Adrienne Bailon and Julissa Bermudez are taking over the streets of NY and we are joining in on the ride! Check out our exclusive Q&A with the lovely stars about their new reality show Empire Girls, which premieres on the Style Network June 3 at 9 pm EST. They dish on everything, including love, career and fashion, below:
Congrats on the new show Empire Girls! What inspired you guys to air it all out there for everyone to see?
Adrienne: "People always ask, ‘theses reality stars, what are they really famous for?’ This gave us a platform to show what it is that we have done and what it is that we do. It allows us to show the things that we have coming up and show Latinas in a positive light. I am Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian raised in the Lower East Side and Julissa is born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Queens and I think it was important for us to also capture that."
Julissa: "Even though we are making strides as Latinas in the industry, there are still a lot of stereotypical things that are portrayed about us in the mainstream culture. Also the majority of people that put out programming about Latinos aren’t even Latinos themselves, so it was a big opportunity for us to display an authentic side of Latin culture and do it in a way [so] everyone can relate to our story."
It’s also refreshing to see two Latinas who are so encouraging with one another. How did you friendship develop?
Julissa: "We are so not Hollywood in the sense that we never took our friendship and parade each other around and walk red carpets together. Our friendship was just very organic."
Adrienne: "Exactly. It’s very organic and real. If you saw me and Juli hanging out together it wasn’t at events, it was in our home with our families spending New Years together and that sort of stuff."
As successful Latinas in the business, what sort of challenges does each of you face and how to you overcome them?
Julissa: "For me, a lot of it is my accent and still being true to my roots while building a new audience. Sometimes I feel like you can’t be yourself a 110 percent in this business and still have other people be on board. I definitely modified my accent, but at the same time its something that makes me stand apart. I try to find that balance of still doing the job well, but maintaining my sense of self."
Adrienne: "People are just used to seeing you in a certain light. For me, people are used to seeing me as my character in the Cheetah Girls. For me it’s a challenge because the character I played is not who I am in real life or who I want to be as an artist. I come from an R&B and pop background, and would love to get my hands on Latin music as well."
What lessons have you learned about show business and yourselves since you first started out?
Julissa: "That I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. I went from having secure jobs on Mun2 and BET to really striving to make it on my own. You have to be secure with yourself and find that level of confidence so you can achieve anything you put your mind to."
Adrienne: "I think I’ve learned so much about myself. I’m at a point where it’s like, this is who I am and there are certain aspects of the industry I can do without like people writing mean blogs about you and that kind of stuff. But then I’ve learned that what I do want is to settle down at some point and it’s a growing of age thing for me."
The show is also very much focused on fashion. What key pieces make you feel the best?
Adrienne: "I would say a great pair of skinny jeans. Anything with a lot of stretch in them!"
Julissa: "I agree. There are essentials to every wardrobe. I like mixing classic and trendy looks together. Just because something is trendy, doesn’t always mean you have to wear it."
The show also goes into your romantic lives a bit. Are both of you currently single?
Julissa: "Yes, and that’s another challenge we touch on the show. A lot of our friends and peers are either getting married or starting up a family, which are things that we haven’t been able to do because we have been focused on our careers."
Adrienne: "I’m as single as a dollar bill! I think love will come our way though."
Do you guys have an idea of what kind of partner you are looking for?
Adrienne: "Someone who is low-key, I think. He needs to keep up too and understand what we are trying to accomplish."
Julissa: "It’s hard to find these days I think [to find that person] as a career woman. A lot of men have their own agenda and it’s hard to find someone that really understands the business."
Watch a preview clip of Empire Girls below! Will you be tuning into the show?