Syleena Johnson indulges in reggae alongside Musiq Soulchild for “Feel the Fire,” the official single from their upcoming album, “9INE.” The song, exclusively premiered here on The Juice, stemmed from a chance encounter during a recording of a duet for reggae producer Kemar McGregor’s compilation album which then snowballed into a full-length LP.
“The music was so good, and [Musiq and I] both love Kemar’s production so we’re just like, ‘Why don’t we just do [an album] together?'” the soulful songstress tells Billboard.
According to Syleena, “9INE” is heavily influenced by numerology. The pair teamed up with McGregor to record nine tracks for the album in nine days. The two are also born in September, the ninth month of year, which she said added to the divinity of the project.
Allowing their voices to intertwine effortlessly over the steady pulse of McGregor’s acoustic production, “Feel the Fire,” arrives just in time to compliment the dawn of summer. Fans will have an opportunity to gain insight on the recording of the single as well as another titled “The Promise,” during episodes seven and eight of TV One’s “R&B Divas.”
“We’re having fun and putting something together for the fans to love,” she said. “[The album] is about love, happiness and peace.”
While the two plan to shoot the official video for “Feel the Fire” early next month, “9INE” isn’t scheduled to drop until July 9th. However, Syleena said the album may be pushed back to sometime in August to accommodate plans for a multi-city tour.
When asked if she’s concerned about possibility of criticism from the reggae community, Syleena simply said, “no.” Her desire is for listeners to lay back and enjoy their salute to what she calls a “timeless genre of music.”
“I hope people don’t calculate it so much,” she said. “We’re not changing our names. We’re [still] Syleena Johnson and Musiq Soulchild. We’re both working on our solo projects which will be R&B. We’re going to be our same selves —[This album] is going to make people feel good. That’s what we need in the world, feel good music.”