Aubrey O'Day initially emerged as a breakout star on Making the Band 3, and after navigating life as a girl group member of Danity Kane, as a Celebrity Apprentice contestant and as a solo singer, the singer is back with some of her most exciting projects yet.
First up, the 32-year-old stunner is one of eight celebrities (including O'Day's current boyfriend Pauly D) on the new E! reality show Famously Single. The show premiered on June 14, and every Tuesday night we see the troubled-in-love stars dive deep into their past problems stemming from relationships.
As one half of the indie-pop duo Dumblonde with her former Danity Kane band mate Shannon Bex, Aubrey's also gearing up for the release of a remix of their critically-loved-but-way-underrated Dumblonde album on Friday. The group's also planning a sophomore album.
Aubrey O'Day talked to Fuse about love, music, pride and much more. Look out for Dumblonde's new single "very soon," and read on for everything else you need to know about the star.
FUSE: Did you enjoy yourself on Famously Single?
O'Day: I had such a great time with this show because it felt very natural and real, and the opportunity to sit in front of a therapist and to be able to learn and grow from my past mistakes and be better in my relationships was really invaluable.
“Pauly and I talk about marriage and having a kid all the time. That's definitely in our future.”
I could imagine being on a show called Famously Single must be nerve-wracking. Were you nervous at all to talk about more personal things?
Oh honey, I'm never nervous to talk about personal things [Laughs] I think I'm probably one of the most honest, blunt people I know. We got into everything from childhood traumas to relationships endings and all of that. I don't know what makes the show or not, but the therapist, Darcy, was great, and she dug deep to find in each of us how we could be better in our relationships and ultimately at the end of the day I found my new relationship and love on the show which is pretty insane.
Yes, you and Pauly D! What's the future for you two? Wedding bells?
You know, Pauly and I talk about marriage and having a kid all the time. That's definitely in our future and something that we both want and where we're headed.
You also have exciting things going on with Dumblonde. You have a remix album of the self-titled record out soon. What's the record like?
It's incredible. Our first album played to more of a '80s sound, and our remix album is a '90s take on our entire album. It's really incredible. Sometimes I think I like it more than our original album! [Laughs] And for our new album, we're making an alternative-disco album.
No way! What does alternative-disco mean exactly?
We look at the old, famous disco artists that are incredible. We are playing so much to the old, but in regards in to the new artists it sounds like Mark Ronson's album or Pharrell's. Robin Thicke, Daft Punk all play with that area too. It isn't done a lot and it's very hard to do well. It's such a musical time, and there's a lot of live instruments, we use a lot of vocal production the same way ABBA used vocals. We've been so involved in the production and the way that we produce the vocals and even the way we approach our vocals. With the first album, we had a lot of ethereal writing and metaphors, we sang a lot in our head voices, and focused on creating tones and sounds versus pushing other elements of our vocals. We're taking a different turn and challenging ourselves in other ways.
“We use a lot of vocal production the same way ABBA used vocals”
Is [Dumblonde producer] R8dio still involved?
R8dio's always here! We work with R8dio nonstop. He's incredible, and he's producing this entire album as well. His father was in ['70s/'80s funk band] The Brothers Johnson and he's got an incredible ear and mind for '70s music, specifically. He has a lot of the live instruments that were played in the studio by his father recorded that he took off vinyl and he is utilizing for our album.
We're just having a lot of fun with this album! Shannon and I are learning how to skate. We're bringing that element into our live show as well, which is why we're starting with the remix album dropping at the skating rink. You'll have to wait and see what a live rollerskating performance looks like.
Pauly D does music too. Is he collaborating with you on the album?
You know, everyone keeps asking us to get together and collaborate. I go to Pauly for everything, when we finish things I ask him if I think it's dope or wack—I got to get everyone's opinions before we make a final call. He loves our first single. He releases music as well, and I do the same for him. We haven't gotten together in the studio yet, but we plan to.
It's an exciting time for girl groups too. We see you guys gearing up for new album. Fifth Harmony is topping the charts. Even your fellow Bad Boy band mates Dream are back together.
They are?! Cool! I think that's great. I love seeing women of different backgrounds coming together for their passion of art and music and creation. I mean, I'm all about women coming together and supporting each other's differences and creating a higher platform to stand on and represent how powerful females can be.
June is Pride Month. What do you think we have to be proud of this year and what do you think we need to work on to be proud of for next year? [Ed note: This interview was conducted before the Orlando hate crimes on June 12]
Obviously, the ability to get married and be represented equally and have the ability to finally stop these distinctions that we make in our society and allow everybody, every human being that wants to love—regardless of who or what they choose to love—to have equal rights. That would be the most powerful thing that's occurred that we should all be celebrating, and it's unfortunate that it is so recent and that it hadn't already happened.
I would say we should really fight for the transgender community and for the recognition of what that transition is and feels like. And really, just the ability for everyone to identify with gender and the way they feel fit, and not have that become something that we're identifying through government, law, politics or anything that's money-driven. People should have the freedom to love who they love, and identify with who they feel they are without any consequence or uncomfortableness in society.