Chilli is no longer actively looking for Mr Right, as she is currently dating someone that she is ‘testing the waters’ with, she revealed exclusively to Essence this week.
Staying true to her own word, she is also open to dating men outside of her own race, noting that her current love interest is not black, and she wants more women to be more open minded.
“I want for women, especially for women of color, to not be so closed minded when it comes to love,” Chilli, who identifies as mixed, said. “God made all of us and you may not find your husband because you’re trying to stick to one group. You’ve got to be open.”
“You want the person who’s the best person for you, no matter what color he is”.
“I usually know after two months…I can just tell. I’ve always known,” she said. “The day I turned 30, I got this kind of smartness or something, this maturity about myself…when your turn 30, you become more confident in how you feel about things, which is great. That way you can cut and weed out a lot of the BS you go through.”
But one area in Chilli’s life that has never had any BS is when she’s onstage performing with her group, TLC. The bestselling girl group is one of the featured acts on Netflix’s Once In A Lifetime Sessions, streaming now.
The eight-part music documentary takes fans behind the scenes to witness intimate performances by some of their favorite artists.
Chilli said that “it was an easy yes” to document their performance for a Netflix special, which features the other remaining member of TLC, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. The duo continue to tour as a group after the death of their third bandmate, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002 after a fatal car crash.
“We’re all about connecting with our fans and so to do this in a way where we could perform in front of a nice intimate setting for our fans and then kind of open up to let fans see how we record in the studio and having our live band there, it was just a great recipe for something delish,” she said.
“And it’s something new,” Chilli added, “we’re always very happy to be part of something new.”
Back in 2000, the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes announced to the world that she was embarking on a solo career, and began work on her first solo LP, ‘Supernova‘.
The project, which was also released on her group’s label, Arista, was slated to be released on her chosen date of August 16.
This date was important to Lisa, who was a strong believer in the power of numerology. “Something weird happened in my family,” Lisa explained to MTV News in 2001.
“My father died on August 16th and his father was born on August 16th“.
“It’s a very significant release date“.
To accompany her wishes, Arista initially announced the album to be released that same week on August 14 (new album releases in the US drop on a Tuesday).
However, because Arista failed to keep to their promise of releasing the album on this specific date, Lisa decided it was important for the world to hear the album on this date and streamed the entire album on her website, Eyenetics.com.
The label, which had not yet paid Lisa for her existing work on the album, requested her to return to the studio to record more tracks for the album to beef it up.
Lisa declined respectfully, and because Arista defaulted on her contract conditions, she was allowed to be freed from her legal obligations on the label, later signing to Suge Knight’s Tha Row label in 2002.
‘Supernova’ was unlike anything Lisa had released in the past, choosing to educate her listeners on spirituality and numerology on tracks like “Universal Quest“, “A New Star Is Born” and “Breathe“. She also had more bold and self-assured tracks like “I Believe In Me“, “Let Me Live” and “Hot!“, the latter being her original choice for first single.
It’s guest appearances included Blaque, Esthero, Carl Thomas, Jazze Pha, Andre Rison and a posthumous collaboration with 2pac.
Lisa also changed her vocal style on the album, to be more spoken word and poetic. She was aiming for a new sound, something different to what she had produced with TLC.
“TLC’s music is pretty much pop and R&B“, Lisa told BBC. “My music is a bit more eclectic“.
Lisa was intending to release a puzzle with the album, which would help the listener decide on what track to play on the album. It features in her ‘Block Party‘ music video.
Whilst competing for prize money for charity on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, she told more about it. “There’s a puzzle that comes with my album, it’s called a dodecahydon. So, I kinda created that and I do all of the computer graphics.”
Despite the album never getting a release in the US, it was released overseas, following the moderate success of it’s first single, ‘The Block Party”, which reached the top 20 in the UK.
This underrated masterpiece deserves a full worldwide digital release on iTunes. Perhaps it will appear on Spotify one day, hopefully.
You can listen to ‘Supernova’ in full below.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the birth of one of the biggest songs in music history, ‘Baby One More Time‘, which launched the career of Britney Spears!
Max Martin, the writer and co-producer of ‘Baby’ was convinced he’d written an R&B song (“Pop music with a flavour – what we call R&B in Sweden, what you guys [in America] say is pop,” sent the song, then called Hit Me Baby (One More Time), to TLC who rejected it.
While TLC interpreted the lyrics as alluding to domestic violence, they actually represented Martin’s attempts at American slang, believing “hit me” could seamlessly replace “call me”.
This is a large part of the reason the song wasn’t accepted by the girls in TLC. “I was like: ‘I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC?’ said T-Boz.
“I’m not saying ‘hit me baby.’ No disrespect to Britney,” T-Boz continues on her initial thought of the song. “It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”
“Understand we’re not just passing up hits,” Chilli added. It just wasn’t a song that fit in the direction TLC was aiming for.
“That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney,” T-Boz explained.
“Every song isn’t good for each artist, and when you’re a real artist you know what you believe in and what you really want to sing. So, I’m clear that it was a hit, but I’m also clear that it wasn’t for TLC.”
Nonetheless, TLC later went on to record their own timeless smash that year to add to their catalog in the form of 1999’s record breaking ‘No Scrubs‘.
View this post on Instagram
Britney Spears' hit single "…Baby One More Time" reaches it's 20th anniversary this year. It was first offered to TLC, and they rejected it! Read more about what they had to say about it on TLC-ARMY.com! #tlc #britneyspears #tboz #babyonemoretime #maxmartin #pop #hit #tlcarmy #20thanniversary #hitmebabyonemoretime #britneyarmy
Interview excerpts from MTV News in 2013.
On this day in 1999, TLC released the worldwide hit, ‘Unpretty’.
The song was adapted from a poem written by T-Boz, with music by Dallas Austin. The song’s empowering theme regarding self-esteem has become an enduring fan favourite.
‘Unpretty’ became the group’s fourth #1 hit in the US.
- Australia: #3
- Canada: #3
- Ireland: #4
- New Zealand: #3
- UK: #6
- US: #1
Following the epic premiere of TLC‘s intimate concert documentary Once In A Lifetime Sessions this week on Netflix, the girls have gone one step further to surprise their fans!
Tonight (Aug 2) it was revealed by Candace Wakefield, the talented singer-songwriter and vocal producer who assisted the girls on last years #1 self-titled album, that they are indeed working on some new music!
“Got to work with BOTH my babies today“, Candace said excitedly on her Instagram. “I’ve always worked with them separate. It’s always a pleasure working with legends.”
She went on congratulate the ladies, stating that they did an ‘amazing job today‘ in the Los Angeles studio, signing off by saying new music is coming soon!
Producer Jovan Dawkins also let us know the girls were there in his studio earlier. Last month T-Boz was in the studio with Jovan recording a solo track for a movie soundtrack.
TLC have always been open to recording new music if the right project or soundtrack comes along, so surprises like this may occur more often, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can catch Chilli while she’s in LA at the Nike Basketball Celebrity 3ON3 Tournament at LA Live on August 3 at 7:30PM.
Tickets available at nike3on3.com
ABOUT THE SHOW
Once In A Lifetime Sessions is an original and unique music documentary series giving viewers the chance to get up close and personal with a specially chosen selection of today’s most celebrated music icons – including Moby, TLC, Nile Rodgers and Noel Gallagher.
Filmed on location at some of the greatest studios around the world, the Sessions highlight the craftsmanship, artistic depth, incredible skill and talent of the artists whilst also showcasing their catalogue.
Each episode is dedicated to a single artist or group and features both an intimate live performance and a vinyl recording session. These are woven together with exclusive interview footage and a masterclass exploring the stories behind some of the most memorable songs of all time.
As one of the world’s most successful female groups of all time, TLC have stormed the charts all over the world.
In Once In A Lifetime Sessions with TLC their incredible story is told through their own words and music, citing their meteoric rise to fame as well as their heartache in tragically losing a member of the band.
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins are filmed at The Village Studios in LA where they reflect on their rise to fame, their involvement in female empowerment as well as the time they held infamous record producer Clive Davis hostage…
This Session sees TLC perform live in West Hollywood in front of an intimate crowd, wowing the audience with an unrivalled set list of global hits including; What About Your Friends, Baby-Baby-Baby, Creep, Red Light Special, Diggin’ on You, Fanmail, Silly Ho, Meant To Be, Joyride, Haters, and their timeless classic Waterfalls.
In the vinyl studio session, TLC lay down new covers of their most recent tracks Way Back and It’s Sunny, as well two of their most famous hits Unpretty and No Scrubs, before delivering a masterclass giving insights and stories behind their songs to provide fans with a long awaited once in a lifetime experience.
The full episode is available on Netflix US right now. Click here to watch the trailer!