There are a lot of reality shows on TV nowadays. If you ever had any doubts before, the Tamar and Vince show (sister of super star Toni Braxton & music mogul/executive) is definitely one to be added to the list. Because of the show, we’ve come to know and love Lashawn and April Daniels, the husband & wife sidekick duo who also happen to be best friends of Tamar & Vince. The name Lashawn Daniels may not strike an immediate chord. But he has been known as the “Secret Weapon” behind many of today’s biggest stars. This singer/songwriter/producer (and after watching this show, I’d like to add comedian to the list) has written several multi-platinum award winning songs like “It’s Not Right (But It’s Okay)” by Whitney Houston, “The Boy Is Mine” by Monica and Brandy, “You Rock My World” by Michael Jackson, “Telephone” by Lady Gaga, and “Say My Name” by Destinys Child (to name a few). Daniels has sold over 210 million records and counting.
What I loved about chatting it up with Lashawn and April is that they put the “real” in reality. It’s beautiful to watch them interact on the show because you can tell that their love is the real deal. It was even more refreshing to speak with them and feel like they were old friends – because they were the same people during this interview as they are when they are on the Tamar & Vince show. April is a hair stylist and clothing designer. The couple have three kids.
So let’s see what they had to say about love, marriage & what they want you to know about Tamar & Vince:
I think most people were shocked last night because when we watch the show, you two seem to be the stable, funny, humble, marriage-counselor couple. So did last night’s episode give us the true side of you that we don’t get to see, or was it edited to look like more than it was?
LaShawn Daniels: In relationships you’re going to have ups and downs, you’re going to have arguments. This is why we are able to be counsel and hold each other accountable to Tamar and Vince because there is nothing that we don’t go through or haven’t been through. When someone loses a parent, you accept everyone’s condolences, but the person that lost a parent as well, you tend to feel their condolences a bit more. So how can you counsel an argument if you’ve never had one? Everything you see is real. What you guys saw last night was April and Lashawn – it was an addition to (and not a subtraction of) who we are. We call ourselves giving the full life, like people say, keeping it real. That’s what we do and who are. Now I’m glad to say that April and I are in a place to which that does not happen very often. When we first got married, that was an everyday thing. But we’ve grown together.
April Daniels: Just to piggyback off of that: I think we would be fake if you never got to see that side of us. And it just so happened that day of taping, that’s where my emotions were. You got to see inside of our marriage. Pretty much what you saw, is what happened. It wasn’t edited to look a certain way, it wasn’t done for ratings. That’s just what it was right then and there for April and Lashawn. It’s unfortunate that you don’t get to see all of it because of the timeframe. But I just want to put out there that we are very secure within our union. That moment there was pretty much me saying, “Hey baby, what you see is not what I see and I need you to rock out with what I’m telling you”. And my husband is such a great guy, he truly is. He’s not at all naïve. He likes to give people the benefit of the doubt, so it’s no reason not to trust you if he hasn’t seen any reason not to trust you. America got to see it and I got a lot of people saying things like, “Hey that was us just last week”, or “That was us last night”. It was just something real, something true.
For April: How do you deal with the pressures of being a celebrity wife and mother? And how do you specifically handle what you talked about on Thursday night’s episode: the (natural) insecurities of your husband’s field of work, and constantly being surrounded by so many women?
AD: First and foremost the communication has to be there which it is. I’m grateful that I am able to talk to my husband. We might not agree initially, but we are able to communicate to one another what our views are regarding such things. As far as his line of work goes you have to have tough skin. You have to be a secure woman because that’s all my husband is surrounded by for the most part are beautiful women…women voted the most beautiful. So we don’t have time to sit at home fussing and worrying. I know the man I married. I know that I can trust him. He makes sure he keeps his stuff in line so that I don’t even have to worry about that kind of stuff. We’re able to work through our differences and have a solid marriage. It’s a beautiful thing.
For LaShawn: What things do you do as a husband to make her feel more secure, and to reassure her that she doesn’t have anything to worry about?
LD: One thing I think that is very important is to be an open book in whatever it is that I do. My wife (although she hates it) she knows that she can come in on any session, it doesn’t matter who I’m there with. There’s not a time that she calls me and I’m not touchable or unreachable. I will never have an excuse of not picking up her call because I was in the studio recording. I don’t care who it is or what’s going on, I pick up the phone make sure she’s ok and then I can get back to work. I try and work on my history even in the future. I conduct myself in the present so that you can never look back and say, “Oh well he did do this one time”. I make sure my history is clean so that you know the character that you’re dealing with.
In one episode, you mentioned that “compromise” was one of the major things that keeps the two of you together. Can you just elaborate on that a bit and explain from your point of view how that works in a marriage? What types of things the both of you have needed to compromise on to make your marriage last?
LD: Compromise is key. One of the biggest downfalls for married couples and newlyweds is that they have to figure out how to mesh with each other. You have two separate individuals coming together. So the key is learning how to mesh with each other. It’s a give and take on some things. And I have to be respectful of what she thinks and what she feels. If there’s anyone that I have to buck down to it will be my wife.
What do viewers possibly misunderstand or not get to understand about Tamar and Vince?
AD: The biggest misconception is that people think that they just do not love each other. We’ve seen some really mean things written saying that Tamar is a gold digger. She’s not a gold digger, their marriage is not for financial means or any of that. These two people love each other.They love each other through the roof. They truly want to overcome the obstacles that every couple is faced with. They want to win this whole marriage thing. I really want to put it out there because you only get to see a little bit on TV. But being their friends, we know the magnitude of the love that they have for one another. I can really mirror it to the love that my husband and I have for one another. Divorce is not an option. Winning is the only option. So that’s something that I truly want people to understand. And although they’ve been married for four years, they’ve been together for nine years so there’s a long history there.
How old are your sons and how do you keep them grounded with parents that are so high profile?
AD: We have three sons and they are sixteen, fifteen & seven. We just try to be as good of an example as individuals for them to follow. God is first. Our spiritual background gives us a foundation to operate in a way that gives responsibility. Although we’re not perfect, we let them know that’s something that you can’t compromise on. When no one is in the room, you need to be the same then as you are when everyone is in the room. It’s important to us that we raise them to be fine men. We teach them that nothing is out of reach for them.
They are all uniquely different. Our youngest is pursuing acting. He is our wildcard because he is fearless and will do anything. We always joke and ask ourselves how the last one is the one with the most energy. The fifteen-year-old is extremely talented. He follows his father’s footsteps musically. We don’t promote music because we want them to do their own thing. But that’s just something in him that you can’t deny. We definitely see him getting more involved in that. The oldest is just a wizard. He is incredibly intelligent. Academics is his thing. He’s in honors society for French in high school. He loves fashion but he loves to challenge himself academically. So they all have a very different dynamic and we are just so proud of all three of them. They are awesome and not just because they’re our kids. [Laughter]
LD: My boys are my boys. Some people try to decipher why most young boys don’t like to listen to their father or don’t think their father is cool. But everyone knows that I’m the coolest father in the world [laughter]! We give them the room and space to learn and so it’s fun to watch them. The biggest thing that I tell all of them is this: ‘You’re going to make mistakes; I just want the mistakes that you make to be calculated mistakes. I don’t want you to do a bunch of stupid, miscellaneous, or frivolous mistakes. I want you to do your best at whatever you’re doing. If you calculate it wrong, I just want to know that there was a thought process that went behind your mistake. And as long as we get that, it’s all good’.
Are you working on any new projects that you’d like to share?
AD: I am working on a woman’s shoe line that I’m looking to launch in the fall of 2013. I’m very excited about this because it’s been a long time coming. As I continue to progress I will definitely share more with everyone. It’s just about mid-way through so very exciting!
LD: There’s a lot of things I can’t say because of confidentiality. But what I can speak of because at this point it’s public information is this Tamar project. If you are not ready, get ready because it’s coming. We’re very excited because it’s the perfect combination between personality and talent. So it’s going to be a beautiful thing. The best way to keep up with us is to follow us on Twitter. Look out for the single which will be coming out in weeks and the album is scheduled for the first quarter, top of the year.
What is one piece of marriage advice that you can share with our readers when it comes to the reality of marriage?
LD: Mine is simple. Although it may sound like a cliché it is the fact of the matter: keep God first. When I say God I mean Jesus Christ. That’s who we believe in and that’s who we cast our cares upon. Here’s what we know: Jesus is love. Love is the very nucleus of marriages as they should be. So if you’re thriving to love, God will help you in everything that you need to do. The bible says to love your wife as Christ loved the church. God’s grace and mercy is restored daily. So if we can love our wives as Christ loved the church, staying and being in love should be the least of your worries.
AD: To add on, my advice is for the ladies (although the men could learn from this as well). Pick and choose your battles. Everything is not worth a discussion or an argument. Just let some things go. You know the things that are true to your heart that you may lose sleep over. But everything does not need to become an issue. God brought our union together. So our trust and our faith should rest on knowing that He is going to work out the kinks as well.
Tamar & Vince airs on Thursdays at 9pm EST on WE TV. If you missed last week’s episode which was the hot topic for this interview, you can check out the full episode here: Taymar & Vince – Model Wife – Full Episode.
BMWK, What do you think about the Tamar & Vince show? If you haven’t seen it, will you be tuning in to watch this Thursday?
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