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SYLEENA JOHNSON 2011 SOULMUSIC.COM INTERVIEW
DIARY OF AN UNDERRATED DIVA
Phone interview conducted September 21, 2011

After 15 years in the recording industry, and with a voice reminiscent of the legendary Betty Wright, Chicago native Syleena Johnson pushes forward musically with her 5th solo album, CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED. In this interview with Akim Bryant, Syleena talks about the time she almost completely lost her voice as well as her forthcoming reality TV debut in “Diary of a Diva” (featuring other R&B divas such as Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Keke Wyatt, etc)...


Akim Bryant: All right, Akim Bryant here once again for SoulMusic.com, and we’re here today with Grammy-nominated Chicago native Syleena Johnson, daughter of legendary R&B singer/producer Syl Johnson. And now after nearly fifteen years into the game, Syleena drops her fifth album to date entitled CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED. Welcome to SoulMusic.com, Syleena.

Syleena Johnson: Thank you. How are you?

AB: I’m good, I’m good. How are you?

SJ: I’m awesome. Couldn’t be better.

AB: That’s great. So you have your fifth album, CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED about to drop next week—September 27th, right?

SJ: Yes.

AB: So if you can just explain, this is the fifth album, this is CHAPTER 5… if you can just take me through the journey of each of your albums and what they’ve represented for you at the time, all the way up to the most recent, CHAPTER 5?

SJ: Okay. Well, CHAPTER 1 was LOVE, PAIN & FORGIVENESS; that came from a broken relationship that I wrote those songs. Most of them were journal entries that I was writing in to get me through the healing process of a bruised relationship, and I turned them into songs. And I fell in love, went through pain, broke up, whatever; got rid of the pain, and then I learned how to forgive myself and ask God for forgiveness. CHAPTER 2 is THE VOICE. Chapter 2 I just came off of a divorce. I had been praying and praying and praying and was under the anointing, and I was just really in a place with God where I was listening and praying for the right things to do. I was really torn about being divorced because I knew that God did not smile upon divorce, so I was really torn with that. So Chapter 2 was The Voice and I was really in tune with the voice of God. The whole album had a spiritual base, and was probably one of my favourites next to Chapter 5. I think Chapter 5 is my favourite one now.

Yeah, Chapter 5 is really good. So that was Chapter 2: The Voice, and CHAPTER 3 is THE FLESH: got the divorce and ready to kick it. Was hanging out, kickin’ it and doin’ what I do, being young, being out and being free… doing whatever I wanted to do—going out dating, doin’ whatever. So that was The Flesh… I had strayed away from the Lord that was The Flesh.

AB: For a moment, for a moment.

SJ: For a slight moment. But you know, we fall down but we get up. Then went back to the Lord, got remarried, settled down and found the love of my life and decided to take a break a little bit; left Jive Records, regrouped, created my own label and put out CHAPTER 4. Had my first child, which was probably one of the most amazing experiences ever, and named the album LABOR PAINS, because the whole process of bringing Chapter 4 into fruition was like being in labor: it took me nine months to create it. And I released it, and after nine months it was a beautiful album of songs compiled of singing and dancing and awareness. Just how I felt at that time, was feeling very strong and focused, so CHAPTER 4 is LABOR PAINS. Chapter 4 is an awesome album, I go back and listen to it all the time. It empowers me because I did it by myself… well, not by myself: I did it with the small Underrated team, the team that’s working now—same team on Chapter 4. We just added a couple more people, and shout out to them because they are snappin’, off the chain.

I can’t even say regular comments on my timeline on my Twitter page because there’s so much on Syleena Johnson on Facebook—we’re everywhere. We’re blogging, we’re everywhere. So shout out to my team, they are so awesome. And then now we’re here at Chapter 5. My fans… I wanted to give up at one point, and my fans motivated me to stay. They gave me the strength to stay, they really did. And I don’t mean that in a clichéd way. They really did. I actually read my messages in my message box. Sometimes I don’t get to read a lot of stuff on Twitter because it goes fast, but I actually do read my Facebook messages—and my MySpace at the time—and a lot of them were like, “You can’t give up, you can’t leave us with just these four or three Chapters. You have to continue, you have to continue.”

So I decided—fearfully, but I went on ahead anyway, and I gained strength as I regained the love for music and fell back in love with music again. I started in 2009 recording, even though that fell through—the first people I was supposed to do the album with fell through. But then Toxic, a producer that I can definitely depend on from here on out until I finish this career—Toxic and Toxic Productions and his entire production team—they worked with me on Chapter 5. I didn’t even have a deal at the time but they had the faith, and that pushed and motivated me too. The title UNDERRATED I got from the fans. Once again I asked them what should the album be called, and I got all these in-boxes and all these comments that said, “Underrated. You should name it Underrated.” So that’s why I named the album Underrated. For them, underrated means, “Oh, we don’t get to see her, she doesn’t have enough exposure. No one’s talking about her, she’s a great talent,” right? But for me, underrated means underestimated, as in the dictionary, and I’ve been underestimated by a lot of different industry people and just a lot of different people who did not think I could do it. I’ve had people tell me, “You won’t make it past Chapter 2.”

So for me, underrated is like, “Yo, now we’re at Chapter 5, so...” It’s being underestimated. And it’s an album that’s free: I went in and whatever music they played for me that felt good to me, I wanted to record to that. Even if somebody figured, “Oh, that’s not a Syleena song,” well, to hell with them. Because that’s another thing—I’m sick of the “That’s not a Syleena song,” okay? I’m a singer, which means that I sing. There’s no such thing as a Syleena song. I sing whatever you want me to sing: I’ll sing classical, I can sing jazz, I can sing… whatever, because I love music. I just love music. So I don’t want to be classified like that, like, “Oh, she shouldn’t be doing…” I think I should be doing what I want to do. Don’t you agree? Shouldn’t I be doing things that sound good, that make me happy?

And why do we care so much about who sang it? As long as it sounds good, let’s just go with that. Are you getting a good emotion from it, is it sounding good, do you feel good, is it doing what music does for you? And if it’s not doing that, then listen to someone different. But if I don’t record… as I just go into a whole other subject when you ain’t even asked me this… but if I don’t record what I want to record, then my fans won’t want that, because they want the best of me. So that’s what CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED is—it’s the best of me, without any calculation, guesswork… like “Oh, I should do this because it’s going to be a hit on the radio.” It’s none of that. It’s just, “This sounds great, I think my fans will like this,” or “I love this, so let’s do this.”

AB: Now touching on your last point about the type of song that people expect you to sing, I remember when your club track came out, “Tonight I’m Gonna Let Go”, and you had the regular version and I believe there was a remixed version that featured Busta [Rhymes]. People were pretty shocked and surprised to hear that type of sound coming from you at that point. What kind of stuff did you go through based on that?

SJ: Well, people love to classify you, and with my first single… that was called “I Am Your Woman”, that was the first single, so that’s what people saw of me. However, I did a “Hit On Me” remix with Mos Def, so quiet as it’s kept, a lot of times, people just don’t do their research, and if they really did their research they could go all the way back in my music and know that I did all kinds of songs. But with the Chapter, I did a “Hit On Me” remix with Mos Def, which was like a hip-hop song. And then every album has fast songs, it’s just nobody… either they don’t get the album or they don’t do the research. So a lot of times when I release fast songs, my fans—the Syleena Johnson diehard fans that have all the albums—they’re okay. They’re normal, because they’re like, “Okay, that’s nothing new.” I did “Hypnotic”; Chapter 3 was “He Makes Me Say”; you have “So Faithful” on Chapter 2… you had “I’m Gon’ Cry”. I’ve done a lot of fast songs. I’ve done so many hooks for rap artists—for Kanye and Camron and Cuban Link and DMX… so it’s not like I’m a jazz singer. They act like I’m a jazz singer trying to sing R&B. I’m an R&B singer, so I do all facets of R&B, and it just so happens that R&B has lots of facets. So I don’t know. People just want to classify you, and that’s okay. But I just say that if you’re a real music lover, in order to love anything you have to be able to appreciate everything. That’s what makes you a real, true, diehard music lover. A lot of people just listen to songs but music lovers listen to the heart of a song, the soul of a song, and they listen to the lyrics and they listen to the creation of it. They can hear all of that in one listen.

AB: And I think that’s what you offer up with your now five albums to date, each album having a theme and just staying true to what true music lovers want to hear. So you mentioned your debut single “I Am Your Woman” was written and produced by the grand R. Kelly, of course. And then you were also featured on that huge Kanye single “All Falls Down”. What is your relationship like now with both those artists, R. Kelly and Kanye?

SJ: Probably the same as it was then, quiet as kept. I really don’t talk to them much at all, but back then I really didn’t either unless we were working together. That’s the misconception that people have. Now I did hang out with Robert much more, because he lived in Chicago and we were on the same label and we were signed by the same man, which was Wayne Williams. So we were colleagues and we were friends. We still are friends… if I was to see Robert right now it would be like, “Hey!” We’d just be normal—we wouldn’t skip a beat. You know you have friends you haven’t talked to in a long time but if you see them it can still be like, “Hey!” So he’s that kind of friend, just normal. Robert’s just a normal person, he’s just regular. I guess I haven’t talked to him because I’ve been having kids and all kinds of stuff, getting married and just doin’ stuff, and he been doin’ his thing. And with Kanye after “All Falls Down”, pretty much I didn’t really talk to him after that. He moved to L.A. and that was that. I saw him one other time and he was just as nice as he always is. I know that people give him a bad rap and stuff, but he has never been that way to me. He’s always been the sweetest thing ever. I don’t really know the guy that I see when he acts the fool on TV and stuff. To me, it’d be funny because it’s like, “If you don’t get out of here…” It’s funny, because to me he’s never been that way—he’s always been a gentleman, sweetheart, nice guy, humble. I don’t know this person that be on TV, it’s a different person. But he’s a great guy, as far as I know. I haven’t talked to him in years, but as far as I know he’s a great guy.

AB: Awesome, awesome. So jumping back to the new album CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED, can you just talk about some of those songs, like what can people expect to hear?

SJ: Chapter 5, I’m hoping that everyone, all of my fans… and hopefully to gain new fans and gain new awareness. Those songs are specifically based on what I wanted to portray of my gift, like how I spoke earlier in this conversation about being labeled… I even have a song called “Label Me” too that addresses that, but being labeled as, “Oh, she sounds like Betty Wright,” “Oh, she sounds like she’s in her fifties and forties.” Clearly I just turned thirty-five, but people think I’m forty and almost fifty years old just because my tone is so mature and different. And that’s okay because there’s nothing I can do about it. I only got one voice; nothing I can do about it. But I can sing a plethora of different ways, so what I wanted to do with Chapter 5 is give them a couple of different characters—I love to become characters, because I do real good impersonations too but they’re still Syleena. I have names for them, like Sexy Suzy is on a song called “Champ”. She’s on “Champ” and she’s on “Bad Person”; I call that voice Sexy Suzy.

And then there’s another voice, Strong Samantha. She’s on songs like “Go Head” and “Label Me”, “Fade Away”… like when my voice is strong. And then I have Pop Princess Paula, where I sing pop-ish, she’s on a song called “Stone Wall”. And then, let’s see…Oh my God, I had the name for it but I forgot. But basically I have all these different names, and when I’m in the studio I’ll go into character as a different singer and portray these songs. And it’s so much fun. So I do that to give my audience more than one lady but in one lady, you know what I’m saying? It’s almost like you’re buying one album but you’re buying a bunch of different albums in one album. You get to have your favourite singer but you get to have her sing all kinds of stuff. How many times have you been so excited when you’ve seen a live show—let’s say it’s Mary J. Blige, that’s a good example—and she busts into an Aretha Franklin song that everybody knows and everybody goes crazy, right? A lot of times we love to see our artists branch out and do different things or do remakes and just use our voice in a different way. Who wants to get an album full of the same songs and the same tone all the way through? That’s so boring to me. That’s like if you have a whole album full of the same track and all different melodies. I’m not just gonna do that. Like Rick Ross…he’s not going to do just Rick Ross and do a track and just do different lyrics over the whole track.

AB: Which is what a lot of people do, actually.

SJ: Okay? And then get some Auto-Tune over it. I ain’t hating on Auto-Tune ’cause Auto-Tune is fun, but it did get rampant. It’s fun, but it did get rampant. And sometimes it does sound dope. I like it when T-Pain does it, and I know people hate it but I liked it when Kanye did a whole album of it. I thought it was fun.

AB: And I think that was a new plateau for him as well, I believe.

SJ: See, that’s what I mean. He’s an MC but he didn’t want people to put him in a box, he didn’t allow people to put him in a box.

He’s an artist, so he just did what he felt, and that’s what I’d do. But you’re going to get criticized when you step out of the box and do something you want to do, or something innovative or something different. You’re always going to be criticized. I guess it comes with the territory. But as long as my fans are happy and I can gain some new fans and I can make people happy with my songs then that’s all I really care about. And myself happy, first and foremost.

AB: Yes, indeed. So you mentioned that you have the ability to go into different characters, to sing different styles of music and things like that. I know at one point in your past you almost lost your voice, right?

SJ: Definitely almost lost my voice. I had nodules, vocal chord nodules, and that was from speaking incorrectly.

I spoke incorrectly, and I was hanging out in clubs and being around my friends and smoking and drinking and all of that foolishness in the clubs and it took a toll on my vocal chords, and so they became bruised. Then I found out that I had acid reflux, like the acidic splashing up on my chords and causing inflammation, and that was messing up my chords as well. I still have acid reflux, so sometimes I’ll still have an episode, but it was at one point where when I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t talk. It was that bad. If I didn’t get sleep, I couldn’t talk. It was really, really bad. And it was painful. But I went to speech therapy, I changed my diet and stuff like that, and that’s helped a lot. Getting a lot of rest. When I got married, had the kids and all that stuff, I took a lot of time off. I got rest, my voice needed rest. I was going for like nine, ten years straight of just straight-up singing, so my voice needed rest and I took some time off.

AB: Did it change your voice a lot?

SJ: It made it raspier, and that’s the raspy tone that I’m known for. But I was on an interview before yours and the interviewer played a song from like, nineteen-ninety… it was ridiculous, it was like 1994. That’s how long ago the song was created. And I sound like Minnie Mouse. I sound like a whole other totally different person. In choir when I trained classically I sang mezzo-soprano, that’s how high my voice was. I still have that tone here and there, I get it here and there, but I don’t usually like to go up so high a register anymore because I don’t want to hurt my chords anymore and I don’t feel it’s necessary. I just don’t want to hurt my voice. I don’t want to strain my voice trying to sing my chords out. I think that you can really use your tone alone to get the point across. I go up there every now and again; I went up there on a couple songs on Chapter 5, but nothing too spectacular to try to… I want to be singing at sixty and still sounding great.

AB: Exactly, exactly. So how old were you when you officially got bit by the music bug? Because I know your father… you grew up watching him and the things he went through with his music career. How did that affect you?

SJ: Well, I was fifteen when I started recording records. I’ve been singing ever since and playing instruments since the fourth grade. But my father showed interest in me at fifteen, so that’s when I started everything.

AB: Was it like something natural for you or did you kind of have to be talked into it?

SJ: It was very natural for me. I was still singing anyway, I was in choirs… see, in high school when I started training classically, we didn’t have an R&B section or nothin’ like that. At our high school you either learned classical or you didn’t learn nothin’ in music, you know what I’m saying? Even the pieces that we had to play were classical and along those lines. So in high school my choir teacher used to train me by herself. She was an opera singer. She trained me… and also my sixth-grade teacher was an opera singer too and taught me how to breathe. So she trained me how to breathe one on one. And she used to put me in these state solo and ensemble contests all the time, that’s when I started singing opera and stuff like that. And then I majored in it in college and I learned so much more, but then that’s when I messed up my chords and all this crazy stuff. Because when you sing classical music you have to live almost a flawless life. You cannot be in the clubs, you can’t smoke, you can’t drink, you can’t do anything. You can’t talk loud, you can’t be around people who talk loud. It’s very demanding, and that’s when I realized that my gift was different. And I remember being at a solo and ensemble contest and I got my marks back, and one of the judges was like, “Professional talent here, but I think for a different genre. Professional talent in the R&B field.” She was a white lady. So I was like, “This is a sign. I can’t be taught R&B music, so why would I do something different?” Why would I not take heed to that?

AB: Understood, definitely. And when did you start songwriting?

SJ: The funny thing is, I was a writer before I started singing. When I was little I used to write books because I was by myself a lot, so I used to write books and plays and poems and I would glue them to the wall in my bedroom. I was so fascinated with writing and stories because I was by myself. It was almost like I was an only child because my two older sisters, they used to play with each other. They were at the same age playing with each other and not me. I had to find my own friends and find my own way and stuff. So I stayed in the house a lot and played with my Barbie dolls and I wrote books and poems and plays and stuff like that.

So when I first when into the studio I was fifteen years old and I wrote my entire album, my first album. My father was like, “Wow!” so I started writing for him too. At fifteen years old I started writing for him, and I’ve been writing ever since. I was signed to Jive Records based on being a double-threat: a writer and a singer. I had a publishing deal and everything. But no one knows that. Everybody thinks that because R. Kelly wrote one song per album that he’s written my whole life. That’s what they do to women.

AB: I know that’s been the shadow a little bit where that’s the misconception that since he did those few songs that he was responsible for Syleena.

SJ: One song an album… literally, like one or two songs. But that’s when you’re a woman and you’re in the industry that’s what they do. That’s what happens to you. A man always… no offense, but you guys always overshadow everything that we do.

AB: So do you enjoy writing for others?

SJ: Yeah, I try. I’m always in the midst of writing my own album, though. That’s the problem. I write a song and it’s like, “Man, let’s keep that for myself.” So it’ll never come up because you always keep everything for yourself. I wrote “Another Relationship” for Beyoncé. And she didn’t take it. I tried to give it to Whitney Houston and my label was like, “No, you’re going to keep that one for yourself.”

AB: Oh, wow. I would have liked to hear that.

SJ: It would have been interesting…“Another Relationship” with Beyoncé. She probably would’ve done that real good.

AB: Well, there are always opportunities in the future. So what has been both the most rewarding as well as the most challenging parts of your career thus far?

SJ: Rewarding? So many, my God. Challenging? Let me start there. The most challenging is trying to stay focused in such a negative industry at times. This industry can be so negative. And just trying to stay focused on what’s important, which is the music. That’s probably been the hardest thing. The most rewarding is gaining fans and listening to fans tell you, “Girl, you got me through this, or you got me through that.” Another fan told me just recently at one of my shows – “I cleaned up my house for you.

SJ: “I got all of your records, 1 to 4.” Those are the most rewarding moments. Those are the things that let me know this is what I’m supposed to be doing, regardless of how hard it gets. This is what it’s all about, making others happy. I have my gift to give service. If I can help someone, even if it’s just to feel good—even if it’s not that serious—if you put my song on and you just dancing, or even if it’s just background music, I feel I’m offering some kind of comforting emotion to your life. I’m adding to your soundtrack. So those are the most rewarding things.

AB: And I will say that doing my research to prepare for this interview I was actually surprised to see that you had responded to some comments to the “A Boss” video on YouTube, and I can’t say that I’ve ever seen another artist do the same.

SJ: I definitely do. I’m everywhere, I’m telling you. I’m all over the place…I come in and out. I’m not always constantly on stuff; that’s impossible with two kids and a husband and everything I’m trying to do, but every now and again I’ll come out and say something just to let my fans know I’m present, “I’m here, I see what you’re saying. I’m appreciative, I’m humbled by the way that you guys feel about what I’m doing.” Fifteen years. A long time.

AB: Indeed. So you have a reality series coming soon, right?

SJ: Yes, indeed. I’m so excited about that. It’s called “The Diary of a Diva”. I try not to talk about it much because we’re still in the process of negotiation, but I just got word today that me and the girls’ paperwork is going to go out today and that the producers have already signed their contracts. So basically the show is definitely a go, and I’m so excited. We’re hoping to shoot somewhere in mid- to end of October for it to air in January, which is fine with the Think Factory, that’s the production company. So it’s exciting. It’s me, Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Angie Stone, Keke Wyatt, my good friend Keke; my good friend Mo… all of us are such good friends. LeLee from SWV. It’s gonna be off the chain. Monifah—! Teisha Jarretta, she’s the most recent member of Brownstone. So she’s also a great person and a good friend of mine too. It’s really like being with a bunch of my friends and just doing a show with a bunch of my friends.

AB: What’s going to be… well, Diary of a Diva, obviously. So it’s basically shadowing you guys on a daily basis.

SJ: Our life, yeah.

AB: And the drama.

SJ: It’s like what would be an “R&B Housewives” but minus the “we just makin’ up stuff to do.” We actually do have stuff to do and actually our lives are our focus. Like I’m going to get the footage from the album release and everything that’s going on that day, and that’s going to be a lot of footage, you understand? And that’s going to give my fans a chance to see everything that I be going through… and all of us, and how similar it is, and how we help each other through these things. It’s going to be awesome.

AB: That is awesome, I am definitely looking forward to that. I am going to be glued to the television every episode, probably even for the marathon.

SJ: So am I. I’m going to be glued to the TV on my own show. I know I’m going to be killing myself like “Oh my God, why did I wear that shirt? Oh my God, what was I thinking with that hairstyle? Oh my God, who told me those earrings were sharp?” I’m gonna be killing myself [laughs]… I can’t stand the way I look on TV, it’s so annoying. TV makes you look so crazy.

AB: Gotta be on point.

SJ: Okay? It does not match what you see in the mirror, I’ll tell you that. It do not match! It could be the dumbest hand camera in the world and you’re like, “Oh my God, is this how people view me? No wonder!”

AB: Oh my God, I love it. I am definitely looking forward to that. So basically at the top of the year we’ll start to see the footage for that?

SJ: Yes, it’s probably going to start around Christmas. It’ll start with the teasers because it’s supposed to start in January, it’s supposed to come on right after “The Braxtons” (“Braxton Family Values”) I was told, but they’re already taping so I can imagine we’re probably going to come on a little later than theirs, maybe. Maybe we’ll go on after them, in the same time slot but after theirs goes off? I’m not sure. Like if they come on at 7:00, our show comes on at 8:00. It might not air that fast. But it’s still in negotiations, it’s still in the tentative stages. I know that it’s going to come into fruition, but… I talk about it here and there, just so people can be aware that it is going to happen.

AB: Well actually, Keke already dropped a dime to us a couple of months ago around her album release when I spoke to her about it, so she let a lot of details out the bag.

SJ: Good, so I’m not the only one. They can blame Keke.

AB: Right, it’s her fault. Well, thank you so much for taking this time once again to talk with us here at SoulMusic.com. How can your fans keep up to date with you?

SJ: Oh my goodness, I have so many plugs, okay? First of all, I am on Twitter. Out of all the places that I’m on, I’m on Twitter the most because it’s connected to my phone. So follow me on Twitter: that’s Syleena_Johnson. And I usually talk to my fans all day long—we’re talking all the time like we’re friends or something. Like a text message, that’s how much talking. Follow me on Twitter, and then Facebook is thenewsj.com… or just thenewsj, my website is thenewsj.com. It’s under construction but you can go there and leave comments. And then you can also add yourself to the Syleena Johnson official fan page.

Please note that the album CHAPTER 5: UNDERRATED comes out September 27th, and that is the Tuesday coming up. You can preorder right now on iTunes or Amazon. And the biggest thing that I have that I’m so excited about is a live virtual concert at www.stageit.com. Now a lot of people get confused and they’re like, “I can’t make it.” But it’s a virtual concert—you can be anywhere, even through your cell phone. If you’ve got Droid phone (Android) and your phone’s dope, you can view the concert. It’s only a $5.00 (US) ticket and it’s going to be a live acoustic soul set. I’ll be broadcasting live from the studio at CRC Studios in Chicago, and Tweet is coming in to perform “Angry Girl” with me.

And then I’m also going to tape the video. You can be a part of the video because we’re recording. There’s a camera crew that’s going to be there recording when we do “Angry Girl”, me and Tweet, so that it can be the second single video... Yeah, it’s a live video. When’s the last time we’ve seen one of those? And you know what inspired me to do it? Remember when Erykah Badu did “Tyrone” and everyone went berserk? I was like, “Oh my God, I so miss that element. I’m so doing a live video.” And I didn’t even really like the song on the album, but I love the live version. The live version was off the chain, so… that’s what’s going on.

You’ve gotta log on for that, www.stageit.com/syleenajohnson, tickets $5.00. And I made the tickets $5.00 because I really want people to buy the album, and I know it’s tough. It’s hard out here. So after the show you can click on the link and go right to a link to buy the album. Off the chain.

AB: I gotta definitely sign up for that myself and check it out.

SJ: You and everybody you know. Tell everybody you know, especially any of your overseas friends and connections because I don’t get to get overseas that much so they’ll be able to view it.

AB: Awesome, awesome. All right. Once again, thank you, Syleena.

SJ: Thank you so much.

AB: It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I’m looking forward to the new album. And like you said, me personally, my favourite has been CHAPTER 2 so far and I’m going to tell you that Track 13—I won’t identify which song it is—but Track 13 has been the theme song for my life.

SJ: Oh my God, is it “I Believe in Love”?

AB: Yes, indeed. So that wraps it up.

SJ: Well, thank you so much for this interview. The pleasure has been all mine.

AB: Yes, indeed, indeed. And good luck with everything.

SJ: Thank you so much.

AB: All right, take care.


About the Writer
With nearly a decade of experience in programming content for Music Choice (24/7 music channels, cable-on-demand shows, website and cell), Akim Bryant has just begun to scratch the surface of journalism having already written for GIANT and The Source magazines as well as a number of start-up publications. This self-professed R&B junkie also has a strong knack for the art of interviewing. Be on the lookout for his semi-autobiographical debut novel coming out in 2012.
  
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