Soulful singer-songwriter Avery*Sunshine is back as bold, bright and blessed as ever. This latest VH1 Soul You Oughta Know artist stopped by recently to chat about the wonderful year she’s had since we last saw her, complete with a new attitude and a new album, The Sunroom. She literally glowed and glistened thanks to the glitter she added to her now trademark shorn head, but it takes mere moments in her presence to realize that her gift and glow radiate from her inside out, and brighten the days of all who witness it. In fact, she’s on a mission to shine bright like a diamond, and allow others permission to do the same. Capable of crying with all emotion one moment and then cracking up at herself the next, the artist born Denise White is a “Little Miss Sunshine” who shares the key to her new album, and to living life like it’s golden, in this latest interview.
Ledisi made it onto my radar late in the game, but it’s been a love at first listen ever since! We do all kinds of things for the sake of love, so I thought almost nothing of the brisk and rainy weather I braved on Wednesday to see Ledisi perform at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. I knew it would be worth it, and I was right. From the moment she strutted onto the stage to perform the single “That Good Good” off her seventh album, The Truth, Ledisi showcased an undeniable confidence and vibrancy that lit up the Beacon for the entire evening. The “Truth” theme for the night -and the 29-city tour- was solidified with her second song “Bravo,” featuring the lyrics: See it’s the same pretty woman with a brand new style/Same Ledisi but she ain’t walkin’ she flying/A new day making big moves. We were witnessing the same Ledisi we’ve always adored, only bolder and better.
I would’ve been happy just to be a bystander in the Big Morning Buzz Live studio taking in the soulful sounds of Erica Campbell as she performed the title single off her new solo debut Help this morning. But Erica made my morning even more special by sitting down with me just before her live Buzz performance to talk about her transition from being half of the groundbreaking gospel group Mary Mary with her sister Tina, to living out her childhood dreams as a solo artist. We also talked about her musical children, her ongoing battle with her manager, her dream collabo, and even what she prayed about this morning!
Algebra Blessett sure knows a thing or two about love. You know, the hopes and hurts, regrets and revelations of love — and she sings about it all on her sophomore release, Recovery. In fact, virtually every song on the Atlanta native’s new album addresses that complicated four-letter word in some fashion, and from some perspective.
Bobby V‘s getting his grown and sexy on with a new beard and a new single y’all! That’s right, we got the video for Bobby’s latest single, “Koko Lovely” for you and it’s got some eye candy for the fellas. As brought to you in our VH1 exclusive this past September, Bobby V made a promise to his fans that only you can decide if he’s kept with the release of his new EP, Peach Moon (released Dec. 10), and subsequently his brand-new video, “Koko Lovely.” When we caught up with the V-man after his NYC performance at the Soul Factory Presents showcase, the Atlanta-based music maker said that he was on a mission to make “good music” — minus the ratchetness and raunchiness. Bobby V made known to the world his intention to deliver some next-level music that enlightens and uplifts, as well as entertains.
If you have not heard of Leela James, get ready, because that is probably about to change. The soul/R&B singer-songwriter’s name is finding its way into the mouths of music critics and fresh fans thanks to the release of her latest single “Say That” featuring Anthony Hamilton. Since her break onto the music scene in 2005 with her debut album A Change Is Gonna Come, James has steadily built her signature brand of big soulful vocals, with big “swallow her face” hair to match. But her upcoming fifth album (slated for release in early 2014) for which “Say That” is the first single could be the charm that changes the game for James and brings her explosive brand of soulful music to the masses in a huge way.
I’m flashing back to the year 2005 and the celebration of one of my thirty-something birthdays with my twin sister. We were in Madison Square Garden for an Alicia Keys concert, and that evening’s opening act was John Legend. We’d become familiar with his music by way of his Get Lifted album, and it was a treat to start off the evening with this gifted and talented artist at the piano, just at the inception of his promising career. Well, I’m here to tell you that with the release of his latest album Love in the Future and its tour, John Legend has not only arrived, but he’s giving us all the reasons to pray to the music gods that he stays around for a long, long time.
I was excited to interview Glenn Lewis for several reasons. Mostly however, I wanted answers — as in why he made us fall in love with him and his music with the 2002 release World Outside My Window, only to have us wait a painstaking 11 years for a satisfying dose of “the voice” and his unique take on life and love that hooked us all in the first damn place. And I’m not even gonna front, I wanted to see those signature dimples up close and personal.
Curiosity came over me when I learned that K-Ci and JoJo were coming out with a new album. Like every other female who came into her grown-and-sexy in the ’90s, I ooohed and aahhed and found myself beside myself over and over again as the R&B group Jodeci dominated with songs like “Forever My Lady”, “Love U 4 Life”, “Come and Talk to Me” and “Feenin’.” Whereas brothers DeVante Swing and Mr. Dalvin were easy on the eyes, arguably it was K-Ci (known as the Bobby Womack of R&B) and JoJo (known as the Stevie Wonder of R&B) who quickly became known as the voices of the group, the vocal masters of our ears.
Tamar Braxton and John Legend each have new albums out that share their takes on that powerful four-letter word that makes our worlds go round—Love and War and Love In The Future, respectively—and now the two have joined forces for what is sure to be a must-see tour this fall. Tamar recently stopped by the VH1 headquarters to discuss her upcoming tour, as well as her two new loves—her son Logan Vincent Herbert, and her album Love and War, the title track of which Tamar says is the soundtrack to her relationship with her hubby and manager Vince.