Written By: Melody Charles
Vivian Green’s new CD is her most heartfelt and authentic work yet, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that she wears her heart on her sleeve about…well, just about everything else. She’s fighting a cold and hoarse from a recent performance, first of all, and secondly, she’s missing her six-year-old son, who’s back at home and giving her a fair share of ‘Mommy Guilt’ for being on the road right now to promote her third album, Beautiful.
“He doesn’t like when I leave,” Ms. Green admitted during the chat. “Jordan says ‘Why are you going out of town? you’re supposed to be with me.’ I cried when I left, and I think he did too, but ran into his room so I wouldn’t see him. It’s so hard to be away from him, but I plan to take him on the road with me in the summer. It should be fun, he’ll be my little mascot,” she laughs.
Not that she won’t already won’t have a healthy cheering section: it’s been over 5 years since her last CD, Vivian, and this time around, the 30-year-old Philadelphia native stayed true to what she wanted to create, not what others expected her to do. “The last time, I think I was trying too hard to do something different. I left behind the soulful parts and I feel that it rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, so this time, I wanted to be truthful, so I made a record that I felt was honestly conveying all of those different musical sides of me. I’m really, really happy with the whole project this time around.”
Ms. Green had a hand in practically every aspect of Beautiful, from the sequencing of the tracks to allowing her younger brother, Solomon Green, as well as young Jordan, in on the recording process. “It’s him that you hear bringing the pizzazz and the swagger to songs like ‘Better Man.’ I cannot believe that the same kid I was told to look out for when he was just five years old has become such an accomplished artist in his own right. And with ‘Jordan’s Song,’ that intro was done in just one take. He’d never been in the studio before, and when he could hear himself getting louder in the microphone, and we just cracked up laughing. All of that was just natural, and the way the strings blended with his intro made it perfect. I love that song most of all.”
Another favorite, which she feels will be an anthem for the ladies one day soon, is “Caught Up,” both for the way the duet was executed and the message behind it.
“Lauren Talese is my dear friend and a phenomenal singer,” she says of the woman who sung along with her, “and I just wanted to help her get some shine. I wanted her to sing, to do the runs in the pretty voice, I just kind of hung back this time around. There’s enough have enough talent to go around, I think it’s ridiculous that women don’t help one another out more, especially in this business. The message in the song isn’t about man-bashing, but how we women allow ourselves to get caught up in relationships over and over again. A lot of ladies can probably see themselves in it.”
And if “So Far Gone” reminds the listener of being crazy in love, then they’re right, because Ms. Green penned it with her special someone in mind. ‘”It’s is all about him,” she gushes. “We’ve been together two years and finally, I’ve attracted the right person. He has a great relationship with my son, a great relationship with his son, and I thank God I was able to attract someone to with great morals and values. It’s so good to finally have that.”
In the process of planning a summer tour, Ms. Green, who was the first female R&B artist signed to E1 Music, is looking forward to taking Beautiful as far as she can and developing her career, which she actually enjoys building from a slow burn.
Her voice, while husky, is filled with passion when she discusses the opportunities that performers can create for themselves.“You don’t have to be a super-duper-star just to make a living at being an artist,” she says to those who want to get in the music biz. “A lot of people don’t understand that there is another way and that there are other options. When you’re looking for a label, make sure it’s the place you really want to be and that the label is really about the music that you want to do. Be careful of where you go, because the worst thing is to have the best artist in the world have their album shelved because the label doesn’t know what to do with you. Think about it…you want to still be singing ten, twenty years from now.”