Great news, we found Willa Ford.
In honor of TBT, we bring to you a brand new Billboard interview with the I Wanna Be Bad sensation — and it is truly fascinating!
First of all, where you been, bb???
The 36-year-old left her singing career behind (more on that in a second) back in 2001 and now runs her own interior design company and is married (for the second time) to a man named Ryan Nece, with whom she shares a son, Elijah.
What’s more… While chatting about where she is now and why her music career fizzled out, Willa seems to be open to the idea of making a comeback!
When asked about what went wrong the first time around, Willa theorized:
“That’s the question I get on the daily, literally. It was the perfect storm. A lot of people don’t realize this, but my second single was released on September 11, 2001. Everything that happened that day froze; the world stood still, as it should have. My second single didn’t do well because anything that launched that day kind of got canned. I know that sounds silly, but on radio they slate things, but it really fell to the wayside. I didn’t think it was a big deal because we were making a new album anyway. The record company I was with at the time got acquired by another record company, and the president of our record company left the company.”
From there, the songstress didn’t really know what to do:
“So, I ended up in no man’s land. At that time, my sister had a baby, and I felt like this pop machine had taken me and put me in the wash cycle and I had been spinning out of control. I wanted some time to refocus myself. I started re-evaluating what I was doing. I was a classical opera singer with musical theory — a real, legit musician. I loved what I was doing — I wrote the songs, but I felt like the authenticity wasn’t there. I knew that it wasn’t going to have the staying power that I wanted it to have. I really took a step back because I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing at the time. I know that sounds crazy, but it was the perfect storm, and I walked away. It’s really hard when you walk away to go back to it.”
We think this is a good time to point out that other artists like Mariah Carey (Glitter), Bob Dylan (Love & Theft), Ben Folds (Rockin’ The Suburb), JAY-Z (The Blueprint), and Nickelback (Silver Side Up) also released full-length albums on the same day as the national tragedy.
So what did we miss from that album that never saw the light of day? Willa explained:
“It was raunchy, but there were some songs that were really cool. There was a song called ‘Sexy Sex Obsessive,’ which sounds funny out loud, but it was pretty striking at the time, and there was a song called ‘Who I Am,’ which got secretly released in Europe… It was as if pop met Nine Inch Nails.”
But don’t let her successful career designing high-end homes get your hopes up — Miz Ford hopes to hit the road and tour the gay club circuit!
She told the outlet:
“If the [new] music did well, I’d love to hit the gay club circuit because it would be so empowering and fun every night. I used to say I didn’t want to have a family on the road, I think it’s about having the right family on the road. I think it would be a blast with my husband and child. I miss being on the road more than any of it.”
Stay tuned alert!