R&B Diva Meelah Spills on What Makes Her P.R.O.U.D.
Former R&B Diva: Atlanta star Kameelah Williams, known as “Meelah,” talks motherhood, mixups and her mood. The P.R.O.U.D. mother and stage actress is working on a new album all while advocating for mothers like her with autistic children. She was just wrapped up a stage play called “The Strength of Love.” She has an album coming out in the fall through Musiq Soulchild’s label Soul Star/eOne with a single release in the spring/summer.
Along with career insights, Meelah shares what once hampered her and how it has become a platform.
For those who may not know, tell us how you became a member of 702?
I went to a performing arts high school in Las Vegas, where I met the two sisters Irish and LeMisha. 702 was changing a few members and held auditions. LeMisha asked me if I’d be interested in auditioning and I said yes of course! Once I made the cut I had to do another audition of sorts for Michael Bivins (New Edition, BBD) being that 702 was on his label at the time, and from there, the rest was history!
R&B Divas, was that good or bad for your career?
I don’t think R&B Divas was bad or good. I think it was what it was in that moment, meaning I think it was supposed to happen when it did for the trajectory of my life. I enjoyed it. It gave me some exposure and reintroduced me to people, which I look at as a blessing.
There are lots of woman on reality TV who have popular shows, usually not always for positive reasons, do you think R&B divas needed more drama, different cast members or what would have kept it on the air?
I think it had plenty of drama and great casts. I believe it was political and had nothing to do with not being “ratchet” enough. I feel it is off he air due to the powers that be and things that were behind our control.
Besides LaTavia, do you still communicate with the other cast members? If not, why?
Yes, I try to keep in touch with all the ladies, but we’re all so busy so we don’t speak often. I do occasionally talk to Syleena, and may run into KeKe and Angie, and we always say we’re gonna get together but it’s tough lol.
Were you friends before the show? If so, how did that happen?
I was only friends with LaTavia before the show, but I’d met some of the other ladies.
LaTavia and I met of course during our 702 and DC days, but we reconnected in Atlanta. We had a special bonding moment in church one day. I was worshipping and crying and LaTavia approached me and comforted me, being that nurturer she is lol. And she’s been my boo ever since. We just clicked and are more like sisters than friends.
How has motherhood of a special needs child changed your life?
Being the mother of a special needs child has drastically changed my life. It’s made me more driven and focused, but also more aware of other special needs parents because it isn’t easy. It has its challenges, but I know God blessed me with my son for a reason. There’s bigger picture and purpose and for that I’m grateful.
When your son Zacariah was diagnosed with autism child, describe what that was like and how it’s affected you?
When Zacariah was diagnosed at the age of 4, I already knew because we’d suspected that he was delayed due to his inability to hold conversations and talk on an age-appropriate level. He’d been in speech therapy for a while before I even received his diagnosis, so I was a bit emotional in the beginning but not surprised. I had my days where I had mixed emotions about it, but now I’ve completely accepted that my son has autism, and I love him to pieces just the way he is!
You have started a nonprofit called P.R.O.U.D. in support of mothers of autistic children. What is the aim?
P.R.O.U.D (Parents Reaching Out to Understand Developmental Delays) is basically to be a voice for other special needs families. Our aim is to raise awareness about autism, children with special needs and to provide support for families of children who are developmentally delayed.
What have you learned from meeting other mothers and kids with autistic children?
I’ve learned that every child with Autism is different and what works with my son may not work for another child and vice versa. We, mothers, know this and focus on our children’s individual needs. We may share suggestions but try not to compare because we understand with autism there are no two children alike.
Do you want to have more children?
It depends on the day lol. Sometimes I feel like I may want to have at least one more because siblings are good for children with autism. But then sometimes I’m content with my Zac and I’m like “okay I’m one and done!” Lol.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love reading self-help books, watching independent films on Netflix, and watching Fixer Upper on HGTV because I’ve become a bit obsessed with interior design.
What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make in your career?
The most difficult decision I’d have to say was choosing to do reality TV. Putting your life on blast isn’t the most settling or comfortable feeling especially in this super opinionated, judgmental social media world.
What’s a common misconception about you that you would like to clarify or set the record straight?
A common misconception I feel is that I left 702 to “go solo,” which is not true. I left once a situation that, at the time, couldn’t be resolved went from bad to worse. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception against lead singers, and they often get the blame for groups breaking up or disbanding.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be surprised to know that I battled with the eating disorder bulimia.