HOLLYWOOD — It isn't easy being celebrities spawned from the same family tree, but Brandy and brother Ray J have found strength in numbers and joined forces.
"Brandy and I are doing the whole label thing together right now — it's going to be real explosive, so look out for it," Ray J, with Brandy in tow, told MTV News recently at the red-carpet premiere of the MTV film "Hustle & Flow."
The 24-year-old singer/actor launched his own record label, Knockout Entertainment, earlier this year and has signed his big sis, who left Atlantic Records in November after 11 years with the label (see "Another Breakup For Brandy: This Time It's Her Label"). "We're just getting her started right now," Ray said. "We just want to make her happy, make me happy, and keep it movin'."
Brandy said she will most likely hit the recording studio this summer with her old friend, beatmaker Rodney Jerkins, who helmed the singer's 1998 multiplatinum LP Never Say Never. "I'm probably going to get back in with Rodney and really map something out with him," she said. "But for now, I'm just warming up my voice and just getting my creative juices flowing."
Jerkins also executive produced Ray's upcoming LP, Raydiation, which is slated for release on September 20 and will feature tracks from Timbaland, Dark Child and R. Kelly, among others (see "R. Kelly, Timbaland Help Ray J Bring The Heat On Raydiation").
The young crooner has chosen the lovelorn ballad "One Wish" as the lead single from the LP, shelving prior plans to release the R. Kelly-helmed "Quit Actin' " (see "Brandy's Brother Ray J Tells Ladies To 'Quit Actin' ").
"[That song is] about to change my life," he said. "I'm really showing vocal ability from Ray J that people haven't really heard before, so it's gonna be real, something new, and something real positive."
Ray shot the track's music video, directed by Mr. X (Usher, R. Kelly), on July 16 in Los Angeles. "The concept is, it's raining and I'm looking for my girl and I got one wish to get back with her," he explained. "At the end, you will see if it really happens or not.
"It's gonna be real exotic, man. Just sexy," he continued. "It's showing sex appeal and [going] straight for the women."