifestyle, this Chicago beauty is throwing her heart back into her first love, music. On season three of the hit reality show, we see Shanda working on her music and balancing family life, but not without a few bumps in the road. Blame Ebro exclusively sat down with Shanda to discuss how she gained respect for exotic dancers, her music and her drama with Willie. From the beginning, she was honest and uncut about her life. When asked about Willie, she said:
That’s still my homie. That’s my homie, that’s my friend! We were friends before anything. I don’t think that will ever change.
Blame Ebro: Last season we saw you and Willie transition as you guys moved to Los Angeles from Chicago, uprooting your entire family. And you as a mother, and a provider for your household and a person who wanted to protect your home front, you started dancing again.
Shanda Denyce: Yeah… That’s what they said. I haven’t danced in a long time, let me just clear that up. But, whatever they want to say.
Blame Ebro: Ok, we saw that conflict him Wille not telling you he couldn’t get out of his record deal, to you taking the reins and providing for your family without consulting him. Basically said, “I’m a mother, this is my family, I need to provide.”
Shanda Denyce: With or without you, I’m going to have to try to make a way So, what do I need to consult with you [Willie] for if you’re not coming through. So, I have to pull through. That’s how I initially felt.
Blame Ebro: In the super trailer for season three of “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” we see a random woman [a woman claims to be Willie’s other woman from Chicago] –
Shanda: She’s so basic, nobody got time for her basic ass. She’s so goofy.
Blame Ebro: So, where did she come from?
Shanda Denyce: You tell me?! The slums of the gotdamn – I don’t know.
Blame Ebro: She’s from Chicago?
Shanda Denyce: She’s from Chicago. Back in the day when I was 17, Willie was probably using her for whatever, I don’t know. They were friends, whatever! Cool, I don’t know. I guess she wanted to date him. He didn’t want to date her and then he quickly got into a relationship, sort of, with me. And I guess she was somewhat envious of it. That was the last time I saw her. That’s the last I’ve heard of her. That’s the last I care to see her. That’s the last I care to hear from her. She’s basic; she’s an embarrassment to me! Like, come on! Who is ok with coming to someone’s wife [and airing it out on TV]. You know what I’m saying? What woman in their right mind would be ok with doing something like that [sleeping with a married man] and the way she did it.
Blame Ebro: What do you think she gained by telling you?
Shanda Denyce: Nothing. She wants to be on TV. That’s obvious. It’s obvious that’s the reason why. Because if you were a real woman and you really wanted to confront me about my husband you would’ve contacted me and not the producers of “Love & Hip Hop.” That’s the difference. I know that her motive was to be on “Love & Hip Hop,” period. It wasn’t to tell me what my husband’s “been doing.” That was the phrase she used.
Blame Ebro: And she came out with printed text messages.
Shanda Denyce: Printed texts! Who does that?! Who goes Xerox copies the texts? This is not Maury! You know I was at a studio session, I’m literally in my zone, and I haven’t been [in my zone] with music. Me and Willie, we met through music, and I felt like we were in a good place. We’re comfortable in L.A., and I can start my music over. Then she brought her little ratchet ass in, talking about some bullshit, and I don’t have time for no bullshit! I’m focusing on me! Can I have a moment where it’s just about me?! I don’t give a shit; I don’t want to hear about Willie. When I’m in my session I want it to be about me, LaShanda, Shanda, Shanda Denyce. That’s it.
Blame Ebro: Let’s talk about your music! I didn’t even know you were a singer!
Shanda Denyce: Because people are too caught up talking about me going on somebody’s pole! [laughs] Let me tell you something, I have not been on ANYBODY’S pole in a very long time. I’m too gotdamn lazy to go on somebody’s pole! [laughs] They just won’t let that go! Let it go! Let it go, guys! I was never stripping on that pole and to clear it up; I never danced a day in my life without my husband knowing. That’s not the relationship we have. I didn’t meet him as a dancer. I met him as an artist. I had my baby, which now is 11 and I had to do whatever I felt I had to do because I didn’t have a job. I Left college to pursue my music, and then I got pregnant. After pregnancy happened, it went quickly [I had] to do something. To be honest, I looked down on dancers before I had to do it.
Blame Ebro: Really?
Shanda Denyce: I did.
Blame Ebro: We’re going to get back to the music, but I want to get into you looking down on dancers. So, it took you dancing…
Shanda Denyce: To understand what it really was. Yeah. Some women walk in there with no confidence at all, and it helps them build up their confidence. I’ve known girls to come in [the strip club] with no confidence, and a year later they’re like “I love me. I’m the shit.” She built her confidence! I don’t think it’s a bad thing now that I witnessed and did it. I thought it was what people made it out to be like the hoe spot, they [the dancers] were all fucking, and all this shit. I’ve never danced in an establishment like that. I wouldn’t call myself a stripper; I don’t shake any ass. ‘Cause I don’t even know how to do it. I don’t know how to twerk. That’s just not the establishments I’ve worked in. You know, they pin that type of lifestyle on you, and not to say that they [the more urban strippers] are doing it either, it’s just two different type of dancers and worlds. I danced in more like a gentleman’s club. So, I didn’t have to do much of the ass shaking; I probably would’ve been in and out in a day or two, like “I can’t do this!” [laughs] But, I talked my ass off, and that’s pretty much what I did when I was a dancer. I was like a therapist to men. I wouldn’t talk to them. I just gave them conversation. It was older men that I would talk to and it was kind of like therapy for me as well.
Blame Ebro: So, back to your music, you said you and Willie met as artists. So that means you’ve been making music for how long?
Shanda Denyce: I’ve been seriously doing music since I was 15. My dad is a producer. He wrote and produced “Slow Dance” by R. Kelly. I’m really cool with R. Kelly, that’s like my uncle. So, I’ve always been around music. I met Willie when I was in a girl group, and he was the bomb at what he did. He was an amazing writer. So, that’s how we kind of got together. We were friends first. We were like “dude he’s dope. Let’s go out.” We’d go to the movies; we’d do this, we’d do that. I don’t even remember the moment we were like “we’re together.” It just happened. But my music I’ve been doing it since I was 15. I got songs that I don’t want to listen to today! [laughs] To be truthful, when I was 7-years-old, I was in a rap group. I cannot rap! [laughs] I don’t know why they did that to me. I still know the rap, but I won’t do it! Hell nah!
Blame Ebro: When is the first single coming out?
Shanda Denyce: I’m going to premiere it sometime within the next month. I’m just trying to wait for the perfect time. I’m very delicate with my music because I haven’t been able to expose myself like this. So, I’m kind of like hesitant to throw it out there, so I just want to get a feeling when the time is right. But within the next month for sure. Right now I just don’t have a specific date.
Blame Ebro: Will there be a full project?
Shanda Denyce: I’m going to do an EP. But, I’m going to throw my single out there first, just to test the waters and go from there. I’m excited! So through all this bullshit ass shit.
Blame Ebro: Right, because the drama is there to capture you, drag you in, but then everything else keeps people tuned in. You seem passionate about music, so it will be super dope to watch your journey, especially since fans didn’t get to know you too much last season.
Shanda Denyce: Hopefully that gets to happen this year, and this [the drama] doesn’t overshadow what this is really all about. This is about the music. I wouldn’t have done this show otherwise.
“Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” airs Monday nights at 8 pm EST on VH1.