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Brandy on Her New Album, Outlook and Reunion With Monica

'Working with her doesn't feel like work,' says the singer about the women's 'Thelma and Louise'-style collaboration

March 1, 2012 4:15 PM ET
Brandy attends Rolling Stone's awards weekend bash at Drai's Hollywood.
Brandy attends Rolling Stone's awards weekend bash at Drai's Hollywood.
Barry King/FilmMagic

It's been four years since Brandy released her last album Human and many things have changed, including her.

"I'm reinventing myself and I feel fearless," Brandy told Rolling Stone. "I haven't done R&B in a very long time. This album is rooted in R&B. The sound is different, it's about love. It's mature, it's gritty, it's edgy." 

The former teen star and mother of one is hard at work on her sixth album and recently wrapped the video for her first single, a duet with Monica called "It All Belongs To Me." This is first time the two have recorded together since their 1998 Grammy Award winning hit, "The Boy Is Mine."

"Monica and I have a bond as women and as mothers, working with her doesn't feel like work," Brandy says. "Chris Robinson directed the video and we're both in dysfunctional relationships. We're helping each other through both situations, it's sort of like a 'Thelma & Louise,' girl empowerment video."

Recruiting producers like Rico Love, who wrote and produced "It All Belongs To Me," Jim Jonsin, Danja, Timbaland, Chris Brown and longtime collaborator Rodney Jerkins, Brandy's also seeing what two Canadians have to offer.

"I heard the song that Drake did and I loved it," Brandy says of working with the Cash Money MC and his primary producer Noah "40" Shebib. "I haven't recorded it yet but I'm looking forward to it because it's such a great melody and the beat is nice. It's a vibe that I haven't dipped into and I think the fans would get a kick out of hearing my voice over a record like that. I'm not sure if Drake's going to be on it but I'm a huge fan of his. His melodies are beautiful, I like the way I sound in the shower singing his songs."

Singer-songwriter Frank Ocean is also contributing to her new project, and according to Brandy, their relationship is more than just professional.

"He's like a little brother to me," Brandy says. "He wrote a song called 'Scared of Beautiful' about women who are afraid to be beautiful in their full potential as women. I've been there before so I know a lot of women can relate."

Despite moving from her initial record label home Atlantic to Epic and now RCA, Brandy says she finally feels supported.

"RCA reminds me of how Atlantic used to be, they really believed in my vision as an artist when they signed me at 14," she shares. "RCA welcomed me and Breyon Prescott and Peter Edge showed such passion for what I wanted to do."

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