Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgette gained world wide fame as part of the cast of the hit series Making the Band. The ATL transplant by way of Springfield, MA is now a member of the Bad Boy Record’s all-female singing group Danity Kane. Though she is known for being a piece of a beautiful puzzle, D. Woods is looking at the bigger picture and branching out into several side ventures. From television, to music, to workout videos, expect to see a lot more from the cocoa brown songstress with the killer physique. If you don’t know you should pay attention, because she plans on being around for quite a while.
Singersroom: What was it like for you guys once the first season of Making the Band you were part of wrapped?
D. Woods: It was almost as if the umbilical chord was cut. The show ended a little bit before the album was finished or around that same time. We really got to find out how we were going to be a group for real, for real. With the cameras around it’s a very forced atmosphere. Everything is on a timed schedule and certain events are going on for show purposes so it’s a real organic way a group should work together or be recording an album. We really got to learn each other’s personalities, our management, and everything that was going on up at Bad Boy. We were on the road just trying to pull together.
Singersroom: Was there a lot of pressure on you and your group members?
D. Woods: With the track record of “Making the Band” people’s expectations weren’t very high. We didn’t let that discourage us though, we were just like “yo, we got to get out there and show people.” And even after we proved ourselves with shows and album sales we’re still proving ourselves. Now we’re winning people over without it being constructed for ratings. On the one hand we had an advantage because so many people already knew us from watching the show, and on the other hand, because of that people already had a perception of us so it was almost harder than if we were just a new group coming out because people thought they already knew what we were about from being on the show.
Singersroom: What was the relationship like with the girls the first time around and has it changed at all?
D. Woods: The relationship the first time around was a working relationship but, at the same time, it was an “all we got is us” kind of relationship too. Like we all approached the situation like we have to make this thing work. I know I’ve been doing this. I’ve been wanting to do this. I didn’t know everyone’s level of experience or what they went through but I no every body stepped on the line the day of auditions and decided they wanted to be an entertainer. Everyone had been preparing for this opportunity. So, with that being said, we had each other’s dreams on each other’s shoulders.
Singersroom: Diddy come across as being a very strict boss. With that being said, have you and him ever bumped heads about any of your solo ventures?
D. Woods: No. Puff has neverâ¦ He’s always going to know what’s going on and most of the time he’ll support that decision. The thing is, I’ve been doing what I been doing long before we even met. Before we came in contact I’ve been doing this thing called entertainment and recording music and performing on stage since I was three years old. For me to have to check in now is like huh? Of course being around him you learn a lot. I mean with him being your boss you’re not going to be disrespectful but you’re going to do what you do. You’re going to do your job. So I never had a conversation like ‘oh, can I do…’ Like when I did King Magazine, I just did it. I was sure if he had a problem with it, he would pull me to the side and telling me. Honestly I think there are things he respects about me doing my own thing. I think it shows him a lot more of who I am because he really doesn’t get to see who we really are under the Making the Band circumstances. He always has to keep a certain distance and a certain demeanor for show purposes.
Singersroom: So he’s not as bad as people make him out to be?
D. Woods: [Laughs]Of course in the show he’s going to be like the “great and powerful Oz” as far as us not being able to just go and talk to him and when he does speak to us we’re supposed to shake and shiver. But I think he really respects an artist or anyone trying to succeed in their field. As long as it doesn’t conflict with him and his image he respects it.
Singersroom: You were in Lloyd’s “You” video and now I hear you are working with him on his album. What’s up with that?
D. Woods: Me and Lloyd have been cool before all this. Actually, I danced for him on some of his promo shows. So we’ve always been collaborating in the studio. Sometimes he’d just come by to say what’s up or either one of us would come through and try to put some ideas down. It’s very organic with us. We just vibe.
Singersroom: In what ways do you contribute to the musical process? Do you write, produce, arrange?
D. Woods: I don’t really get into the production part. Right now that’s too much buttons to push. But I definitely do the songwriting and arrangement. That’s my area. I’m getting my engineer game up. Soon they won’t be able to see me. That’s the thing about the group of females I run with.
Singersroom: And who are they?
D. Woods:The Girls Club is a bunch of females who are very self sufficient. Myself, Shannel, and Meeka. We take matters into our own hands and aren’t just going to be damsels in distress when it comes to our craft and our business. We are very adamant about knowing how to do things. We all try to learn different things. We can record ourselves and run our own sessions. And even if you’re not the dopest mixer or the best in Pro Tools at least your educated. That’s what we pride ourselves on. Actually, they helped me come up with a lot of the stuff I submitted for the Danity Kane project. And we’re all working on their up coming projects basically trying to keep from outsourcing work.
Singersroom: Now Shannel is a member of your collective, but she’s also an artist signed to Ne-Yo’s label. In regards to her career, do you take a mentoring role or do you two give each other space?
D. Woods: We’re very close in age so we already have our roles in life. And they tend to cross over when we work. But she knows the things I’m better at and I know the things she’s better at. So we kind of lead each other in those areas. Just being sisters we’ve been dealing with each other our whole lives so at some point we have to separate. We both had to find our own identity so in that respect we had to give each other space and just be like ‘okay, here’s where you need me to jump in?’ Otherwise it’d be like ‘oh, god she’s always trying to take something from me. But you know, it’s a sister thing. And when Meeka’s there she can kind of regulate things. She’ll give me the leadership when she feels she needs me to lead. We just take the different roles on for each other without intruding.
Singersroom: Have you thought about bringing your Girls Club team to Puff and working out some kind of production, publishing or label deal?
D. Woods: That would probably be the next step for the Girls Club. We want to make sure everyone has their individual area locked down. Like if we were the army or marines, we wouldn’t come at the enemy all at once. We’re coming at the industry from all different directions and taking it by storm.
Singersroom: With the emphasis placed on the people who write and produce the songs instead of the artists that sing them in today’s industry, have you thought about becoming a full time songwriter or publisher?
D. Woods: I don’t. It’s not my nature to not perform. I love writing but I have to be performing. It’s almost like I’m addicted to it. I want to be a complete entertainer. I don’t think I will ever be able to do just one of these things for the rest of my life.
Singersroom: You were known as the “fitness” girl in the MTB 3 house. I hear you’re trying to parlae that into a fitness video?
D. Woods: I’ve been a dancer all my life so I’ve always been body conscious. For females, image is so important. Women are always concerned with their bodies. You see all the specials about fad diets, anorexia, and bulimia. It’s crazy. But I was fortunate to come up being okay with who I am but also to try and be the best I can be. Me and my personal trainer, who is also a dancer, put together a work out to do and we had to make sure we got it in. You’re not going to be in pain, you’re not going to bulk up and get all swollen. A lot of females are worried about looking to manly or looking to buff. But with this you just hit the areas you really need. And it will make sure you’re able to perform in the things you do whatever your lifestyle is. It’s going to be really entertaining. We’re silly anyway so making it was a lot of fun. You’ll want to keep doing it. At first, while you’re doing it, you’re going to feel like you’re about to die but keep at it because it gets easer. The title fits the nature of the video perfectly, Fine for the Summertime. At this point I can’t give you an exact date on it but it will coincide with some of the other projects. —— By: Interview By Haaron Hines