HYPE HAIR: Tell us about your new album, Vivid, and working with Kwamé
VG: We wanted to make an album that was different from the others. I know a lot of times an artist will say ‘oh this album is so much different from the others’ then you listen and you’re like, it’s not that different. But this album really is. It doesn’t sound like the others in any way. The single, “Get Back to My Baby,” is my first uptempo single, ever. All of my other singles have been ballads, but the whole album has this whole fun energy to it. There are ballads on there. Because Kwamé produced my whole album, he’s not the kind of producer to make melancholy type of music, so teaming up with him is definitely different — whether it’s a slow song or uptempo.
HH: What challenges did you find in working with someone whose approach is much different from yours?
VG: The challenge was to find that magical place where we mesh perfectly together because we are very different. Coming together had its challenges, but it was also awesome. In the end, I loved it and I want fans who think I haven’t done anything since 2005 (because there are people that do not know I have a third and fourth album). So people who think I have been gone for 10 years. I think this will be the wake up.
HH: What’s the theme of the album?
VG: The theme of the album is empowerment. Whether it’s a sad song or inspirational song or love song, it is all very empowering to me when I listen to it. I’m a very strong person and I think all my strength really came out in the writing and the lyrics of this record.
HH: What kind of reaction have you had to your new sound?
VG: When you hear the single, even if you don’t know it’s me, you’ll say ‘who’s that,’ because it’s a fun record, a dance record. People have already made dances to it. I’ve seen four online so far of steppers making line dances for the song. I’ve never had that type of energy for anything I’ve done in the past, so it’s different.
HH: What is the most personal song on the album?
VG: “I’m blessed” is very personal. Every word in it is definitely about me and my journey. People often say to me, “you’re so underrated.” But I just don’t feel that way. This is my fifth album, I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I never had do to anything else. I feel very blessed that I can do this because some people aspire to be a recording artist and it never ever happens for them and they have to figure out a whole different life.
I know the different levels of it and I know how blessed I am to be where I am. I know my journey is one that I’m grateful for. So when people say that to me, I appreciate the gesture but I don’t feel that way about it, myself. And, that’s what the song is saying.