Gorgeous songstress Vivian Green had the crowd jumping out of their seats to dance as she performed at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. She sat down with rolling out for a brief interview and sang her Frankie Beverly and Maze-sampled hit, “Get Right Back to My Baby.”
Born in Philadelphia, Green was raised in a home where Motown classics were always blaring. Her parents were avid music lovers with talents of their own. Her mother sang, and her father, an engineer, played the trumpet. She began singing at age 5, started playing piano by 8, and by 11 began writing songs. She knew by age 13 that she wanted to sing professionally. She honed her craft at the piano every day after school, writing mature love songs far beyond her years.
Green has several notable features and collaborations. She made her film debut in the Oscar-nominated biopic De-Lovely portraying a jazz singer performing the classic “Love For Sale.” She also appeared in the TV series “American Dreams,” portraying Brenda Hollaway singing “Every Little Bit Hurts.” Green wrote the songs for playwright-filmmaker David. E. Talbert’s stage play Love in the Nick of Thyme. She is featured on Cyndi Lauper’s album, The Body Acoustic; and the late Guru’s Jazzmatazz 4. She was also featured on Soundtrack to a Revolution, a compilation of spiritual songs featuring artists like Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, The Roots, and Mary Mary. Most recently she collaborated with jazz pianist Brian Culbertson for his album, Dreams, and produced the top 10 AC hit “Still Here.” The song also appeared on her fourth album, The Green Room.
In the ever-changing music business, Green has stayed afloat delivering classy, heartfelt, and often therapeutic music for her fans. Vivid will assuredly continue her legacy in music. “What I can and will always do is produce music that is from my heart, ” says Green, “I think that’s the essence of soul music anyway.Vivid definitely won’t be getting you down. If anything, it’ll make you get up.”
When we sat down with Green, she talked about Frankie Beverly, love, making her albums and her son.
“I talked to Frankie Beverly, he loves the song,” says Green. “When it plays, Mr. Beverly gets most of the money, so no problem. And he likes it. It’s really cool to have the stamp of approval from such a legend. I’ve opened for him several times, and he’s a nice man.”
As for the man in her life, Green says, “He’s a wonderful, wonderful man. What’s really cool about it is that I was single for almost four years and I love spending time by myself and getting to know myself and sometimes women are afraid of that, but we need that time to know ourselves and love ourselves. I think when we’re lonely, we don’t attract the right thing but when you’re together and comfortable with yourself, you attract the right thing.
Yes, Green’s album Vivid reflects the happy state of her love life, but it’s not all sweetness and light. Green says that her first album came out when she was 22, so people always thought she was much older.
“I was really a girl coming into my adulthood, but I’m writing from the perspective of a grown woman now,” says Green. “The whole album is from the perspective of a grown woman, so even if I’m talking about heartbreak, it’s not going to make you want to cry, it’s going to make you want to get up and get over it.”
Green took a hiatus between both albums. In the time between her first and second albums, she had her son, who’s now 11. She says he was born with unknown syndrome but after 5 years old, he improved dramatically.
“When I was pregnant, they told me that he was going to die and I could legally abort him but he had started moving by that time and I couldn’t do it,” says Green. She says “unknown syndrome” is a disorder that they don’t know what it is or what causes it. During the pregnancy, Green says that she was told an array of horrific outcomes, but when he was born, most of them hadn’t happened and she said she knew she could deal with whatever was next.
“I was praying every day and when he got here, it wasn’t what they said, so I knew I could do it,” says Green. “He’s tiny, he’s 11 and he probably looks like he’s 8. His index finger and his thumb share the same bone so he doesn’t have opposition in his thumbs. Doctors said he could have plastic surgery but I thought it was a decision he could make when he got older,” she says. “God is so good that he can do everything they said he couldn’t do. Everything that they said he couldn’t do, he can do. It really affected my career because I came back in 2010 and the whole game had changed. Social media was out and everything. But I don’t regret it. You do what you have to do for your family.”
Photos credit: Raymond Hagans/Steed Media Service