You like a fake Tank, no shade, but shade!
Syleena Johnson Interview
Even though Syleena Johnson’s TV One show “R&B Divas” is currently on hiatus, she’s staying busy both inside and outside the studio. BOSSIP recently spoke with the chanteuse about her “Chapter Six: Couples Therapy” album that drops October 28, her decision to do reality TV and gives her opinion on new R&B singers like Sam Smith who infiltrate R&B music.
Why did you decide to name your album “Chapter 6: Couples Therapy”?
Normally I write about what’s going on in my life and my husband and I were going through couple’s therapy and we still kinda sorta are. I like to write about what’s going on within my life because I sing with the most passion.
What made you decide to be so open about your personal life?
It happened by accident, I didn’t wake up and say, ‘I’m gonna tell all my business. I found out that when you tell your own story it’s less likely to get out and be a story. It’s the concept of the horse’s mouth instead of his a**. I guess I haven’t done anything that bad yet that I need to hide it. When you’re honest about who you are and what you’re dealing with, [people see] nobody’s perfect. Most of the time your’e gonna get someone who really appreciates that. You could possibly do more help than harm by sharing your story. It’s like people who have AIDS; who wants to somebody that they have AIDS? But by talking about the story and talking about living with AIDS that gives people hope.
That leads me to my next question; why do you continue to do reality television when you have an actual talent?
When I was approached by ‘R&B Divas’ I thought it was gonna be different. I thought ‘finally we can get a platform to really tell people what we as artists are going through. We’re very misunderstood. Most people don’t wanna f*** with us because they feel like we’re a**holes and some of us absolutely are. It’s probably from the things that have gone on in the industry to them. As an artist you can’t have a bad day; you can’t do s*** wrong. We have to deal with that concept, so I was thinking “R&B Divas” was gonna be a cool thing to show what’s really going on; we s*** everyday, we wake up, we drink juice. I was thinking this would be a great insight to this world. But what happened is it’s commercial and marketing so it’s so tainted sometimes. When it comes to money and making money sometimes you lose the actual real focus…but I wanted my fans to see Syleena as a real person.
Overall do you think it’s been beneficial to your career?
Absolutely, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. I was shooting a video when I got the call but maybe it would’ve taken me longer. I’m very grateful for this show and all the creators who put it together.
Tell me about your recent signing.
I signed to BlakByrdRecords; an independent label distributed by E1. Greg Baker is the CEO and he’s a great guy who loves music and believes in my artistry. He didnt’ sign me just based on the [TV] show, he actually come out to shows. Thats’ why I f*** with him, he’s a real person. I’m really happy about my label, we’re an awesome team.
Lastly, what can people expect from your “Chapter Six: Couples Therapy?”
True R&B music with a cool message. It’s inspirational, it’ll inspire people to love, it’ll inspire couples to stay together. There’s also some good collaborations and just good ole singing. We can’t just have the same type of stuff out there, this is gonna add balance to the industry. It’s heavy with one type of music. You know what’s interesting and no shade to Caucasian artists, what’s interesting is they sing the R&B music now and it goes platinum. Your Adeles and Justin Timberlakes, Robin Thickes; we’ve been doing that for years. How is it that they know what’s good and what’s missing and they can just fill in the blank. Why are we afraid of our own culture? R&B music is our culture; our music. You don’t see no black people forming no rock bands. I’m just saying we don’t go and try to steal their culture. No shade to white people because Justin Timberlake is one of my favorite artists and I love this new guy Sam Smith. I love that song but no shade Sam you sound like Tank! You like a fake Tank. No shade, but shade! What you’re doing Tank has been doing for years and just released an album doing it again. I just feel like let’s show ’em how it’s done.