Houston is a hotbed of talent, sprouting the likes of Destiny’s Child (Beyonce, Kelly Rowland), UGK (Pimp C, Bun B, etc.) and others. The latest sprout to spring from Texas' R&B and hip-hop loins is 17-year-old Katlynn Simone, better known as Brittany Pitts or "Brit-Brat" on BET's hot dramedy "The Game." Not only does she grace the small screen, but she also graces the recording studio; Simone is also a singer-songwriter, her latest single “Let Me Go” is a turned-up, sassy morsel of what Simone is serving up.
The blossoming songstress dished with Singersroom about conquering both the acting and music industries, portraying a headstrong adolescent on “The Game,” her sound, and what’s next for her music career.
Singersroom: Who were your influences (music/acting or otherwise) growing up?
Katlynn Simone: My Grandpa was responsible for my love for music. He exposed me to everything, but Stevie Wonder is the most memorable to me. My more current musical heroes include PINK, Beyoncé, Jill Scott, and Anthony Hamilton. My thespian heroes are Denzel Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Stanley Tucci, and Kerry Washington.
Singersroom: Which would you rather do, acting or singing? Why?
K.S: I am a singer first, always have been, but it is very import to me to be able to do both. If there is a role that I can bring truth to, I want it! I think sometimes people forget that there was a time when entertainers were expected to do everything, sing, dance, and act. I look at people like Justin Timberlake, who I admire very much for his ability to be a wonderful all around entertainer, and I know that is how I want to model my career. I don’t want any limits.
Singersroom: From your experience, how are these two industries alike? Different?
K.S: Well, one thing I have learned about both of the industries is that when you are looking in from the outside they seem so big, but once you get a peek inside they are actually very small worlds and many people know each other. I think one difference is that in acting there is sometimes the luxury of sharing work with other people and having a lot of help to create something wonderful. For example, you have other actors that may have much more experience, which makes it easier for you to do well. You also have the writers, directors, and editors with the same goal. Compare that to doing a live solo performance on stage with a small budget. Just you, a mic, and maybe a couple of dancers. The pressure becomes a little heavier and you may wish you could look to the left and see a friend….
Singersroom: How is it to play a rebellious teenager on "The Game?"
K.S: It is crazy, because my parents would throw me under a bus if I was really like that. Coby Bell, my dad on the show, is the nicest person in the world and Brandy, my step mom, is a music ICON and I have to talk to them so badly. When the scene is over I just feel like apologizing over and over cause it just does not seem right! However, I love working with the entire cast and crew. I am so blessed. I replaced someone else that used to play this character so initially it was very hard cause people don’t really like change. I have to say that the cast, the director, and producers made it a smooth transition for me. I have learned so much from Coby Bell and Pooch Hall. I just think they are so wonderful and I hope to work with them more in the future. I am eternally grateful to the people responsible for this show. I will still be saying thank you years from now!
Singersroom: How do you define your sound?
K.S: Pop with a lot of R & B and a little touch of Folky-Rock influence.
Singersroom: Who’s on your Pandora/ iPod playlist?
K.S: Oh, That’s easy. Justin Timberlake (Push Your Love Girl is one of my favorites), PINK, Penny and Sparrow, DRAKE, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Chrisette Michelle, Miguel, Anthony Hamilton.
Singersroom: Who would you love to duet with?
K.S: Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, John Legend.
Singersroom: You’re talented in acting and singing, but do you have any hidden talents?
K.S: I really like to bake. I am always trying different recipes. I experiment with different cake designs all the time and I really think if I was not singing and acting I would be in culinary school!
Singersroom: What’s next for your character Brittany and your music?
K.S: I think the writers of the show have set the tone of tension between Brit Brat and her new step mom. Maybe that will change, we will have to just wait and see! One thing that is very exciting is that “The Game” will be debuting one of my songs, “Beautiful Lie”, on episode #114 which should air around July 30th. I am so honored that they considered my music for part of the show’s soundtrack. I have a single out right now called “Let Me Go” and I am also finishing up my EP. So I can’t wait for everyone to hear the finished product.