On tonight’s season finale of Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project, the musicians were given one more challenge to perform a final live performance. All the artists played to their strengths but only one musician could walk away with the distinction of being signed with Linda Perry. Or so we thought – in a surprise twist to Make Or Break, Linda offered a contract with two of the musicians: Anjuli Stars and Candice Martello.
Anjuli has been a standout on Make Or Break since day one with her smart rhymes, star power and signature style. VH1 chatted with the breakout musician about her victory, sharing the honors with Candice, working with Linda Perry and what she thinks of Love & Hip Hop.
What was it like living in the house with such a diverse group of musicians?
Anjuli Stars: It felt like being in music school all over again. [Laughs] I’m used to being around artsy-emotional people all the time, so I felt like I fit right in.
Were you feeling confident going into your last evaluation with Linda?
Anjuli: I just felt like whatever was going to happen is what was meant for me. I’ve been doing music for a long time, working hard for a long time, so I feel seasoned in how I approach high-pressure situations like that.
What were your feelings about there being two “winners?”
Anjuli: I was genuinely surprised. I had no idea Linda would sign two artists. It was great. I love Candice and we’re so different. We wanna work with each other on a song at some point.
How has your life changed since the show wrapped? How’s the album coming along?
Anjuli: Well it’s pretty much changed everything. I moved to Los Angeles from Miami. I’m also signed now to Linda – the bar is higher, the expectations are higher, everything is next level. The album is coming along organically and amazingly. To be able to co-write alongside [Linda] is a true education at this point. [We] have got some heat that I’m sure no one is ready for. I really believe it’s going to hit people out of nowhere.
What can we expect from Anjuli Stars in the coming year? What can we expect from your debut album?
Anjuli: You can expect great music, emotion and honesty. For now, that’s my focus. I never would have thought people would know my name on television before knowing my music, but this is just part of my story. I’m excited to show people my artistry because I’ve worked to cultivate it for so many years. I’m a writer at heart and all I want to do is share my own personal experiences. I really embrace and want to be a positive role model for women and young girls. I want people to be inspired by the things I create.
What do you think of the current state of Hip hop music?
Anjuli: There’s a lot more people doing it than ever before, so it’s kinda weird to be honest. The cream always rises to the top, that hasn’t really changed. I really love Kendrick Lamar. I also love Big Krit too. We’re both from the south, so I relate to so many of his stories.
Do you watch any of the Love & Hip Hop shows on VH1? What, if anything, do you think they say about the current state of Hip hop?
Anjuli: I’ve seen Love & Hip Hop before. I believe everything affects everything. I say that because I think we should all be conscious of the fact that the things we do – our work and our intentions – affect the people around us and the world at large. It’s all energy. Reality shows absolutely affect our society in fundamental ways that we should all be more sensitive to. I think the success of reality television, particularly drama based shows, shines light on the fact that our society is addicted to judging and condemning.
Where does your music fit in? Where is conscious rap nowadays?
Anjuli: I think my genre is a mix of soul & hip-hop. It’s hard to define where I think it fits in because I think it’s really meant to stand out. Missy Elliot always tweets about not being afraid to go against trends. I guess I feel like that about the music I’m making with Linda right now. It’s not following anyone in anyway. We’re just two musicians making music from the heart. Somewhere, I read that Talib Kweli said “conscious” has become a bad word in Hip Hop. I love him but I don’t agree with that statement. I think the world craves more conscious minds, living in the present moment with awareness. Lauryn Hill is my ultimate musical super hero. I wanna give people the feeling she gave me when I was growing up. I use to think, ‘What a strong, intelligent, kind, sophisticated woman Lauryn Hill is.’ I can only hope to create a legacy like that for myself.
To check our interview with other Make Or Break winner Candice Martello, click here!