From winning Grammys with Destiny's Child to acting in films (Killers, The Preacher’s Kid) and on television (Treme, For Richer or Poorer), LeToya Luckett is used to wearing many hats—and sometimes all at once. As a familiar face both on screen and off with numerous big screen roles under her belt, LeToya’s a versatile talent whose star continues to rise. Adding a new title to her résumé, the brand new season of the Centric network’s Culturelist kicks off July 21 with new host LeToya Luckett.
Each week the Houston-bred songstress will bring a new spin to the best and hottest trends across America. LeToya dishes to EBONY.com exclusively about her new hosting gig, her experience filming VH1’s Single Ladies, and who she’d like to work with on her upcoming album.
EBONY: How did you get involved with the Centric network?
LeToya Luckett: They called management and wanted to know if I was interested. Of course when I heard out it was Centric, I was excited, because it’s one of my favorite networks. It’s for us. I like the shows on the network because they’re grown and sexy, but they really allow you to see what’s going on in Chicago, Atlanta, New York from style, fashion, food… I appreciate that in a network. I’m really happy to be a part of the show.
EBONY: You’re now interviewing talent and asking all the juicy questions people want to know. What’s it like for the roles to be reversed?
LL: I’ve done a couple of interviews already, and it’s so weird being in that other seat. It’s almost one of those things where I’m kind of iffy about asking certain questions, because I know how it feels. But then I’m like, you know the fans want to know it, so you ask. But I’m never going to do anything to make the artist feel super-duper uncomfortable. I’m more aware than other hosts that may ask certain questions. I’m aware of how that feels, so I’m not going to hound anybody or make anyone uncomfortable.
EBONY: What are you contributing to the show?
LL: I’m a fun person. I’m pretty sure it’s going to bring that fun, youthful flare. I love fashion, and I actually styled myself for a couple of the shows. I’m a colorful person, so I’ll be bringing that, and a lot of laughs.
EBONY: In addition to Culturelist, we’ll also be seeing you on another network very soon.
LL: Yes, I’m on Single Ladies now, and I’m very excited to be working with the girls. We’ve had a lot of fun on set so far. I love my character. Her name is Felicia Price. She is a mess; she’s a record exec. Once again, I can relate to being on the other side.
EBONY: You seemed to have stepped away from music for a while. When can we expect the next Letoya Luckett project?
LL: I’m working in the studio right now. You should be hearing something from me very soon. The sound is different, I’ve been working with different producers than my last album. It’s definitely still R&B, of course. I’m trying some new things. Live bands, and even vocally. I am just trying some new stuff and I hope the fans love it. It’s still young and fresh, but it’s still Letoya.
EBONY: Do you have a wish list for any artists you’d like to work with?
LL: I love Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Miguel. I absolutely would love to work with some newer artists.
EBONY: Why do you think you’ve been able to maintain longevity in this industry for so long in this business?
LL: Reinventing myself. I take breaks from time to time. I don’t feel like I oversaturate myself. I really sit back and think about my album and what I want to talk about. Because I take that time, I go through different things that I’m able to put in my album.
I was doing an interview recently with a serious legend, and he asked the question, “Do you want to be famous or do you want longevity?” There’s a huge difference. There are a lot of talented artists coming into the industry right now who I enjoy listening to, but I think a lot of them miss it. They want the fame, the paparazzi and everything flashy, and that’s hot for about a few weeks. But five, 10, 15 years down the line, they’ll still be trying to figure it out. Whereas you have artists that are making timeless music, and those are the ones that see a future and are planning ahead.
EBONY: You’ve been through public trials and tribulations throughout your career. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve been able to learn?
LL: In the years that I’ve been in this business, a lot of things have changed in a major way. In all aspects. I think as an artist, you definitely have to evolve. I’ve learned that that’s very important. However, you have to stay true to yourself while also keeping up with the trends in music and this industry. I think a lot of people start to lose themselves because people have opinions and they become insecure. But you’ve got to stick to the real reason you wanted to become an artist. It has to be for the passion and love of music. You can’t get lost in the mess of it all.
Kimberly N. Wilson is a NYC-based lifestyle/entertainment writer and digital strategist. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and completed her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Follow her on Twitter @kimberlynatasha.