It’s no secret that Tyrese loves the ladies. With his soulful singing voice and sexy music videos, it’s safe to label Tyrese as a “ladies man”. With the release of the behind the scenes footage of his new video, “I Got A Chick” many feel as thought he’s an advocate for fair skinned women since there was little or no portrayal of black women in the video.
I recently sat down for an exclusive interview with the leading lady of Tyrese’s new video, Connie, who ironically happens to be a black woman. You may remember Connie as Mz Berry from “For The Love Of Ray J” when she won Ray J’s love. Since her debut as a reality star, Connie has taken her career to a new level. During our chat, she defended Tyrese’s video explaining that not only is she featured in the video as a black woman but there are also two other black women in the video as well! She also went on to discuss her transition from a reality star to the person she is today, her friendship with Tyrese and keeping it classy!
HB: Let’s clear the air. You are in Tyrese’s new video, “I Got A Chick” and you are indeed a black woman. After the behind the scenes footage was released, we’ve heard a lot of criticism on the video from fans who’ve said that there were no dark skinned or black women in the video. How can you explain that? What is your take on the situation? What is really going on here?
Connie: I can’t really explain what other people are saying. Everybody has their own opinion and, honestly I’ll just say right off the bat that I haven’t read any blog sites or anything on this topic. A friend of mine actually texted me and told me she saw the behind the scenes footage of the video and said I looked very pretty in my little shot! (laughing) But then she said that she read on a website that there was backlash against Tyrese because there were no black girls in the video. I was shocked! First off, it’s inaccurate because I’m in the video and I’m a black woman! Also because, there are two other African American women in the video as well. I was thinking, “Wow, that is really sad”. There is one dark skinned girl, myself and another lighter skinner girl-but yes there are black girls in the video.
HB: I recently read somewhere that it wasn’t necessarily discrimination and not just about picking lighter skinned girls over darker skinned girls on purpose, but more so just about looking for the best girl. Is that something that you heard also?
Connie: No, I didn’t hear that. I haven’t read anything. I wanted to read what was being said on the sites and I wanted to see what his response was as well so I don’t want to quote anything because I haven’t heard it myself. I actually wanted to text or call him today and see what’s was going on! But knowing Tyrese… PLEASE! He loves women of all colors, shapes and sizes so I know that discriminating is not his thing. At the same time, this is a business and he always wants to put his best product forward. He’s a good friend of mine so I don’t know what the audition process was and how long it took. I’m sure it wasn’t long because from the time I saw him and was asked to do the video from the time it was shot was only a few days. I’m sure he just chose the best women who came out for the audition and according to what his vision was for the video.
HB: We’ve heard this “problem” come up a lot in the music industry concerning African American men only choosing light skinned girls or women who aren’t black for their music videos. Do you think it is indeed a trend?
Connie: Here’s what it is. You’re never going to be able to please everybody. Everyone is always going to have something to say and someone is always going to feel slighted one way or the other. Honestly, I don’t watch videos like that and I said that I wasn’t going to do videos but Tyrese is a good friend of mine and he told me to come and do it since it would be fun, so I decided to do it. But there are beautiful girls that are considered video models of all different sizes, colors and shades of black. I think it depends on the artist. There’s one video model that is gorgeous! She is dark skinned and she has a body on her and I know she gets a lot of videos. So it just depends on what you’re trying to do
HB: How was it working with Tyrese on this video?
Connie: Great! He is an amazing individual! I am so happy I’ve gotten to know him. He’s given me some great pointers on how to handle this business and how to step out and have faith in myself and take my career to the next level. The reality is- no pun intended- that I could have gotten lost in this reality thing and not done anything else. But I do have a play that I’m in which is coming out at the end of this month called a “Sauls Juke Joint”. I’m also in two other plays: one coming out in December and a comedy that I’m actually really excited about that comes out in January called “The Trip”. I’m continuing to work on my craft as an actress and of course with writing and everything else. Tyrese’s has also helped me out with my writing. He has great energy and is very positive. That was his other thing for the video: he wanted a positive environment with high energy and everything like that. When I heard all this, I wasn’t offended because I know people always have something to say and people always have their opinion. Basically it is what it is. But I found it interesting that when I was on “For The Love Of Ray J” and when I won that season, it was such a proud moment- I guess you could say- that a black woman won. I was black then! But now people see me in the video and they’re like “she’s not black!” so it’s like which one is it going to be? (laughing)
HB: How do u describe your transition from being a reality star from “For The Love of Ray J” to acting and writing? How did you do it?
Connie: It’s still hard! I’m still in the process of transitioning because people in this industry look at women on these reality shows as though we are not credible in the work that we do whether it be acting, modeling, singing whatever. It’s very difficult. You have to prove you are worthy because you’re not taken seriously at all on the career aspect. And then you have the men who just look at you and really only want sex thinking that you’re easy because you were on that reality show and that you must have only been on that reality show because you are a “groupie”. So it’s very difficult. I am about building relationships, which comes from me having a career in sales, and I think that will take me far in general. I am an attractive woman so they are going to think, “What is it going to take for me to get with her?” But at the end of the day, they have to respect me because I respect myself and they don’t have any other choice.
HB: Are you going to do any more videos besides “I Got A Chick?”
Connie: It’s so funny because someone on my Twitter just said “Oh, you’re a video vixen now?!” and that is so not the intention! It was really just the fact that Tyrese is a good friend of mine and the video came out of the blue. I told him if he needed me there, I would be there. I actually really wanted to do the video for his song, “Stay”. I loved that song when I first heard it! I said, “This song is absolutely beautiful!” I would love to be in that one but other than that, I don’t know. It’s fun but it would definitely have to be something very classy and something that works with my brand. I’m not about doing the crazy stuff! I know in some of the behind the scenes footage from Tyrese’s video, you’ll see some of the girls getting a little crazy but that is a whole different thing! I had my shots by myself and I will say to his credit that he stuck with who Connie really is. So yes, to answer that question, I would love to do the video for his next single, “Stay” if the offer presents itself with something classy and something I can feel proud of then that’s cool. My aunt sent me a text that said “Hey, I saw the behind the scenes footage. Very classy and let’s keep it that way!” That’s just what it is. I’m not a 22-year-old girl anymore so I can’t do those kinds of things! I take care of my body and myself but that crazy stuff is just not for me!
HB: You definitely set the record straight! Tyrese loves all women! He doesn’t discriminate, and for everyone that said there were no black women in the video, Connie has explained that there are actually three black women in the video including herself! You kept it classy in the video, and we can’t wait to see the finished product! Do you have anything else you want to set straight before we go?
Connie: I definitely want to say thank u to everybody who has supported me from day one. I’m not finished yet and there is so much more coming from me! I’m working on perfecting my craft as an actress and taking that very seriously. As I mentioned earlier, I will be in a play opening up on August 27 called “Saul’s Juke Joint”. For info and tickets on “Saul’s Juke Joint”, hit up www.amsvisions.com. Also check out my Twitter because there are updates on there @ConnieChris. Look out for my website www.berrytales.com which will be revamped in the next few months!
Well there you have is. Mz Berry aka Connie set the record straight for anyone that had anyone who thought that Tyrese desciminated against his darker skinner sisters. According to Mz Berry, Tyrese loves all the ladies!
In case you missed the behind the scenes footage, check it out here!