How does it feel this time around? What makes this return to music different from times before?
I had a little bit more guidance that I trusted with this album. It just felt like the beginning of my career; how I felt with Atlantic Records. Having my first A&R on board [Breyon Prescott], I just really trusted them and what my album should be—helping bring back the genre of R&B music.
What was the realization that you were ready to make a strict R&B album?
That’s what my fans wanted from me. I felt like that was my way to reintroduce myself to them and introduce myself to people that don’t even know me. They’re supporting me and it feels good. I took my daughter to the Mindless Behavior concert and 10- to 16-year-olds are screaming to the top of their lungs when I’m walking in. I started doing music before they were born! I just remember asking some little girl, ‘How do you know me?’
Early on in your career did you think you’d be at this age and still reaching young girls through your music?
I didn’t see it, but I definitely wanted longevity. I can’t believe sometimes that I’m still standing after everything I’ve been through, but I’m here. With the success of “Put It Down” and moving forward with “Wildest Dreams,” it feels like a brand new time but it also feels familiar to me.
The energy is youthful but there’s maturity and growth on this album.
It’s definitely different than any album I’ve done, but you can tell it’s still me.
“Wildest Dreams” is definitely a record true to the Brandy we know.
It’s about me not believing I could find someone who cares about me, because at one time, I gave up on love. I just was like, ‘I guess I’m going to be alone.’ I’m just going to take care of my daughter and do my thing.
Wow. How did you get to that place?
I couldn’t get it right. I got really close to being married and it didn’t happen. After that, I dated a little bit and it was always something that just wasn’t connecting with love and me. I think it was because I was looking for love to do something for me; to make me happy, fill a void, make me feel complete, and all of these things don’t come from another, it comes from a love of self. I didn’t understand that at the time. I really had to confront all of that. I said a prayer and I waited…and I saw Ryan.
It’s widely known that Two Eleven means a lot to you. It’s your birth date but also the date of Whitney Houston’s passing. What runs through your mind when you recall that day?
February 11th will never be the same. I think about her everyday but that day in particular, it’s different. I didn’t understand. I had just seen her the day before; I just spoke to her a couple days before she passed. It just didn’t seem right the way she passed. I was angry, I was confused, but as I started to process it all, I just started to feel like there was a responsibility that she passed on to me to stay true to [the music]. She gave me the dream and possibility, and I have to do that same thing for other people. This music thing is not just about me anymore. It’s about the people that I’m relating to. People need music.
Do you think that you’ll do a song for Whitney?
I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. It’s really about the overall purpose, which is music. I remember her telling me, ‘Nobody can be you so don’t try to be something other than you. Be yourself and stay true to that.’ That was the last thing she said to me. That was the last time I heard her voice. It’s all a spiritual thing to me. The day, the passing, it’s all…
It’s still affecting you; it’s in your voice.
I never want Whitney’s passing to be about me. She meant so much to me, so I have to take something from it to help me move on and give me a purpose after she’s gone.