Karrueche Tran entered the entertainment industry as a personal shopper and freelance celebrity stylist. But after spending years in the spotlight for a highly publicized relationship, she quickly pivoted to create a successful and lucrative acting career that has earned her two Daytime Emmy Awards. The starlet proves that when you’re being buried, it is an optimal time for growth. Tran created an extremely successful lane for herself while continuing to be an unproblematic Queen that pushes the message of love, positivity, and self-awareness.
Along with her accolades, which include becoming the first Asian-Pacific American to win an Emmy for Lead Actress or Actor, came the opportunity to partner with other notable brands. She’s launched several collections with PrettyLittleThing, appeared in Ivy Park’s Ivy Heart campaign, and now she’s working with the Premium Rum brand, Zacapa XO. In an exclusive interview, Tran talks about her partnership with the Zacapa, overcoming the ugly part of social media, and the mantras that keep her going.
HB: Tell us about your partnership with Zacapa XO.
Karrueche: I am a big fan of Rum and Dark Rum, and I was presented with an opportunity to work with Zacapa XO, which I was really excited about. Also,I know the quality of the brand. I love Zacapa XO; I love the taste, so it’s just a more authentic type of collaboration. There are so many friends that I’ve introduced to the brand that they didn’t know about it. Because I genuinely love it, I can speak from a genuine place. Being able to work with Zacapa has been a lot of fun.
HB: So what is your go to drink? What, like, you said you like it on the rocks, but what’s your go to drink to get the party started?
Karrueche: To start off a party, I would definitely do one of my favorites, which is an espresso martini with Zacapa. Because of the coffee, you get that extra kick, you know, that extra energy. So that’s a great cocktail to start with. Then from there, I go into Zacapa on the rocks.
HB: Switching gears, how do you keep yourself going, centered and grounded? What’s your favorite affirmation?
Karrueche: One mantra that I love, that I have tattooed on me on my forearm, is ‘where there is love, there is life.’ And for me, love is the foundation of life. I don’t specifically mean love with a significant other or a partner or in a relationship. I believe in carrying love throughout your day and throughout your life. Whether it’s going into a grocery store, whether it’s with your friends, your family, or your workspace. Love has an energy to it, you know what I mean? And it’s priceless. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how famous you are, or how pretty or beautiful you are; when you are rich at heart and full of love, that means so much more.
I believe in energy and light, which is more of an impact and more meaningful in our lives. Especially with social media, sometimes we get distracted by materialistic objects and items, and we want this and that, but sometimes, what we need is ourselves and those around us. That’s why I love being around my family. I love being around my friends because we all have that same energy. We all strive to live each day through happiness. Life is too short. There are so many unfortunate things happening in this world. And what’s important is our attitudes, love, and positive positivity. It’s important for us to be kind and to love one another.
HB: What would you say your biggest insecurity is and how have you combated that?
Karrueche: I think I’ve struggled a lot throughout the past ten years. I’ve struggled a lot with other people’s opinions, judgment, even constructive criticism. Like if my team or somebody says something, I react with emotion instead of thinking wait, wait, wait, take a minute. They’re actually trying to help you, and this is going to benefit you. But instead of feeling like ‘I effed up,’ or ‘I’m not worthy,’ or ‘I’m not the best,’ or ‘I did something wrong,’ we can make mistakes. That’s one thing I’ve learned, too – Mistakes are okay.
Sometimes I’m so hard on myself. Like if it’s an audition or maybe during a take when I’m filming, and I’m like, ‘oh my God, I effed up so bad, and I embarrassed myself.’ But it’s like, ‘No, it’s totally okay.’ We all make mistakes – even the best of the best make mistakes. Instead of beating ourselves up for it, we can learn from it. I think to myself, when I did that, it didn’t really work out, so what can I do better this time? How can I improve? Then I keep those mindful bits for the next time I’m on set or whatever it is. I won’t make those mistakes, and I can do better.
And social media?
Karrueche: With social media, it’s so hard not to pay attention to what people say when we have comments under our posts and our lives are so public. In certain situations in my life, I used to be drowning myself in the comments and seeing what people were saying because I was just so stuck in it, you know? I had to pull back at some point and say, don’t do this to yourself. You’re not going to allow the comments and opinions of others to define you.
It’s crazy because most of the time, when people say nasty or rude things, it starts with themselves. And because they’re unhappy with who they are in their lives, they’re just projecting their insecurities onto someone else.
They’re trying to get a reaction out of me. I can’t let myself drown in that, but I’ve gotten to a point where I’m like, I can be strong – thank God. Some days I browse through the comments, and some days I’m like, nope, don’t even look, actually, get off of Instagram.