You worked with Ne-Yo on that song. What was that experience like?
I had a ball working with him. He’s such a professional and a great guy to work with, and so much fun, too. You know, he’s a musical genius; it’s not even fair. He just has a great energy and he’s an all-out great guy. He’s got a big heart.

What’s your next single?
“Regret,” featuring Ludacris.

Are you going to tour for the new album?
I am. Probably in the next couple of months.

People still associate you with Destiny’s Child, but you’ve been very successful on your own. You won an ASCAP Top Songwriter award in 2006 -- a tremendous accomplishment. Do you think people recognize the extent of your artistic involvement in your own music career?
I think that with this album people are starting to appreciate my music and to see who LeToya is -- and that’s what I’ve always wanted. But I understand that [Destiny’s Child is] how you know me, that’s what you associate me with, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Destiny’s Child was an amazing group, and I was blessed to be a part of it. But I am thankful that I do have fans that finally see Toya for who she is. I think I’m finally crossing that bridge.

You’re crossing a lot of bridges. You’re also acting and you have a new movie, Preacher’s Kid, coming out on October 30.
Preacher’s Kid ... was the first film that I’ve ever [starred] in. I got cast for the role four days before shooting. I [originally] got cast for another role, and at the last minute they were like, “Do you want go out for the lead?” and I was like “OK!” [Laughs] So that was definitely a learning experience. It’s a great film, a family film, and people will definitely learn from this movie. [My character] was a young girl whose father was very overprotective of her and didn’t allow her to get out and see the world. And when she did, she kind of got in with the wrong crowd, got in an abusive relationship, and she had to grow up really, really fast. She had to learn a lot about herself, learn about worldly things at a very young age. [The movie] is so funny, it’s full of drama, it’ll have you laughing, crying, all of those things. [Writer and director] Stan Foster did an amazing job in creating this movie. It has great music too.

Are you on the soundtrack?
I am, yes!

It sounds like you really got involved in the film.
Yeah, I had an acting coach with me all the time. I had to. I was like, “I’m not going to mock this craft, and I’m not going to take this lightly.” So I definitely studied and figured out how I was going to approach the character, and [my coach] definitely helped with that.

The movie takes place in the South, and you’re from Houston, where you have played Gay Pride festivals. Are attitudes in the South changing toward the LGBT community?
Do I think it’s becoming more accepted? Absolutely. Ab-so-lutely. It’s one of those things that’s like, you know what, you’ve got to let people be who they are. Whether you agree with a lifestyle or not, you have to let that person be who they are. You have to love them for who they are.

I just went to the Latex Ball in New York. Oh, my God! I have never seen so much creativity in one room. So much freedom. That’s what I appreciate about the gay community. You know: Do you and don’t worry about other people and their opinions. It’s so colorful and lively, and everybody’s not sitting around and -- you know when you go to a club and everybody’s sitting around and standing along the walls and people watch? It’s not about that. Everybody [at gay clubs] is ready to let their hair down and have fun and get into it, and that’s about love.

I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time. A lo-o-ong time. I mean, they were givin’ it, Honey! Gi-ving. And I love that. I love it. I can’t stand hateful people. I can’t stand hard-hearted people, and unfortunately there’s a lot of people like that in this world, and it’s got to die. Let it die, let it die, let it die. Let love live.

Gay marriage is the next major American civil rights hurdle. Do you see gay marriage ever being legal in, say, Texas?
You know what? It eventually has to, or people are going to move and go to places where it’s accepted. It’s going to have to happen eventually. I don’t know if it’ll happen tomorrow, but whatever is in God’s will, it will be. Hey, everybody deserves love. Everybody deserves commitment. And why shouldn’t the gay community have that?


Tags: Music