Kandi Burruss found her way back to the spotlight as a star of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Tameka "Tiny" Cottie has stayed in paparazzi lenses as wife of rap star T.I., and then made waves on her own BET reality show, Tiny & Toya. But another member of famed '90s R&B quartet Xscape is eyeing a return by doing what she does best: making music (What a novel idea!). Latocha, full name Latocha Scott, is back with a new single, a new look and a new determination. She recently sat down with BET.com as part of our ongoing "Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself" series.
You know Latocha. Along with Tiny, Kandi and her sister Tamika Scott, she was one fourth of Xscape, who had a string of hits in the '90s, including "Understanding" and "Just Kickin' It." The group has been pretty quiet since 1998, when Kandi left to pursue a solo career. They did release a 2003 album, Unchained, sans Kandi, and Latocha guested on songs by Trick Daddy, J-Shin, Chanté Moore and Bow Wow. But she's been on the low and on the lam for the most part since since the group that introduced her to the world faded from the headlines. "Music never left me, I just wasn’t as visible as everybody else," she says. "I found out what life was like outside of the group — did some soul searching, took time to reflect, took time with my son, continued to write songs. I was still a busy lady."
And now she's ready to get a whole lot more busy. Her new single, "Bad Timing," dropped in April and she says it's garnered over 100,000 downloads on iTunes. "It feels good," she says of the song's success. "It's overwhelming. The song is doing great things. I love that people are embracing it — it's sort of self-explanatory. Sometimes you fall in love but you find out the timing is all wrong, whether they're in a relationship already, or with their career. Everyone can relate to it."
But the timing seems to be all good for Latocha. She's got a video for "Bad Timing" on the way; another single, "Complicated," featuring Wale, next up; a mixtape, TNTB: Truth N the Booth, dropping in a few weeks; an as-yet-untitled album planned for early 2013; and even a self-published memoir, The Great Xscape — get it? — ready to drop at the end of the year. Sorry Xscape fans: There's no reunion planned, at least not yet. "I would love to make it happen, but it’s just an idea that’s floating around for now," Latocha says.
And of course, it can't hurt that Latocha has reemerged with a seriously slimmed-down physique. "I was in a group with girls who were very much smaller than me," Latocha says of her days with Xscape. "I was known as 'the big girl.' I was determined to escape that label, that image people had of me. I started eating better: stopped eating red meat, stopped eating pork, then I became a pescatarian. I ate a lot of vegetables and fruits, started to work out, and the weight just started coming off. I’m happy in my skin."
The transformation helped fuel the creation of her Golden Gyrls Foundation, which aims to mentor and inspire at-risk girls with self-esteem issues, earlier this year. "It's for young girls who don’t think they look the part," Latocha says. "I mentor them — I didn’t have that coming up. Everyone would always say I'm not going to make it: 'You're too big, you're too dark.' But I tell [kids], you can make it 'cause I made it. Never allow anyone’s negative opinions to become your reality."
Latocha certainly isn't. She says that the success of "Bad Timing" shows people are hungry for her heartfelt brand of old-school R&B, featuring twice the soul and none of the Auto-Tune. "It’s something the fans are telling me it's time for," Latocha says. "They're asking what's next. I'm gonna give them what Xscape gave them but even more."
Latocha's single "Bad Timing" is available on iTunes now.
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(Photo: Courtesy LaTocha Scott/Fly Publicity)