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The Biz With D: Interview w/ Syleena Johnson x Hazel E

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Imagine this: you’re a Grammy-nominated singer, considered one of the best vocalists of your generation, who has scored major R&B hits and been invited to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West and R. Kelly, yet some folks consider you “underrated.” This has been the plight of Syleena Johnson, acclaimed as one of the finest R&B voices to have emerged during the past decade. Having fought the major label system to allow her true identity to shine forth, Syleena now steps forward with her most personal statement to date. Her boundary-stretching fifth album, entitled, appropriately enough, Chapter V: Underrated, was released on September 27, 2011 on Shanachie Entertainment.

Syleena Johnson grew up outside Chicago in Illinois. Though she got involved with music during her high school years, initially she was discouraged from getting into the music business by her father, who had many disappointing experiences in the industry. Meanwhile her mother become the nation’s first black female police commissioner.

After her live acoustic album release performance of Chapter V: Underrated last year, Syleena was moved by her own music and decided to release the live performance as a mini-album titled Acoustic Soul Sessions, released September 25th, 2012. The mini-album includes five songs from Chapter V: Underrated; an introduction to Chapter 6: Couples Therapy which will be released on October 28th, 2014. The Powerful New Recording on the way will take us back to Syleena’s traditional R&B style. The first single, “Perfectly Worthless”, from the hit new album is now available. Syleena also adds television to her roster as a costar in the TV One hit reality series R&B Divas airing Wednesday nights at 10/9c.

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