Interview: Daniel Gibson Talks Life After Keyshia Cole

It’s a Monday afternoon, and Daniel “Booby” Gibson has just stepped off set of his new television series Domino to hop on our phone call.

The new series, which is loosely based off of his life as a teenager, is his opportunity to tap into one of his many hidden talents. He wants to be known for handling his lines just as smooth as he handles the ball on the court. He’s always had a desire to be in front of the camera and to transform into one of the many characters that he refers to as “voices” in his head. Not the schizophrenic kind of voices, only the ones that are acceptable in Hollywood where you’re expected to be somebody different at the snap of a finger.

Before the separation with his wife Keyshia Cole—they’re not officially divorced yet—Gibson was solely focused on playing ball. But it’s been a long three years for the now free agent, and the public shame has knocked him off and out of his game. He spent this last year trying to pull himself back together following a messy and very public scandal where he was rumored to have been romantically (or lustfully) involved with a stripper. He’s remained relatively silent on the subject, with the exception of an interview that he did this past summer where he admits to cheating Cole as a husband and not being the man that he should’ve been. Recalling the times where he battled depression, it’s clear that the 28-year-old deeply regrets his past failures. Yet time is his panacea. He’s focused on the tomorrow that comes after the dark, and on not allowing his mistakes to take him back to that somber place that he fought internally to escape.

With his renewed mindset, Gibson is getting back into the game of life. He’s ready to talk about a future filled with embracing his untapped talents, being a better man, and remaining open to love. This time he’s determined to get it right.

You’ve admitted that you cheated Keyshia Cole out of a lot of things, but took responsibility for the failed marriage. What have you learned about yourself in the aftermath of the breakup?

I think I learned a lot of things about myself. I feel like it was a situation where I had the opportunity to step up and be a man, and I kind of chose to be a coward and took the chump way out. I could’ve did a lot of things better as far as communicating just everything in a marriage that you’re supposed to, I feel as if I didn’t do right. So coming from that, my ideas and my views on love they haven’t changed one bit. I still want to be married, I still want a family, I still want all of those things. It’s just my approach to it and how I handle situations I’ve grown a lot.

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You’ve mentioned that you fasted after the breakup: no drinking, no sex, and no fast food. What came out of your period of fasting in terms of spiritual, personal, and emotional growth?

It was this thing where I was trying to challenge myself and see where my willpower was, actually see what I was capable of doing. We become dependent on things and we start to rely on other things other than relying on ourselves knowing that we strong enough to deal with any situation. So those were a lot of negative things that I had been doing, and became dependent on, maybe because of the depressing phase that I went into when me and herself had separated. Whatever the case maybe I just needed to clear my head and get into a space where I could start back thinking the way I know how.

Did faith play a big role in helping you get through? Were you reading your Bible more and seeking spiritual guidance?

Man I had to really do some soul searching, like I tried everything. You name it and I did it. I went to the doctor, I talked to the therapist, I talked to the preacher, I talked to my mama, anybody that could give me some advice on how to regain myself and see myself as a man or whatever. I went through all of that. I got real low, but yeah all of those were little steps, but at the end of the day it was me. The decision I made as a man and realized you know you got to do what you got to do.

So you’re single now, I’m assuming you’re not rushing back into another relationship?

Noooo [laughs].

If you were to get in one what are you looking for in your relationship? What will you bring to the table that you didn’t in your marriage?

For starters I’m bringing all of my flaws because they were public knowledge [laughs]. I’m bringing someone who is mature, someone who’s been through a lot and someone who’s at a point in his life where he understands that you got to grow up, and you reach a point where you got to treat things the way they deserve to be treated. Value everything and handle things like a man, so whoever I meet, they’ll be getting somebody who’s definitely ready for commitment.

Now I’m sure even in your previous relationship it wasn’t perfect on either side, so what would you want your next partner to bring to the table?

I want somebody who’s willing to communicate and just talk about things, because we’re going to have misunderstandings but if we love each other enough we should be able to talk about whatever and come to an understanding. Someone who’s affectionate, I like to be rubbed on, touched on, kissed on all that kind of stuff. Someone who’s emotional and someone who’s also strong and willing to fight with me. Because it seems to me when I look out here everybody is breaking up. Like love just ain’t love no more. So I feel like with the social media and everybody going to be pulling at the relationship because it is what it is you need somebody who’s strong enough to be able to handle whatever and be down to ride with you.

It’s definitely a big thing in our generation because you don’t have as many positive relationships to look up to, so we’re living in this age where information comes so fast and it’s so accessible, and if you don’t use it correctly it can really damage everything that you’ve built.

Exactly, that’s what I felt like with me and her situation. I feel like I agreed to do the show (Keyshia & Daniel: Family First) to put Black marriage on a pedestal, so people could look at us and say you know what damn they did and they both came from nothing and whatever. But I feel like we ended up being a part of the statistic. We did more damage than we did good, so that’s the only thing that I have regrets about, not showing the younger generation what you’re supposed to do when it comes to marriage.

Well hopefully the next situation will be much better!

Now see we not going on ifs. My next situation will be better and work out the way it’s supposed to. No more ifs!

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Alright! Removing from my vocabulary lol. So let’s talk about your music. Did Cole have any influence in your interest as an artist? 

I think her influence on it, like actually seeing the work of it the art of it, seeing how it’s done you know definitely became intriguing because I’ve always been able to write. I’m more of a poetry writer, and I write little short books and all of that kind of stuff, and um being around the music and seeing it put to music it became a story. But I was so focused on basketball that I never really had the opportunity other than just playing around with it here and there. I never really could dig into it and take it serious.

What are you looking to accomplish as an artist?

Right now it’s not even about trying to reach a certain level, right now for me the music was more medication for me with everything I was going through. Because I didn’t want to talk to nobody, I didn’t want to be in nobody’s face and I needed some way to get it out because while it was inside I was thinking bad thoughts, I wanted to do bad things to myself, so I needed to express it. I got in touch with a producer and we got in the lab and I was able to get it out. I could speak to the mic and tell my story. So if anything it’s not about wanting anybody to like my music or to hear it, it’s just more about me. Telling my story and just putting it to music. Whoever like it, they like it. Whoever don’t, they probably just can’t relate.

Who are some artists that you listen to that fans may not know now about?

I’m an H-Town boy so I listen to a lot of artists in Houston, but you know a sneak artist I’ve kind of been messing with is Kevin Gates. I’ve been up on him. I feel him because I feel like when he speaks he’s speaking from a genuine place, and that’s the best type of creativity, that’s the best type of art when it comes from your heart.

I agree! So as far as your television series, tell us about that.

Yeah so in this process of me not playing basketball I was given the opportunity to express some of my creativity like in college I did a few acting classes and in high school here and there. Even with the poetry all this time has just given me time to do some of the things that I love to do because I focused so much on ball, and acting is one of them. So I created this series to get my feet wet in the acting world. It’s like a short film scripted TV series that we are going to shoot. Loosely based on my life, a little embellished it’s some wild stuff that go on that I’ve never done before. But just allows me to get into the acting world and see what that’s like and see if I’m feeling it.

What I tell people a lot of times is that I got a lot of different voices in my head. Like sometimes I’m a writer, sometimes I’m an athlete, sometimes I’m just in love, I don’t know who you’re going to get. And when you’re acting they ask you to let these voices in your head just come to life and just be these people.

So who are you in the Domino series?

Oh you’re getting the real me, back when I was in high school still trying to get into trouble Booby. You’re getting the wild child when I go into this little funk where my grandmother passes away and I just become this little wild animal out here. Kind of like, not as far as Tupac went in Juice, but as far as he went if I wasn’t killing everybody. I didn’t shoot nobody, but I did everything else.

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Have you decided not to go back to the NBA or are you just taking a break?

It’s really on my mind, but I’m just taking my time with it because I had a few injuries when I stopped playing. So I just want to make sure that if I do decide to go back my body and my mind is in the right place to be able to respect the game because I feel like my last year I was injured, I had the divorce going on, I lost a lot of focus and faith in the game. So I do want to go back and play but I want to make sure that I’m really ready to play the game how it’s supposed to be played.

You mentioned that you did poetry, and painting and drawing. Are there any artists that you look up to?

As a youngster, I don’t like using the word idolize, but I really looked up to Tupac in every way. I know a lot of people say they looked up to him because of his music or whatever, but I really looked up to him in the sense that I studied who he was as a person and as a man, and why he was the way he was. Something about him just kind of drew me to him. And when I found out a lot of stuff that he was going through he used poetry to kind of get himself through it, that’s when I started writing poetry as a youngin’. So I can give you all of the Maya Angelou’s and all of the people that did poetry before, but I have nobody that I just watch and try to learn their style from other than reading his and kind of doing it my own way.

What’s currently on your reading list?

I’m actually becoming an avid reader. I have The Four Agreements on deck, I’m re-reading The Five Love Languages, The Secret, and I’m re-reading The Alchemist. So it’s like whatever I’m feeling that day I kind of go into it and lately I’ve been reading The Four Agreements pretty heavy.