ATLANTA - She’s called “The Vocal Bible,” possessing a tone so distinctive that it’s influenced an entire generation of singers. But for the past few months, Brandy Norwood — known to the world simply as Brandy — has been hanging around the house like the rest of us.
“It has been such an adjustment. I’ve been so blessed to have my family here with me — my parents are here, my daughter is here — so we’ve just been taking it one day at a time, trying to stay creative.”
But for the Grammy-winning superstar, staying creative means releasing a brand-new album. B7 is her seventh studio album, but the first one completely co-written and produced by the artist.
“I went through so much in the last eight years of my life,” Brandy says, reflecting on what led her to write the songs on B7. “So much heartbreak, so much ups and downs with love, self discovery, my mental health. I had to really pull myself together and use music as a way to heal me. Just being able to write about it, and sing about it, it just really got me through. So, I’m the kind of artist that really has to be inspired.”
And Brandy didn’t need to look far for the inspiration behind the album’s first single. The exuberant “Baby Mama” — with a Bob Fosse-inspired music video — is dedicated to her daughter.
“‘Baby Mama’ was one of the last songs that I did for the album, and it was my love song to my daughter, as well as my paying homage to mothers in general, and then also the single moms that don’t really get the credit that they deserve and don’t have it as easy. So I wanted to do a fun, upbeat, triumphant song.”
And it’s the idea of sharing that triumph — as well as the heartbreak, and healing — that ultimately led Brandy to release the album now, despite the ongoing pandemic.
“I was honestly torn. I always feel like music should speak to the time, and I knew that my album really didn’t speak exactly to what was going on in today’s time. So I felt like, ‘Okay, is that the right thing to do?’ You know, and then promoting it…I didn’t want it to come off like it was all about my music coming out. But then I thought...music is magical. And how, it does heal people. Even though it may not be speaking to exactly what is going on, it does heal, and it does have a way of…helping people to escape, and helping people just get through the next moment.”
Brandy’s B7 is available today in Target stores nationwide and on all digital music platforms.