(AllHipHop Interviews) Katlynn Simone is most likely best known for her role as Brittany Pitts on the BET dramedy The Game. While television is the platform that got millions of people familiar with her, the Houston native is making a name for herself as a singer-songwriter as well.
Simone's singing voice captured the attention of The Game’s audience when one of her songs was featured on an episode. The fan interest led to the recent release of her single “Beautiful Lie” to radio, and the track has already broken onto the Rhythmic charts. “Beautiful Lie” also has an accompanying music video directed by Reza Ghassemi that provides visuals to the love-sick theme expressed in the lyrics.
As the buzzing singer/actress continues her run as “Brit Brat” on the seventh season of The Game, Katlynn is also finalizing her upcoming EP and taking theater and political science courses in college. AllHipHop.com spoke with the multitalented entertainer about how she handles having so much on her plate, her buzzing music career, and The Game.
AllHipHop.com: How long have you been making music?
Katlynn Simone: I’ve been singing since I was about ten years old, but I’ve been in the studio recording for about 2-3 years now.
What inspired the concept for your “Beautiful Lie” video?
A lot of it was what fans wanted to see. I’ve been talking to them through social media, and they all gave their input on what the video should look like. So I went ahead and tried to take all of their pieces and put it together. I feel like everyone was happy with it.
Are you working on a full music project?
Right now I’m working on the EP. I’ve been working with producers in L.A. and producers in Houston. We’re just trying to get the perfect songs together. I really want to be taken seriously as an artist. It’s really a matter of picking the right songs right now, because we have songs done. We want to narrow it down to the right sound.
How would you describe your sound?
I always tell people it’s an alternative urban. I love all types of influences in my music. I like an alternative vibe with a Hip Hop beat. That’s always what I fall in love with.
Growing up in Houston, were you a fan of the H-town Hip Hop scene?
Oh yeah. My dad always had me listening to that since I can remember. Paul Wall, Mike Jones, all those people.
You’re recording an EP. You’re on a very successful TV show. You’re also taking college courses. How do you manage doing all of those things?
It can be kind of stressful to be totally honest. It's kind of a lot, but time management is just super important. People help me with prioritizing like my manager Danny. My parents are still really big in my life. I might not necessarily live with them anymore, but I still make sure that they’re there with every decision that I make. That’s probably the biggest help. My manager and my parents – they help me with everything.
It’s just basically concentrating on one thing and trying to get that done before I move on to the next thing. I’m a big believer in always putting 110% in everything that I do, so it’s hard to do that if you have to put 110% in 50 things going on at the same time. You have to just sit back and concentrate on one thing at a time.
You sound like you have a really strong support system around you. Does that play a part in you battling against the infamous pitfalls of Hollywood? How have you been able to avoid some of those problems other young stars have had to face?
It is kind of hard, because it’s so easy to get caught up. Especially, when you move to L.A. It’s everywhere. It’s always around you, and sometimes you can’t help but be in the middle of it. I will say that my parents and my family in general, even having a little sister... I always try to make sure I’m a good example for her.
Basically, as a young entertainer, it’s kind of easy for people to find out what you’re doing. So if I’m going to do something and I know that there’s an opportunity for a bunch of people to find out about it, I just want to make sure that if my sister ends up finding out about it that she doesn’t use that as ammunition that she can do the same thing. That’s my main motivation, my sister. She really does help me want to be almost perfect so that she can be perfect.
This has been an interesting season on The Game with the return of your TV mom Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts. Can you give any hints about where that storyline is heading?
I can’t give away too much, but of course I'm going to say what everybody already knows – there’s going to be so much drama this season. I think that one thing that is going to be cool for my character about her mom coming back is maybe they’ll get to bond a little bit.
Her mom has been gone for a while now. She’s been living with her dad who’s doing 150 things, Chardonnay who she doesn’t know, trust, or care about at the moment, and her grandparents who are still worried about themselves. Nobody’s trying to help Brittany grow up and become a better person. Hopefully she’ll start to bond with her mom, and her mom can start to become a better mother and help her out.
Your television stepmom, Chardonnay, is played by Brandy who’s a well-established singer. Have you had to chance to speak with her and get any advice about you building a career in music?
When I first got on set and got to work with Brandy it was absolutely crazy, because I remember watching Cinderella on repeat. Brandy has always been a huge idol in my life. It was almost like a dream. Going to watching her on repeat to actually working with her is crazy. She’s an absolutely humble, amazing person – inside and out.
The first advice that she gave me was just to stay true to yourself and don’t change which means a lot. I really can see that this industry hasn’t changed her. She seems exactly how you would imagine her. She’s just so nice, polite, gentle and caring. It meant a lot coming from her. Especially when she is definitely a follower of her own advice.
Your character kind of comes off as a brat at times. Do you ever get fans of the show that mistake the real Katlynn for the persona they see on TV?
Oh yeah. I hope I’m not anything like Brittany Pitts, and I try so hard not to be like that. There are quite a few people that come up to me and automatically start talking about how rude I am. All I can say is, “I’m sorry, but I’m also very happy at the same time that you feel that way because that’s my job.” If I can make you not like me, then I’m doing something right.
The Game is centered on a football team. Do you follow NFL football?
Yeah. I’m from Houston, Texas. I love some football.
Are you a Texans fan?
No, people assume that, but I’m actually an Oakland Raiders fan.
You’re also a big Beyoncé fan. If you could only listen to three Beyoncé songs for the rest of your life which ones would you have to choose?
I like “Resentment.” “Baby Boy” was probably the first one I really got crazy over. I’m going to say “Resentment,” "Baby Boy,” and “Irreplaceable.”
What else do you have on the horizon?
I’m working on my music right now. I’m trying to concentrate on that. Of course, more film and television will be coming soon, but the music is really my concentration right now. Hopefully, I can get some more songs for y’all as soon as possible.
The Game airs Tuesday nights on BET at 10/9 Central.