Candiace Dillard-Bassett Says She’s Not Just ‘Another Housewife Who Wants To Sing’

Candiace Dillard-Bassett is ready for the limelight. The Real Housewives of Potomac star knows all too well what people think when they hear that she’s a singer once the cameras stop rolling on her reality show. But with her own headlining tour and now, an international performance under her belt, she’s confident she’ll prove any and all naysayers wrong.

ESSENCE was on hand to catch Dillard-Bassett, who goes simply by CANDIACE when she’s in performance and recording mode, kickoff of SLS Baha Mar’s Live Music Series at Skybar, 20 floors above luxe Caribbean beachside views.

It’s the cherry on top of a big year in strides for the songstress’ music career, as she kicked off 2022 as an opening act for Faith Evans, Maya, 702, and SWV on the Femme it Forward Tour.

“That was an honor,” Dillard-Bassett tells ESSENCE of her time on the tour. “I had a panic attack backstage! The women I opened for are women that I studied as a young woman, a baby artist. They wrote the soundtrack to our lives. So, it was almost a mind-bleep that I was there,” she laughs.

“I always saw myself as an artist, and I always manifested it and I always spoke it and prayed for it, but then when you get it, it’s almost like, ‘wait, pinch me. Is this really happening?’”

Candiace Dillard-Bassett Says She’s Not Just ‘Another Housewife Who Wants To Sing’

There’s no pinching necessary now, as the songstress was quickly booked for her very own headlining tour after completing her Femme it Forward dates.

Her Deep Space Tour in conjunction with City Winery found her performing at packed houses across the nation in support of her debut album throughout 2022 with more dates slates for early 2023. Now, with a mid-point stop at the SLS Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas, she can check “international headlining performer” off her goals list.

“I love the SLS because it really embodies me as a millennial; young, sexy, fun,” Dillard-Bassett said of the luxurious property. “It’s a party spot, but still sophisticated. The food here is amazing. The vibe here is just me. It’s really an honor that they would ask little old me who only has one tour,
barely has one album under my belt, to come and open this new series that
they’re doing.”

“[It’s] a big moment for me because this cements me as an international artist. This is my first moment performing outside of the United States.”

Candiace Dillard-Bassett Says She’s Not Just ‘Another Housewife Who Wants To Sing’

The SLS Baha Mar, famed for its weekly lobby parties, beach clubs, luxe amenities, and constant rotation of celebrity guests is celebrating 5 years in operation in 2022. Dillard-Bassett joins an illustrious crew of performers to grace the stages of the SLS, including John Legend, Boys II Men, Bruno Mars, and Rick Ross to name a handful.

For her intimate performance atop the SLS, Dillard-Bassett donned bronze box braids with blonde accents and a black fringe bodysuit, while performing hits from her debut album, Deep Space, including her latest single “Insecure.” which premiered on Sunday’s episode of RHOP.

Fans got their first glimpse of Dillard-Bassett’s work ethic on Sunday’s episode, taking a peek into a studio session between the songstress and one of her dream collaborators, Trina.

“Trina, she’s real, she’s down to earth, she’s super cool. She feels like a homegirl. Her energy, her vibe is very humble, chill. She also gave me some really good advice about dealing with haters and dealing with naysayers and people who don’t always have your best interest at heart.”

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While “Insecure” is technically about dealing with a lover, Dillard-Bassett sees parallels in its subject matter with numerous situations – especially frienemies like the ones she deals with while shooting Real Housewives of Potomac.

A sensation on one of the most buzzed-about iterations of the Real Housewives franchise, Dillard-Bassett is no stranger to drummed-up drama and over-the-top antics from her castmates. But she says nothing could have prepared her for the tribulations she’s been facing this season, pointed not only at herself but at her husband of four years, Chris Bassett.

“I think everyone [who watches] would agree that for me season five was probably the most challenging,” she says. “Season seven has trumped season five. In season five, we were dealing mostly with truths and facts. Season seven is very different because everything directed at me and at my husband is rooted in lies and in desperation.”

While she doesn’t want to name names or delve too deeply into the drama, watchers know that her husband has been called out for flirtatious, inappropriate behavior. “99.9% of [viewers] are wise enough to look at this and see this is not something that Chris would participate in. This is not the kind of person that he is,” she says.

Candiace Dillard-Bassett Says She’s Not Just ‘Another Housewife Who Wants To Sing’

“I honestly think that some of us have run out of things to talk about,” she says of the castmates perpetuating the story. “Every season of this show since I started, part of my story is cut out because I have more than what is needed to make room for the rest of my cast. It’s just is ironic that we’re cutting things that are going on with me to make room for someone to create foolishness and lies.”

Foolishness aside, Dillard-Bassett knows it’s an uphill battle to gain the respect of some R&B fans and staunch critics. But it’s a challenge she welcomes.

“I’ve always been an artist and I knew that I wanted to share my art with the world. I saw this platform as an opportunity to almost fast-track that,” she says. “But with that, I knew would come people who would judge or naysayers who would say, ‘she’s not serious,’ or ‘she’s just playing.’ It’s like,’another housewife who wants to sing.’”

“I honestly feel like I’m starting to receive more respect as someone who is serious,” she says. “I’m still a freshman in the music industry and I embrace that. I’m still learning, and people are still learning about me. Instead of rushing through that part of the journey, I’m bathing myself in it.”

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