She’s not really a diva (if you know her) but if she was, she’s earned the title.
Paula Campbell is called the “First Lady of Baltimore” and for good reason.
As a singer, song writer, model and award winner, Miss Campbell is a woman with purpose, passion and a force to be wreckend with.
She and I met at 92Q (Baltimore) a few years ago and I will be honest and say that I was a little intimidated by her. It wasn’t her fault! She’s beautiful! She’s bubbly and extremely secure about who she is. Most women with insecurities would find that intimidating, but I overcame that real quick.
She and I had to work a Mother’s Day event together and our pre-teens at the time (her daughter and my son) clicked instantly. Nothing like teen dating but like a family bonding moment.
Paula Campbell has been my sister from another miss & mister ever since!
Here’s her story:
Where are you from?
I’m from the Westside of Baltimore City
How long have you been singing?
I’ve been singing probably longer than I can remember. From the time I was in kindergarten, I sang in every school assembly and talent show that I knew about.
What other talents do you have?
My other talents are acting, writing, poetry, painting… Some other talents that I can only discuss privately… lol (that’s a joke KiKi) Plus I’m an awesome cook and baker.
What inspires your music?
Everything inspires my music from a real life situation with myself or someone else or even just my imagination… Music is a part of my higher self. Anything that embodies love makes me want to sing, and love is even a constant choice through hurt and pain… So EVERYTHING makes me want to sing!
Do you have days when you just don’t feel like singing/writing? What gets you out of that slump?
Honestly I always want to sing. Writing, however is sometimes challenging because most writers can go through periods where the words and melodies just don’t feel great so it can become discouraging at times. What gets me out of the slump is knowing that only by continuing to push forward will I get it right. So I guess the fact that I don’t want to believe I allowed myself to fail is what I use as motivation to not stay down.
What genre of music do you really like to listen to the most and why?
My favorite genre of music to listen to is probably world music. It’s imaginative, creative, and inspiring. It has real messages with creatively told stories.
What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to) Carl Thomas “Summer Rain” is my let go JOINT!!!!
You’ve worked with lots of singers, song writers, producers in your career. Was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable experience where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
The first day I worked with Carvin and Ivan they had just brought Crystal “Tytewriter” Oliver on to their team. She was late for the session so I went in my car to write to the beat alone. I was probably PMSing or something. Anywho, my A&R from Sony at the time came out to talk to me and we got it all squared away. I felt like I was being disrespected or taken for granted but it was all a misunderstanding. I apologized and Crystal, Carvin and Ivan are still my great friends to this day.
We are in the reality show era where many performers (successful and not-so-successful) decide to become a cast member on a reality show. Is this something you would do to promote your music? If so, which show would you be on?
I honestly don’t know if I’d do reality TV. I’ve been asked to do about 6 different reality shows. A few I’ve been asked to do more than once but it just never worked out. I can’t knock anyone for the way they hustle. The way I see my music touching people though is not relative to what I see on reality TV. Sometimes I think that could be a not-so-good thing but I’m not interested in conforming or compromising my music or what I stand for.
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why?
NeYo is always my best celebrity encounter because not only was I able to learn so much about artistry and writing but I learned that it is possible to have super success and still be a good, pure heart. I’ve never met a more genuine spirit and for his humility, transparency, help and honesty I am truly blessed.
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
The biggest misconception about me is that I’m super strong. People always tell me how strong I am and they know that I know that God favors me. The whole time I often feel like a 4 year old little girl lost out in the world; searching for security. Real-talk? Even the smallest amount of success can feel lonely and scary.
What genre of music would you say doesn’t get the most credit?
That’s a tough question because I no longer know how to classify music with substance. That’s the music that doesn’t get any credit… Unless its country music.
What are your thoughts about independent artists and nationally recognized artists?
I think both independent and nationally recognized artist all have their space and serve a purpose. The only difference is a check. Indie artists are just as talented as national artists and some are even more talented.
Do programs like YouTube, and Spodify give artists a bad name or a greater advantage of being recognized?
I absolutely believe that social (media) music sights give artists a greater advantage at being recognized because it links artist to a world that would otherwise be unknown.
Jay Z started an online streaming service called Titan which premier’s new music/movies/material that is most likely un-obtainable on other sources. What are your thoughts about this as an artist?
Kudos to Jay Z! He started off as an independent; built his own empire and is now opening up different avenues to shine light on not just Indies but “unknowns”. I can appreciate that.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
As simple as this may sound, the best advice I’ve ever been given is – “never give up on you and don’t forget to be yourself.”
What’s the biggest misconception about women in this industry?
For the most part, I don’t think there are a lot of misconceptions. Most of these chicks are cray! The industry is very small so you can’t act one way and expect to be treated or talked about as if you’re someone who you’re not. On the other hand, the women who are in the industry really try to take care of their business, endure many hardships for simply being ladies. So the misconception would be all women are the same.
What do you think is wrong, if you do, with hip hop and R&B?
I think Hip-Hop and R&B has lost substance and in turn has lost its timelessness. Fads, change and catchy tunes are all good but it doesn’t have to be all the same. Hip Hop use to educate the black community and R&B was the songs that people got married and made babies to. Most of today’s Hip Hop is money, hoes, clothes and drugs and most of today’s R&B is vulgar at best. Not all Hip Hop and R&B is that way but most of the most popular songs are definitely filled with nothingness.
Who would you want to collaborate a song with and/or tour with?
I’d love to both collaborate and go on tour with J Cole. He’s to be admired for what he’s bringing to the table
What was the funniest thing that happened to you while on tour or during your singing career?
I was in Houston on tour with NeYo. I had a head cold and hay fever. My sinuses were draining but I still had to sing. I was singing “Leaving Tonight” (NeYo ft. J-Hud) and because I was sick my nose was running and all I had to wipe it with was my hand. Right after I wiped my nose, NeYo put that exact hand on his face to play out the song. I don’t know if he knew what he did but that’s what it was. It was disgusting but I thought it was funny! I’m still laughing!!
Who do you think is the most underappreciated artist out there right now?
Jazmine Sullivan is the most under-appreciated artist. There is too much talent to go unnoticed but too much substance for an honest chance at mainstream.
Who’s in your iPod/radar?
Right now I’m on a Barbra Streisand/Celine Dion musical kick.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I’ll have starred in leading roles on the screen and have music serviced through my own entertainment company Camp Rebelwood. I believe by that time I’ll be fully prepared to put out my own artist successfully. My boutique will be up and running; my clothing line as well. Above all, my success will have brought in enough revenue where I’m giving back in abundance and helping the progression of teenage mothers. I plan on opening up a few homes for teen moms that offer job placement program and a real chance to succeed. Those are just a few things so keep me prayed up on this 5 year countdown.
If singing wasn’t your “thing”, what else would you be doing?
If singing wasn’t my thing, I’d be the wife with 13 kids; counseling a community.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be love… I want to be known and remembered as an artist yes but I want most of all for people to remember a kind word or a good deed that helped give them hope when they thought there was none. I just want my name to make people smile and laugh. That’s good enough for me. To know I changed lives with genuine love.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is lemon cake and silky lingerie
How can people reach out toyou?
IG & Twitter @PaulaCampbell
And everyone can call me directly at the number that I’m not giving out. (lol)
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