Vixen Chat: Chrisette Michele Talks New Album, Falling Out of Love and Advice for Wale

Chrisette Michele

VIBE Vixen: Explain the process of creating your fourth studio album Better?
Chrisette Michele:
The process was quiet. I was still able to be on stage but in my personal time, just wanted not to have to answer to anyone at all, except myself. I took some time out to juice-feast and just get along with myself. I got a lot of answers that way.

Your record was released through a joint deal with Motown and Def Jam. How did that happen?
It came about because Motown got a group of women that I thought were really incredible. We had three black women running a record label and I thought that was really exciting. I decided that I wanted to be apart of that movement, [but]  I am still in the same office with Def Jam.

What do you want fans to take away from this new LP?
I want people to come away with the fact that you can be healed. A lot of times, we don’t know that unless somebody tells us or we see somebody else going through it. People say that it is easier to get through your situation by hearing somebody else’s testimony, so this is me saying, ‘I was broken, and now I’m healed. You can do the same.’

Most of your song content is grounded in love. After heartbreak, how are your so fearless in your approach to it?
A lot of prayer and a whole lot of therapy. I thank God for therapy and for finding the right therapist, because if you don’t talk about it, if you don’t get it out, you don’t know that somebody else has been there.

Are you in love, now?
I’m in love with a person, I’m in love with life, and I’m in love most of all with myself. That feels the best.

That’s so true. So let’s talk more about the album. One of the most talked about tracks is “Rich Hipster.” Can you explain what the term means?
A rich hipster is somebody who is rich in heart, and rich in art. I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn about 2 1/2 years ago, and I really saw myself in other people walking down the street. I saw this desire to be unlike anybody else, to go against the grain, to say no to anything that makes me do what somebody else is doing. The funny part is, we are all doing the same thing. There is this mutual understanding within that community that says, “I’m not going to judge you, I’m going to let you live your life, and I’m going to respect you.  I’m going to let you have a great time and I will celebrate with you.