These days, when Kandi Burruss isn't counting down until she welcomes Baby Tucker into the world or navigating the drama on Real Housewives of Atlanta, the music industry veteran is using her prowess to help kick-start the careers of young artists: Glamour and LOUD. She serves in part as a mentor to the groups (who are both signed to Kandi Koated Entertainment/AGI Management), helping to establish their names and hone their sound before they take the next steps to stardom.
"I like working with young artists," she told The Daily Dish. "I love both groups so much and right now the plan is to take them to a bigger label and have them put out there for the world to see. But I'm just building them up through social media, getting their presence known before I take them to the labels."
Co-ed group LOUD, which stands for Living Out Ur Dreams, consists of Timothee Alex, Katiemarie, Turner, and Kiersten, who are all between 13 and 16 years old. The group cites Black Eyed Peas, Fifth Harmony, Pentatonix, and Tori Kelly as influences, and would love to someday work with Justin Bieber, Adele, Tamar Braxton, and Usher. "They're pop, but they all can really, really sing," Kandi said. "They can all dance. They're just great. So it's positive music for young people, but it's still good. It's not corny. [Laughs.]"
As for working with Kandi, LOUD revealed some of wisdom the former Xscape singer has bestowed upon them. "She's really shown us that there's really no 'I' in team, and it's not what's best for you, it's what's best for the group," Kiersten said. "Working with Kandi has been such a positive experience for us," Katiemarie added. "She's given us just so many new opportunities and we are very thankful."
While LOUD may be relatively unknown to music fans, Glamour (featuring Kaylan, Moriah, and Ydal, who are between 15 and 16) previously appeared on X Factor in 2013. It was an experience that offered up a few valuable learning experiences. "We learned that you have to be punctual — not that we were late," the trio explained. "Being punctual, always having your stuff together, [and] always being prepared for anything cause they throw you curves all the time."
It also gave them the chance to meet an idol. During their time on the show, they were dubbed "Baby Destiny's Child" by mentor Kelly Rowland herself. In fact, the Beyoncé-fronted girl group, who Kandi has worked with in the past, is a big influence on the young performers. "It would be a great honor to live up to their legacy," the group says.
These days, with their reality TV days behind them, Glamour is ready for whatever comes next. The teens feel fortunate to work with someone like Kandi, who comes from a girl group background. "She's really helping us in getting our things together," the ladies say. "She's a big influence. She's very inspirational." In fact, Kandi has been instrumental in helping the trio develop their sound to one day dominate the charts. "She really likes our R&B music," Moriah said. "At first we were sort of in the pop-ish lane, but she suggested that we go the R&B route which has been working for us."
And while they may remind Kelly of Destiny's Child, Kandi can't help but see some of her own group in her mentees. "They remind me of the girl group era that I came from," she explained. "They can really sing. They can perform their butts off as far as dancing and everything." -with additional reporting from Andrew Hermann