While she’s “a little scared” to step back into the spotlight, Jazmine Sullivan “can’t escape my calling.”
The singer-songwriter – whose vocal prowess is heart-stirring – released her first official single, “Dumb,” last Monday (May 12) after taking a lengthy three-year hiatus. The 27-year old took a break from the industry when she fell out of love with music.
“I’m taking a break from music. I’m trying to figure out who I am,” she tweeted in January 2011. “I promised myself when it wasn’t fun anymore I wouldn’t do it. And, here I am. I’m not saying I won’t ever sing again in my life because I don’t believe that. But in this moment… right now… [I] got some things to figure out.”
Jazmine Sullivan used the time to herself to “come to a point where I’ve learned and am still learning to love myself completely.”
“I’ve got to the point where I can say, ‘This is me. Take it or leave it,” she says, empowered.
Although she’s been silent on social media, Sullivan has been working on her third studio album, “Reality Show,” for the past two years.
“I’ve been in the studio for about two years now. A lot of people were like, ‘What are you doing?’ [Laughs] But I kept quiet and kept working,” she said. “I’m completely finished [with the album]. It’s about 11-12 songs.”
“Reality Show” comes close to four years after the release of her sophomore album, “Love Me Back,” which Sullivan admits she didn’t support as she wished she could have: “I didn’t give it a push at all. I didn’t give it a chance and a lot of that was due to the personal issues I was going through. It’s a shame cause it was a good album.”
“Love Me Back” peaked at No. 5 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 17 on the Billboard 200; It featured stand-out tracks “Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles),” “10 Seconds” and (my personal favorite), “Stuttering.”
“Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)” featured Sullivan working with Missy Elliott again; She co-wrote and co-produced the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs No. 3 song. Unfortunately, the long-time collaborators and friends weren’t able to work together on Sullivan’s new album. “I didn’t get a chance to work with Missy. I hope for the next album I will be able to. I think we got to each other a little too late in the process.”
“Reality Show” features production by Key Wane, Salaam Remi, Da Internz, Joe Gallagher and more. Meek Mill is the only guest artist featured on the album.
While there were “different things that made me feel like I needed to stop” making music, one thing Jazmine experienced that she fearlessly explores on “Reality Show” is heartbreak.
“The most personal song is called, ‘Forever,’ she says. “I’m basically crying on that song. It’s a ballad, and that’s classic Jazmine. It’s a letting go song which is why it’s so personal. I feel like I came to a point in my relationship where [I needed] to let go and move on. I just had to do it.”
While her first single, “Dumb,” showcases Jazmine scorned by a cheating lover, she says the forthcoming full-length won’t only have “angry songs.”
“I don’t think I’m going to have many ‘I’m angry; My guy did me wrong’ type of songs, because I’ve grown and experienced other things in the relationship,” she says. “But I can’t shake them angry songs. [Laughs] I think the angry songs got chosen as singles, so those who didn’t listen to the albums associate me with those angry songs.”
Jazmine Sullivan already has her second “Reality Show” single set, and it’s not an “angry song.” “Dumb” will be followed by a “single that’s going to show another side of me as a writer and as a singer.”