It’s been a decade since veteran songbird Brandy has belted a top-tier single. Currently sitting atop the better half of the R&B/Hip Hop stack, Chris Brown-assisted, whispery cut “Put It Down” has allowed the femme vocalist to revive old fans’ standom and wrangle in a new, younger generation.
“It’s amazing that people still have a love for me and still feel like they can relate to me,” the 33-year-old siren admits on a recent Sunday. “It really does keep me on my toes, just being a role model for young girls, but I am grown. I gotta sing for the grown people sometimes.” Life, though, hasn’t always been sweet for the chocolate-colored chanteuse.
Over the past six years, Brandy has faced an uphill battle against devastating legal woes and dwindling music sales. “I thought it was over. I didn’t really have a deal and it seemed like no one was interested in giving me another chance. People were calling me a has-been and it felt like it was over for me.”
Only recently has the award-winning singer found renewed strength to comeback—she credits her affectionately named Stars for that power.
Today, youthfully fresh and ever the powerful songbird, B-Rocka’s return rebuilds the gaping hole in female rhythm and blues. Somewhere between the vocal power of Whitney Houston and the international reach of today’s Pop&B stars, Brandy has etched her signature sound, sitting comfortably next to a diverse class. “I know there are a lot of artists out there that are true to this genre, and I wanted to contribute to that too.”
Unsaturated R&B is a sometimes forgotten acquired taste, yet Brandy is equipped with a fully loaded record and the old hand know-how to make us fall in love again.–Niki McGloster