A duet with Monica, the song is taken from Brandy’s hugely admired second album, Never Say Never, of 1998. 2020 has been a good year for her. with a new album! So that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album]. The powerful part of this track is the lullaby element to the melody. Do you look back on that time with fondness, or does it feel like a traumatic thing to have gone through as a young woman? “I love being somewhat of an example to some of the artists that have really shown me love and respect, and it makes me feel that everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing, it serves a higher purpose than just coming out with music and topping the charts or winning awards,” she says. There was a sound that was created 20 years ago with Brandy’s vocals and Rodney’s production that is still unmatched. Although Brandy has gone through some bad times, I think she has managed to gain new strength and focus. Brandy’s voice is at once smoky and dark, but there is so much nuance and layers to be found. Brandy kept busy — judging on America’s Got Talent with David Hasselhoff, starring in a reality show with Ray J, competing on Dancing With the Stars and more acting work in both films (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Temptation — Confessions of a Marriage Counselor) and TV shows including Drop Dead Diva, 90210,The Game and this year’s Zoe Ever After. I didn’t get a chance to make private mistakes and really discover my own voice without having to deal with everyone else’s voices and thoughts and opinions about the things that I was doing. World famous producer & songwriter Lambert has worked with everyone including; Janet Jackson (Made For Now), Fantasia (Without You) & Destiny’s Child (Say Yes). This isn't the same ol' Brandy. “I was inspired by the opportunity to have control over my music and be the ultimate decision maker of my career," she says. B7 is full of gems and great Brandy songs and, whilst I would urge people to listen to the whole album, I wanted to focus on Borderline, not only because of its excellent video, but I feel it is Brandy at her most revealing, honest and brilliant. Before I look at a few different aspects of Brandy and her music, I want to nod to one of my favourite songs of the 1990s: The Boy Is Mine. It showed in my physical frame and in my eyes,” Brandy said in 2014”. Some artists might feel slightly regretful being linked to just the one song or people talking about it so much but, for Brandy, it gave her some fresh exposure and took her music to new levels. In terms of sounds, one can notice a definite shift from Brandy’s earlier work to now, not just in terms of the production but her voice. It is very heartening and brave of Brandy being so honest, and I can genuinely believe that Borderline pertains to a real-life relationship and experience, rather than her approaching the romance from a fictional headspace. I always want to be mindful”. Brandy is a great actor, and I think she proves that in the incredible video! I do worry about the sort of pressure artists face to keep putting out material, and that is true of Brandy. Brandy – B7 If you were to ask an industry newbie what they aspired to achieve as an entertainer, the list probably includes a lot of what's already a reality for Brandy Norwood.Her irresistible and eponymous 1994 debut, Brandy, went multi-platinum and introduced pop and R&B audiences to a Mississippi native with a sweet face and sultry voice in the process of becoming a star. Maybe the ‘borderline’ refers to the two lovers being close to chaos and stability; teetering between the two, and maybe it is referencing to the two becoming too involved, and the fact that there will be problems if they do. Brandy is a real black woman from the West-Coast of the USA and doesn’t play when it comes to her heart! This article discusses the success of Never Say Never, and how Rodney Jenkins helped expand and strengthen Brandy’s music: “Never Say Never was completed in the spring of 1998 and ready for a June 9 release. Her latest album seems like one of her most realised and personal. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, Wednesday's (Oct. 14) show opened with the multi-platinum … “Sometimes you get caught up in being popular and relevant, and that makes you lose the reason why you’re connected to music,” she says. Maybe they are not aware of Brandy’s legacy and how important she is to other artists. Albums five and six spread across a quadrennial release schedule as the singer directed her energy to other pursuits and went through a lifetime's worth of personal and professional setbacks. From the start of the track Brandy’s ad-libs hit you in the face with a haunting sadness that sounds like deja vu of a feeling you have felt before! Look at some of the biggest R&B artists of today, and those who owe a big debt to Brandy: “That’s good news for the R&B community, which unabashedly stans Ms. Norwood. What were the actions that you had to take in your life, besides getting out of that bad label contract, to feel that freedom on a day-to-day basis? Whilst Never Say Never’s success cannot be defined by a single factor, it seemed that the discovery of Rodney Jenkins was a real boost. It was an incredible moment that I kind of wish we would have seized even more”. When chatting with Rolling Stone, Brandy talked about the process of putting her album together: “This is the longest between two albums for you in your career. It's cohesive and perhaps the truest reflection of her artistry we've gotten in a while. I released a few songs, just for the fun of it, just to feel the interaction with my fans. Though Brandy’s voice remains a beautiful, resonant instrument, her songwriting here is so often functional and humdrum, and her performances rarely sparkle with personality or feeling. ( Log Out / I do not want to dwell on the rough years, but the fact that Brandy has just released one of her best albums and is still hugely important shows her incredible spirit and resilience! For the first time in decades it feels as if Brandy is speaking her mind. I’m able to give her advice and let her know that she has a lot of time, she can grow up a lot without having to be in front of the public eye. Brandy co-wrote every one of the fifteen tracks on B7, and I think that is a reason why the album has resonated with so many people. But I did know that it was a special record. I put everything I could into this project. To find him, it was a match made in heaven, and it still is…. 1, a feat that only eight songs have ever accomplished, including “The Boy Is Mine.” Thinking back, did you have any idea how big of a hit it would become? Brandy allowed herself to explore her craft without the goal of creating a "pop hit" and the album benefits from it greatly. And I'm thinking, "My music is not about exactly what's going on right now." From there, I started to go into the studio again and record. b7 is an album! There are so many great tracks on that album, including The Boy Is Mine, Never Say Never, and Almost Doesn’t Count. To go in a slightly different direction, and it is amazing to consider where great singers started out; what was the root of their soulfulness and ability. The third verse, again, takes us into Brandy’s psyche and offers reason as to why she has found herself in a strange and lonelier space “I'm so dangerous, baby/I need you to see/Believe what you see/Feel what I feel/And my feelings don't die/It's why I cry (Cry)”. Brandy sings how she is all alone and, whilst Borderline does not offer a catchy chorus or big hook, I think its consistency and directness is much more powerful. After such a huge success, Brandy’s career did take a slight downturn after 1998. There is little in the way of real anger and blame through the song. I do like the unconventional nature of the video, and how it helps bring the song to life in a way many people might not have considered! For Brandy, assuming assertion and taking her music where it needs to go was a big consideration when making this return. From Haim and Phoebe Bridgers to Fiona Apple, Brandy, Waxahatchee, Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware – and so many others -, it is the album from women that has made the biggest impact, I feel. A record worth savouring, it sits alongside NewGen R&B talent... while retaining that classic touch. The blend between the lead vocal, backgrounds and the beat is iconic. To understand that by the time Brandy became a mother; her position in the music industry was unmatched and still is! Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. (H.E.R., Mariah Carey), and the late LaShawn Daniels, the Grammy-winning producer and "Boy is Mine" co-writer who died last September in a car crash. The 2020 Billboard Music Awards went off without a hitch. Brandy admitted she renewed her faith in God and focused on daughter Sy’rai, who is about to turn 14 and regularly features singing on her mother’s social media. As this article highlights, Brandy faced a low point and battled depression and disorientation: “Despite working with everyone from Frank Ocean to Bruno Mars, by 2008 Brandy’s music career was flagging — even she recognised writer/producer Rodney Jerkins didn’t give her his best work on the project. I think rushing albums and releasing material that is not to her best could have been damaging. Though it is great that Brandy has a daughter with a flair for music, there comes with that a sense of protection: a need to make sure that she does not fall into the same traps as she did. BORDERLINE is that kind of song that is vintage Brandy: love, relationships, emotions---all over a great beat. I will wrap up now but, if you have not heard B7 and wonderful songs like Borderline, then do so now and discover an iconic artist who…, PHOTO CREDIT: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait/Getty, https://open.spotify.com/artist/05oH07COxkXKIMt6mIPRee?autoplay=true&v=A, https://www.youtube.com/user/ForeverBrandy, FEATURE: Not a Bad Way to Start! This is my first time … How would I want to express myself? It would appear that the song is going to be quite heavy and something that reveals her scars, but it less about personal tragedy and depression and more to do with the perils and unpredictable nature of relationships. “He was such a light,” says Brandy of Daniels." The Best Debut Albums of 2020 (So Far), FEATURE: You Can’t Always Get What You Want: Wait for the Green Light: Politicians and the Unauthorised Use of Artists’ Songs. When asked by The Huffington Post’s Taryn Finley about the timing of her album release during the COVID19 pandemic Brandy confidently responded; “Well, I felt like I’m in a great place in my music. Love that Brandy has given us new music at a time where people are looking for something that can make them feel good. You see despite the fact that Brandy is alone throughout the clip, Borderline is in fact a track about a romance and in a roundabout way you can even say a love song. And I think music is the best way to feel that. The song’s title, I feel, has more than one meaning. I’m also able to protect my daughter. Brandy laid the indestructible foundation of her musical legacy with three platinum albums in eight years. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The art direction, set-design, cinematography, hair, make-up and acting made the video premier reminiscent of a ‘Jackson’ family member video debut! Cutting in from different angles and speeding the film up and stopping it, we get this real sense of motion and a racing mind! As the video cuts from Brandy in her cell – where soon she is wrestled and restrained – and her on the stage shedding tears, some of the most standout lines arrive: “Got another lady, havin' a baby/Goin' crazy, but I'll be your friend, baby/Take what I can, baby”. Actually, I want to bring in an interview from Advocate as it discussed Brandy’s role in supporting the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community…but she was also asked about her legacy: “These days, Brandy is well aware of her legacy and understands the importance of where it carried this generation’s young artists. To the death Daniels made hits and I’m sure he would be very proud of Brandy! [Brandy played Roxie Hart in Chicago during several stints between 2015 and 2017] I had never felt so inspired the way I felt when I was on Broadway, I felt so free every night when I was performing. That said, the chorus does offer some honest and insight that may explain why this current relationship is not working out as harmoniously as it should: “Don't wanna be schizo this time (Oh)Never ever cheat, never lie to meI'm the most jealous girl (Girl)”. ‘B7‘ marks a turning point in Brandy’s life and career in which she evolves into a music icon and phenomenal business woman. Conversely, it is impressive that she remains composed and does not succumb to the tension that is clearly there! I didn’t know. The last article I want to quote from is from The Guardian. That is to say that in the lyrics she is addressing her significant other and basically telling him, in her own unique way, how much he means to her. The track, Borderline, is available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr2r3H477uY, Matthew Burnett/Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper/LaShawn Daniels/Jordan Evans/Hit-Boy/Brandy Norwood/Cory Rooney/Alonzo "Lonnie" Smalls II/Joshua "YXSH" Thomas. The vocal bible has blessed us again, Brandy Norwood is back and she wrote this song and every song on her new album, B7. Songstress and actress Brandy returns to the scene with her seventh studio album, ... Beginning with “Borderline,” Brandy takes us on a musical journey of the facets of love. Brandy returns after eight years with a new album and sense of control, having co-written and co-produced the project that arrives on her own imprint. ‘B7’ is a triumph. The discussion about gaps between albums is one that frequently comes up. Tonight (August 31), the singers faced off in a hit-for-hit battle. I think a lot of critics have not given her albums the respect and love they deserve. Borderline is THAT SONG!!! While in many ways B7, released via her own label, is classic Brandy, off-kilter production anchored by a voice still deep enough to swim in, it also feels like a fresh start. It does seem insane that an artist takes a few years away and they are either forgotten about or people wonder whether their career has ended. Though it would have been nice to hear her voice really belt and strike in the chorus, that is not to say a more levelled and restrained vocal performance is less affecting and lacking! She can wait until she’s in her mid-twenties. I was balancing television and studio time. Brandy’s songs hit different and sound fresh too. This year has been an incredibly strong and varied one, despite the fact it has been a very challenging time, some truly wonderful albums have been released! I put that on everything! Brandy B7 [Apple Music][Google Play] It just took me 10 years to look back at her growth. I knew just with the way the track sounded, I never heard anything like that. Change ). After a wordless introduction – or one consisting of ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ -, the first verse definitely builds images and possibilities. Borderline is the latest single from the album, and it is a terrific track! Brandy, who released her self-titled debut album when she was just 14 years old, is now 41 and ready to show her true personality in her music. I’m glad Brandy is getting her flowers. “Just musically, production-wise and the writing, it was really good,” Badu told ET in 2016. For me, I approached this album like this is my last project. The singer, who last appeared at … There is a duskiness that many might not be expecting if they are only aware of her from the 1990s. I want to stay true to that because you never know who’s watching. Instead, Brandy knows that her personal life is not as ideal and settled as it could be, so she provides some form of explanation in the fourth verse: “Maybe in another lifetime (Right place)/Caught me at the wrong time (Wrong time)/In the end, I'm the only one/Gon' get torn apart (Oh)”. The Music Video: Directed by Derek Banks and the great Frank Gatson this music video needs a blog post just for itself. Lyrically Brandy is wearing her heart on her sleeve with lines including; “Don’t wanna be schizo this time (Oh)Never ever cheat, never lie to meI’m the most jealous girl (Girl)In the whole wide world (World)Don’t you ever hurt meI’ll change on you” Brandy/Borderline. “I just wonder: would he be proud of what I was able to put together?” She takes a breath. They don’t come around like that every day. We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. Certainly, an artist cannot release albums at their own speed, and the nature and sound of their music might not be what they wanted. From Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples to P.P. Brandy sings how she is all alone and, whilst Borderline does not offer a catchy chorus or big hook, I think its consistency and directness is much more powerful. In conceptualizing and executing B7, Brandy shows us that time, honesty and strength are the keys to becoming your most authentic self. But then when the song was written on top of it, and then ... when it all came together, I was like, "OK, this is different." The album established her smooth sound, and it afforded Brandy a way into film and T.V. As a young child she would accompany her dad, a gospel vocalist and choir director, to their local church in Mississippi. Brandy definitely learned and honed some of her talent and promise from going to church when she was young. I feel like it started about three years ago. The video becomes lighter, literally, as the sunlight cracks through, and Brandy’s once-tear-stained and upset face employs a smile and there does seem to be this realisation/uplift. A master of the form, it’s a joy to have Brandy back in our lives. Towards the last section of ‘Borderline’ Brandy hits a haunting raspy high note using her perfect pitch control. Brandy has been able to keep up with the kids at the same time as keeping her classic sound while playing around with new ideas. I feel very strong about my music, confident about where I am with it. ( Log Out / As I have said many times, women have been leading and dominating the scene! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The repeat factor for this track is 100% as each time you hear something new about the vocals or production. Brandy is still dat girl from LA the home of her 1st cousin Snoop Dogg and the drama filled television show ‘Love & Hip-Hop LA‘ starring her famous brother Ray J. It’s easy for people to forget that Brandy has real life issues like normal women because her pop persona is so well known. Trauma definitely comes along with that, but I was able to overcome that and I’m able to look back on my past with a lot of compassion and no regrets. Brandy has now reached a level in her career where her music is simply a tool for her to spread love, peace, relatability, and healing to others. I have looked at Brandy’s breakthrough in 1998, and the ensuing years which were more unpredictable and tough. I believe that music heals. If an artist self-pens and produces material, I guess they can mould and progress their own sound but, in the case of so many R&B and Pop artists, they have teams behind them that help define the sound of an album. The lyrics showcase the everyday struggles of humans world-wide both prior and during the Covid19 pandemic. The Guardian Newspaper/Cragg Michael/ July 14th 2020). I knew that it was a special record before I got on it, before Monica got on it. “Truly unbelievable.”. Her first album came out when she was a teenager and, at forty-one, Brandy is still a young woman! In some ways, I think Brandy has incorporated some of the sounds of Never Say Never on her new album, B7. “Music is my therapy,” she nods, almost to herself. I didn't know how big it was gonna be; I had no idea that it would be No. Brandy cannot let it keep occurring. There is some serious tension on “Borderline,” among the top tier of b7, the comeback album by Grammy-winning R&B singer, Brandy.On the five-minute-plus “Borderline,” listeners are treated to gorgeous, lush, harmonized vocals. Looking at the video, and we get fast-forward scenes of Brandy in a cell and, whilst it is quite unsettling, there is something quite stirring and striking. She’s set to release her brand new highly anticipated album “ … I do wonder whether Brandy is trying to ward off the man or, to avoid any pitfalls and conflict after they get invested, she is being pretty frank and letting him know what is going on. He helped me to be versatile…. I have been sourcing from other sites and articles quite a lot, but I think it helps contextaulise the music and give more insight into a fantastic and inspirational artist. She doesn’t have to follow the same path. Brandy recorded her 7th album via her OWN record label ‘Brand Nu Inc‘ and Capital Records. Some of Camper’s stand-out tracks include; Krysiuk is new on the music scene and co-wrote with Ariana Grande on the number 1 pop smash ‘7 Rings’ (2019). When would you say that the process for this album started for you? Many might assume it is just Soul and Gospel singers who are influenced by church music, but there are so many different artists who sang at church as a child and, from that moment, they were transported. It was so freeing for me, because I did get a chance to really dig in and write from my heart of hearts. The video was shot during the pandemic August 2020 with cast members wearing a mask in the actual video. The track was co-written by Brandy and Darhyl “DJ” Camper, Kimberly “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Al Sherrod Lambert. I wonder whether Brandy has experienced cheating and trying to come to terms with someone who has led her astray. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away”. But this is a classic and will go down as such with Brandy fans. “It’s a little scary because I had to finish it without him,” she says, dabbing away tears. of Never Say Never, but it never reached the same heights, and there were few songs that had the same connectivity and magic as The Boy Is Mine. If artists hurry and put out albums every year, they can rush and create something quite disposable and untrue to them! And then when Monica put her stamp on it, you just heard the contrast between her and I. I knew that it was gonna be something special, but I had no idea it was going to do what it did. In the case of many singers, they learned about singing and a different way of performance from the church. Brandy spoke with them last month and, whilst she discussed how great it would be to collaborate with Enya (a dream collaboration for her), she also highlighted how music has acted like therapy and a source of guidance: “For now, Enya can wait. I just pray he’s proud of what I was able to complete”. Brandy will not be able to tour this year, but there will be a load of fans who want to hear this new material in the flesh very soon. He helped me find my voice.” Brandy grew confident as both an artist and a young woman on Never Say Never, creating an album that showed both personal and vocal growth. It is good that, on her seventh album, Brandy is looking ahead and has found fresh spark. It is interesting to speculate, and I think the simple-yet-effecting words that end the song offer some form of resolution: “We can't cross the line/Borderline/Schizo this time/We can't cross the line/Borderline”. 1 for 13 weeks. The Production Team: R.I.P LeShawn Daniels from the epic Darkchild production family. I can’t imagine what your teen years were like, especially having a foot in both those worlds. Brandy’s vocal acrobatics are unmatched and this is why I give the song 10 out of 10. Brandy Norwood made her triumphant return to the Billboard Music Awards stage on Wednesday for a triple performance of songs new and old. No more placating egos, no more chasing commercial expectations. In 2006, she was involved in a fatal road accident (a topic very much off the table during our interview) that forced her to quit as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Brandy – Borderline (Review) ‘ Borderline ‘ is the groundbreaking second single from Brandy’s seventh studio album ‘ B7 ‘. In the meantime, go buy or stream B7, as it is one of the year’s best albums and, as I said, women are dominating with so much variety and strength. She explains how she is loving alone, and it seems like, for the moment, she is wrestling with herself and something that cannot be cured right away – though she does need love and connection, and you can feel that sense of desire coming through. The singer has been open about her battle with depression, following turmoil in her professional and personal life and a string of setbacks and missed opportunities. But then I thought, "But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal." Ultimately the singing: Brandy is the vocal bible and at the end of the day I saw her perform ‘When You Touch Me‘ live for the first time in the history books in London UK in 2013. It shows that, eight years after her previous album, she has lost none of her authority, strength and passion! Why Sam Smith is a Problematic entertainer! And I think that we don’t want to feel alone. Borderline is a terrific song that packs a powerful video. 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