In one breath, she’s urging social change and boldly standing up for righteousness in the face of inequality. In the next, she’s guiding her child with a sensitive understanding, hard-earned wisdom, and unconditional love. In between, she’s as seductive and soulful as ever seamlessly slipping from activist, mother, and poet to temptress. This delicate sonic shape-shifting is a technique she introduced on her now classic 2001 debut Closer , but she hones it to perfection on Dreamseeker .
“I’m a woman, but I’m also a whole person who won’t be confined to any one box,” she asserts. “Nobody is just one thing. Within any race, within any genre, and within any neighborhood, there’s so much diversity. As artists and especially as women of color, we have to be proud of that. I’m coming from an honest place and expressing the different parts of myself that make me whole.”
That diversity has defined the Oakland-born singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and designer since the start of her career in 2001. Her influence and impact can be felt throughout R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Even Closer yielded the iconic anthem “Closer.” To date, it’s impressively racked up over 6 million Spotify streams and been sampled by everyone from Drake to YG. In between touring the world, she has released four full-length albums and collaborated with a diverse array of heavy hitters such as Snoop Dogg, E-40, Eric Ben e? t, Soulive, and Jeff Bhasker. A film and television mainstay, she’s landed high-profile syncs in Sparkle , Honey , 90210 , and many more. Along the way, The Washington Post fittingly described her as “soulful as always , ” Huffington Post called her “a driving motivational force for many women , ” and Essence claimed, “her voice is the stuff of dreams . ”