By// Starrene Rhett
JETmag.com caught up with Derek J (pictured left), who made his television debut during season one of Real Housewives of Atlanta, when he was introduced as Kim Zolciak’s hairstylist. What caught most people’s attention was Derek J’s flamboyant style, toned legs and that he was fond of wearing high heels. The entrepreneur, who owns his own hair salon, The J Spot, has expanded his business beyond RHOA appearances to TV hosting and even his own shoe line, which is on the way. But in the meantime, he’s gearing up for season five of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, which premieres on November 4, with his own series pre special, airing Sunday, October 28, at 8/9ct. The RHOA Hang on to Your Weaves pre-special, features Derek J and fellow stylist Miss Lawrence as they recap some of the best moments in RHOA history, including chats about the ladies’ hair and fashion over the years. Here, Derek J chats about why the special is a much watch, in addition to his personal favorite moments from the series.
Talk about the Real Housewives of Atlanta special airing tonight.
Out of the four seasons I’ve been on the Housewives, me and Lawrence have never taped together. So, this is our first time actually doing something together, which was quite exciting. At first it was a little shaky because I didn’t know where he was coming from he didn’t know where I was coming from but it was fun as hell and I was very exited about that. I was kinda surprised by our play off of each other, but we recapped all four seasons of the housewives and it was fun to relive some of those memories and to actually see things that we forgot.
Part of the special is that you’re talking about the hair and the fashion of the Atlanta ladies. It seems like the hair and fashion for RHOA is the most talked about out of all the women in any of the housewives series, why do you think that is?
Atlanta is a flashy city. We’re all about the show, we like it big, we like it long, we like it colorful and we like to change it [laughs]. It’s like every episode somebody got a new hairstyle, somebody got a new color or it’ll be longer or short, so these are some of the things that people are tuning in for, because they want to see what’s next.
Obvious signs say that Kim won’t really be on the show but will we still see you?
Oh yeah! You’re gonna see me [laughs]. I know all those chicks, so you’ll see me around. I have taped mostly with Kim but I’m friends with all the girls. Actually, I’ve known Kenya the longest out of the girls.
We’re in a place in pop culture where hair is getting really mainstream, with reality shows about salons and stylists. Why all of a sudden is there this major fascination with hair?
Because hair is a Black woman’s crown and glory and I think mainstream media doesn’t realize what goes on with Black hair. For Black women it ain’t new because they go through so much with their hair but for the average American they don’t know what all happens with hair for Black women. But seeing the transformation, seeing how it changes people’s lives and seeing the drama that comes along with it, it’s perfect TV because it’s so interesting. And it’s now more openly spoken about through media so, I think that’s why it’s a big deal right now.
Will you have your own show any time soon?
I get asked that all the time! I don’t know if I’m ready for that part of my life yet. You never know, but right now I’m saying no.
What celeb would you love to get your hands on?
Just because I love her to death–but if I could just put a comb thru Pattie LaBelle’s hair I would die. I just love her.
What are some of your favorite moments in RHOA history?
One, my first time meeting Kim was memorable because we didn’t know what that was gonna be like but it turned out to be cool.
Who gon’ check me boo, of course [laughs]. The whole She by Sheree fiasco was crazy!
When Phaedra ain’t know when her baby was coming [laughs].
The whole I’m rich, bitch.
And the whole Africa trip. There was a lot of drama but in the end they did end up coming together.
Why should people watch you and Miss Lawrence’s recap special?
People should watch because they have to see what me and Derek J are wearing., we’re both looking fabulous and they get to see me the way I am with my friends. On the show I try to be a little neutral but they loosened me up a little so I act the way you would see me with my friends.