(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
On season two of the hit reality series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, aspiring music artist Karlie Redd has emerged as the cast member who “stirs the pot.” Within a mere three episodes, Redd’s telling of who’s cheating with whom has helped to raise the drama factor, enough to cause drinks to fly and punches to get thrown. For Redd, however, the newfound fame is all in the name of building an entertainment career and her charity, raising funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
BET.com talked with Redd about her cause, her role on L&HHA and reality TV as the launching pad for stardom.
Tell me about the pancreatic cancer charity your company is sponsoring.
Cancer hits very close to home for me. Three of my family members died from cancer. And one of the people that works for my company, Redd Remy Hair, her mother died from pancreatic cancer. How the charity works is that we do events to help promote my Redd Remy Hair line, to get people talking about the hair. Whatever sales we make at the event, we give a percentage to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which encourages additional research, increases awareness, and provides support to families coping with loved ones who have cancer.
Being a cast member of L&HHA definitely helps bring attention to that cause. How did you become a part of the series?
There was a little buzz going on around me. I’d already done Scream Queen and had [an appearance on] Beverly Hills Fabulous. I was in Atlanta recording, and I came in to talk to Mona Scott [L&HH’s executive producer] about being on the show. Because I kept it so real with her — and I love Mona to death — she brought me on.
On L&HHA, you’ve emerged as the cast member whose words make the conflicts happen. Is that intentional or is that just your personality?
What happened was that Mimi Faust [girlfriend of music producer Stevie J.], well, I didn’t know she was going to be at this party. So, I was keeping it real about what I saw, because I’d want my friend to tell me she saw my man kissing someone else or hugging or talking to someone in a manner that Joseline [Hernandez] did with Stevie J. I was just keeping it real with what I saw.
But you also — in last week’s episode — went out of your way to tell Mimi about another woman who claimed to have slept with Stevie J. You seem to want to cause the drama even though the show doesn’t focus on you.
What happened was the girl came up to me. I’m walking into the party and the girl came up to me and told me she f***** Stevie J. And I’m like, “Huh?” Why wouldn’t I tell my girlfriend that?
Compared to season one, season two of L&HHA is more action-packed. Could you see that during the taping of the series?
No, I had no way of knowing. We’re not allowed to see any part of the show. We’re watching the show with you guys. We’re actually living our lives and they were filming it.
Which cast member from season one of L&HHA would you say you are most like?
I thought I might seem like, maybe, Olivia because I’m an artist and she’s an artist trying to find a hit.
Knowing the unflattering light a reality show can sometimes place on you, what made you want to be a part of the TV genre?
The fact that it puts a buzz out there about me. It’s still a show, and people are watching it. People are talking about the show. And it’s giving me a chance to put my music and my hair line out there. I’m getting the platform to launch my brand.
Positively or negatively, how do you think this show will impact your brand?
Nowadays, in the entertainment industry, you have to have a buzz. You can be signed to a label and don’t have a buzz and no one knows about you. No one hears that song. But people are watching the TV show. They can hear my music, and I move on from there. And I can create a buzz.
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