Pieces Of Me Pieces Of Me

Ledisi Speaks on 'Pieces Of Me' And Her Time Away From Recording

She last left us with her '09 funky record Turn Me Loose and now she's back for a re-introduction, coming naked to the public eye as she reveals the "pieces" of herself. New Orleans' R&B/Jazz singer Ledisi talks to VIBE Vixen about her fifth album Pieces of Me. In the brief conversation, Ledisi explains her two year hiatus from the studio, the inspirational events that sparked Pieces of Me, as well an in-depth insight on featured songs on the album. -Shabazz


You’ve been away for quite some time, you usually come out with back-to-back albums. What’s the reason for your two year hiatus?

It took me eight months to really get into the writing process and it took me and my executive producer Rex Rideout eight months to battle it out about what direction to go. He’s always been there, but now I wanted him to be seen for what he does for me. He’s like a thread that keeps everything attached together. And this time he said, “What is Ledisi radio?” “What do you wanna do?” “What do you wanna express?”  “People know you but they don’t know who you are, we need to see that part, we need to hear it, we need that, it has to be consistent.” So we were battling out about, well "I don’t wanna do this and I don’t wanna do that," and he’s like “Show it you need to show that part.” And it built my confidence up. And that’s what took so long, just building my confidence up to really deal with the fullness of being a woman and showing those sides, despite what others might think, I’m very shy and now I’ve had to show all that and it feels good, it feels really good revealing all these things.

It's apparent that you experience a self transformation for the better. What are we going to see different on this project versus your previous project?

I’ve been on a wonderful journey, it hasn’t been anything negative. I was able to perform for Black Girls Rock and I’ve performed with wonderful women, Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius, and Kelly Price and that was a big turning point in my career and I got to see myself in a certain way on television and then to be at the White House singing for the Motown Tribute and then again working with Michelle Obama for a mentoring program for women. All of that plus all the other philanthropy and coming into my own walk being Ledisi, accepting Ledisi fully, being my complete self as a woman has really helped me gain a certain confidence that didn’t have before. And that’s what you’re going to hear on this project, I’m not gonna be talking about the grinding of being a singer or sad songs about wanting certain love. I feel love, I feel confident, I feel good, I feel like I can say whatever I wanna say and not think about it twice. It’s just what it is, it’s all happy, you’re gonna hear me sing a duet with Jaheim and sing a song about a relationship still sustaining. You’re gonna hear a lot of things that we all need to hear as women and as men. It’s gonna be great. I feel it’s gonna be great. I’m exuding that energy of power. I love it.

The “Pieces of Me” single praises and vouches for women. We had “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson and Beyoncé with "Run The World (Girls)". Can we expect any upbeat, funky women anthems on your upcoming record?

In a different kind of way. Like there’s a song called “Hate Me, Hate That You Love Me”  about how so fly this woman is, that this man is chasing her and there’s a thin line between love and hate, like he’s getting disgusted, but he loves her so much. She knows it and she expresses that. Usually a guy would say that, but it’s nice to hear a woman say that. It has that kind of energy. There are women out there that do that, but we don’t celebrate them either. There’s a song called “I Gotta Get To You” that I wrote with Ivan & Carvin and mind you that other song I wrote with Rex Rideout and he’s the one that pushed me to express that more dominant side. “I Gotta Get To You” is about this urgency to get home to get to the person I love or John Legend wrote a song called “I Miss You Now” about this relationship going through this argument but now she’s like you’re gone and I need you to come back. And we had this big argument, but even your mama is like “what’s going on, bring your butt home,” it’s a lot of women oriented things on there but in a different way. And then you got to the song “Shut Up Sometime,” you know when someone tells us we’re not going to be anything and that’s how I felt, like wow the people that told me I’m not gonna be anything or you’ll never get this, I do wanna say shut up sometime, so why not write a song for that. Shut up. [laughs] And then it’ll be spiritual,  I’ll write a song with Salaam Remi called “Be Good To Yourself” and I tweeted that one day, and he said “wow, what’s the thing about that” and yeah sometimes we don’t listen to what we already know. We need to be good to ourselves, we need to analyze ourselves and take time for ourselves and as women we try to run with everything, we can do 50 million things and then forget about ourselves, yeah I need to talk about those things. So it’s all celebrated in a different way and they’re all me. That’s who I am.

Your album cover is your face as a puzzle. If something was taken away from that puzzle to destroy it, what would it be?

The root of it for me is my faith. Having faith and that’s a confidence builder for me. That’s my light. My faith, my family, and my friends. Those are the big things. Music is everything, but not everything. If that makes any sense at all. If I don’t have that faith or that foundation to keep me together I couldn’t do what I do. The faith, family, and friends, the 3 F’s, I need those and if I didn’t have those that would definitely destroy my puzzle. You wouldn’t hear the music at all [laughs].

 

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

Continue Reading
Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
Getty Images

BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

Continue Reading

Top Stories