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The Daily Dish SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B

LaTocha Scott-Bivens Dishes on New Solo Album — and the Tension within XSCAPE

“How we weather and and maneuver through this storm that we are still in is just up to God and us to mature in the choices that we make,” LaTocha Scott-Bivens said of turmoil within XSCAPE.

By Jill Sederstrom

LaTocha Scott-Bivens is best known for her role as a ‘90s icon in the R&B group XSCAPE — but the singer is finding her own voice on her new solo gospel album.

How to Watch

Catch up on SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B on Peacock or the Bravo App.

The project comes as LaTocha says XSCAPE’s sisterhood is “definitely tested” on the Bravo limited series SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B, calling into question the future of the chart-topping female group.

“How we weather and and maneuver through this storm that we are still in is just up to God and us to mature in the choices that we make,” LaTocha told The Daily Dish of the drama.

For LaTocha, the dream to create her own album has been decades in the making after an earlier solo deal fell through in the late ‘90s.The dream came to fruition earlier this month when LaTocha released the lead single “Stay With Me” from her album The Invitation: A Conversation With God with Motown Gospel.

She spilled the details of the album, which is a melding of soul, R&B, and gospel, with The Daily Dish.

“It’s a life album, to be honest with you,” she said. “I think everybody would be pleasantly surprised to where the message is there.”

Latocha Scott of Xscape posing for a photo

The album allowed LaTocha to return to her roots — and keep a promise to her grandmother.

“I’d had conversations with my grandmother back in the day about just staying true to what my belief and what my faith is, and that’s always been the gospel,” she said. “It’s so gratifying because even when I told her this is what I was gonna go ahead and do, she was overwhelmed by all the things. You know, she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, LaTocha, you are going back to what I asked you to do.’”

Aside from keeping the matriarch happy, it has allowed LaTocha to tap into her own passions.

“This is what I love to do, gospel music,” she said. “If you listen to, even with XSCAPE, you will hear that conviction in the singing. So it’s just always something I wanted to do.”

For much of her career, LaTocha has been one-fourth of XSCAPE, harmonizing alongside Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Harris, but her new endeavor allows her to explore her own voice independently.

“Whenever you’re with a group, there’s always harmony parts that other people have to do, whether it’s the bottom note, you know, the alto or soprano. And I’ve had to go in and do all the parts,” she said. “The difference is I’ve been able to kind of sing from my heart and not have to worry so much of what somebody else would say, if they agree with the topic or if that’s what they’re going through.”  

While the album has been an exercise in independence, SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B sees SWV and XSCAPE ability to work together to pull off a one-night concert event with both powerhouse groups.

After hearing about the idea, LaTocha told The Daily Dish she was struck by the “epic” nature of bringing both “super groups” together on one stage.

“A lot of people always say that we are the soundtracks to their lives, and SWV has hits, we have hits, and just growing up being African-American women in the business and to be able to endure and weather storms that we’ve weathered and still love and be passionate about what we do, I just thought … that was gonna be monumental,” she said.

LaTocha described the experience of working with SWV — which is comprised of Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons — as “really cool.”

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Coko and I, we had talked on the phone a couple of times. And our relationship just got even stronger with the bond that we had during the taping and the filming of this show,” she said, calling the relationship between the two groups a “sisterhood” of women.

“We love one another,” she continued. “It’s not gonna be one of these things where we’re gonna bash anybody. This is gonna be something that girls can look at and be inspired. And so that was our whole take on everything.”

When the time came to take the stage together, LaTocha said she was impressed by all the ladies of SWV, crediting the group members for their maturity and ability to see the bigger picture.

“They said what they felt and we tried to get through it. And when things got kind of out of hand, they were like, ‘You know what, we’re cool on it. We’re gonna continue to do what we do.’ And I would love to work with them again because of that,” she said.

Of course, the series hasn’t been without its share of drama — mostly from internal conflict within XSCAPE itself.

LaTocha and her sister, Tamika, got into a heated blowout in the series premiere thats impact continues to ricochet throughout the group as they try to work together. 

As the tension mounted, LaTocha often sought refuge in the studio, working on her own album.

“I was able to kind of verbalize all of my pain through, through writing and that was my therapy,” she said. “So, I would come out of scenes sometimes in tears. And then I would go to a studio and I would kind of just lay everything out on paper."

She hopes the end result is an album that is “highly relatable” to others.

“We all have those bumps in the roads, and peaks and valleys that we have to get over. But for some reason, with music, it helps,” she said.

It doesn’t look that the drama within XSCAPE will end anytime soon. LaTocha teased that fans can expect a “lot of unexpected twists” in the weeks ahead, leaving the group’s fate in limbo.

“Everybody has to make a choice to say what it is they want to do — whether we’re gonna continue to move forward or everybody’s gonna go their separate ways,” she said. “So, I think with this show, people are gonna see that.”

While LaTocha still remains a member of the group, last year XSCAPE announced they were going on tour without her as she pursued her solo career.

But even with the disagreements and “turmoil,” the ladies still know how to put on a good show.

“At the end of the day, it’s the maturity and it’s the love that we have for music. Because we can argue. But once we hit that stage, I don’t know, it’s something magical that happens,” LaTocha said.

Watch SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens Of R&B Sundays at 9:30/8:30c on Bravo to learn more. Episodes stream the next day on Peacock.

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