Jazmine Sullivan Gets Personal On 'Love Me Back'
This week, singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan will receive Billboard's Rising Star Award for Women in Music. It's just one of many awards and accolades she has garnered in her blazing rise to the top.
In 2008, her debut album Fearless snagged five Grammy nominations and her singles secured long-standing slots at the top of the hip-hop and R&B charts.
Sullivan releases her second album this week, Love Me Back. She says she pulled extensively from personal experience while recording it.
"It's very therapeutic for me at times to just sit down and write lyrics and music," she says. "As I look at all of the songs that I've written, I see now that some of them have been a little too personal."
One example that Sullivan points to is "Bust Your Windows," a song from her first album where she sings about destroying an ex-lover’s car.
"That was actually one of the first songs that I did write line for line what really happened," she says. "It was a really really hard time, and it's helped a lot of people and a lot of women who are going through the same thing."
On her new album, Sullivan shows a different response to heartbreak, one that she says reflects a change in her character.
"When I was younger, I was very quick to react. 'Bust Your Windows' shows that part of me, but now I feel like I'll think about my reaction and take my time, and react 10 seconds later," she says. "I live life and it gives me the material to write for the next album."
Despite talking about personal issues and life stories in her music, Sullivan feels that she has not yet reached a point in her music where she has let her true voice come through. She says that she has always been a very private person.
"Something about me that people don't know is that I’m really cautious about who I let into my space, so it kinda takes me some time to really let people in. That's how I feel my career is right now: I'm letting people in little by little," she says. "One day I would like to be the artist that lets go completely."
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.