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Brandy: How an American icon healed through the power of music

The release of B7 comes at a time when the world is enduring a global pandemic, so instead of preparing for a tour or doing national media events, Brandy is adjusting to promoting her latest project strictly through virtual means.

“I think just the engaging process is definitely something that I’ve had to adjust to,” Brandy says. “I’m used to being face-to-face, and I love interacting with my fans. I love meeting people. That’s been a little bit challenging for me. Putting out new music, I want to be on stage. When you put out something, you have to find ways to promote it and interact, but the passion is the same. My passion is the same, my excitement is the same, and I just love that I’m still here doing what I [was] born to do.”

Brandy also believes the nation is experiencing an important period in terms of racial justice following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“I’m very proud of all of us right now,” she says. “I’m just so proud to be Black. I think that we’re doing what it takes to make the changes that are needed. To see the level of compassion that we have for each other right now is something I’ve never seen before. Change definitely has to come, and my heart and prayers go out to everybody that’s been affected by what’s happening in our world. When it comes to the music industry, I think we need to do everything that it takes to continue to promote change. Music can speak to the times, and music has the power to heal and to help people.”

From a personal standpoint, music has allowed Brandy to deal with the issues she faced and express her pain through her lyrics.

“Music can heal people,” she says. “For me, it’s just my way of escaping and also confronting things in my life. It’s easier than talking about it. It’s easy to get lost in my melodies, to get lost in my harmonies, and get lost in the creative process.”

The world witnessed Brandy grow from being a cute teenager writing lover letters in her childhood bedroom into a strong Black woman, mother, and musician who is willing to share her ultimate highs and devastating lows. Even with millions of albums sold, success in TV and film, and a life that many would dream of living, none of it could equal the power of self-love.

“I think self-love is so important,” Brandy admits. “That’s the true love that you seek. Surround yourself with people that really love you, that will nurture you, and be kind to yourself. Inner dialogue is also super important. Treat yourself how you want others to treat you.”

Story by A.R. Shaw

Photos by Derek Blanks



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