‘House of Payne’s’ Demetria McKinney Seeks to Become R&B’s Next Sensation

Demetria McKinney continues to make a name for herself as a leading actress on the hit TV series “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” But as McKinney’s TV career flourishes, she is also seeking to delve into her first love, music. McKinney is currently working on a new music project.

During a recent NBA playoff game, McKinney sat down with rolling out to discuss her venture into the music business. –amir shaw

How have you transitioned from TV into music?

It’s funny because people think of it as a transition from acting into music. But it was really quite the opposite. I have always wanted to sing because  that’s been my therapy and my passion. My break in acting just happened to come first. So now it’s like I’m finally getting to go home. I’ve been overseas for a minute and now I’m coming home.

You are a part of a successful TV show. When did you realize that it was time to follow your dreams in music?

I decided to pick up my music career after realizing that it was a dwindling time frame. You have to strike while the iron is hot. And with everything going on with ‘House of Payne,’ it seemed like the perfect platform to introduce that aspect of myself.

How difficult is it for people who see you as an actress to respect what you’re doing in music?

I would say breaking people’s perceptions. It’s an honor and a blessing when people walk up to you and say, “Hey, that’s Janine.” It’s wonderful to be known for your work. But what I’m experiencing is kind of like the basketball or the football player saying they are going to do a rap album and everybody is like “come on.”  So the biggest challenge is making them aware that I am a separate person from Janine and making them aware that there are other levels to me.

On the music front, with whom have you worked thus far?

I’ve worked with Musiq Soulchild. We have a duet that everybody is going to love. He is actually doing at least four tracks on my album. I’ve also worked with Bangladesh and we’re talking with Jazze Pha and B. Michael Cox. There are also other producers such as J Dubb and Peanut Herman Johnson. There’s a whole lot of flavor. It’s a lot of love, old school mixed with the new. So you’re going to hear the singing, but you’re gonna love the beat.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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