Indeed, it’s been a decade since talented songbird Tweet blessed the industry with a new project. And while such a lengthy spell away from the limelight (in an official capacity) would dissolve the strongest of fanbases, it’s made hers even more steadfast. This feat is evidenced by the critical reception of her comeback single ‘Won’t Hurt Me’ (the kickoff release from her January 2016-due album ‘Charlene’).
In this candid interview with That Grape Juice, the soulful stunner talks her hiatus, the state of R&B, compromising her sound, her new album, and much more. As ever, we ask the questions you really want answers to.
Get them all below:
That Grape Juice: It’s been 10 years since we’ve had an official LP from you! We’ve been waiting on some new-new from the Southern Hummingbird. What’s kept you away?
Tweet: The business wasn’t right and I just wasn’t connected to the right people. To be honest, it just wasn’t the right time. I feel now is the right time with eOne.
That Grape Juice: What was it about eOne that made you feel now was the time?
Tweet: I met Phil Thornton (Vice President and General Manager of Urban Inspirational at eOne) and he told me how much of a fan he was of the music. He didn’t want me to compromise myself.
When people know your work and your worth, that makes the difference.
That Grape Juice: And, now we have ‘Won’t Hurt Me’! The fans are loving it, as are we. But, why did you feel this was the best song to burst back onto the scene with?
Tweet: It just gave me that acoustic vibe that fans love from me. The last two albums were kicked off by songs that weren’t really representative of the whole body of work they came from. This time I wanted fans to hear something that gave a clue about what the whole record sounded like.
Also, the message was good. I wanted to uplift people.
That Grape Juice: So, with ‘Won’t Hurt Me’ being more representative of ‘Charlene’s full body of work, can you give us more details about what else we should expect from it?
Tweet: Lyrically, the songs are just like pages out of my diary. Conceptually, ‘Charlene’ is me taking it back to basics because I’ve fallen out of love with the kind of music I’m hearing on the radio now.
The sounds on this album are reminiscent of my musical influences before I became Tweet and was just Charlene. You know: quartets, gospel, soul music, and all of that. I also feel I’ve matured vocally since my last album.
Nothing that sounds like “Oops, Oh My” on this album. It’s all soul music!
That Grape Juice: We’re looking forward to hearing that. So, tell us what else is in the pipeline for you? Any tours or anything?
Tweet: Yes, I expect to be on tour a lot in 2016. I always want to keep the material flowing – live DVDs, singles, whatever I can. I’ve been gone for a minute, so I owe it to the fans.
I even want to do a live version of ‘Southern Hummingbird’!
That Grape Juice: Well, it looks like you’ll be busy next year! Before we let you go, though, we have to mention the insane new Missy Elliott video ‘WTF.’ Since it’s kicking off her long-awaited new project, we want to know if we can expect some new Missy/Tweet collabos soon?
Tweet: Yes! Though I’m not on her album, she’s on mine! So, you guys will get to hear us together.
(Photo courtesy: TJB)
That Grape Juice: Good! How was it reconnecting with her?
Tweet: She and I are family! We’ve known each other for 1994, so it was like riding a bike. I do expect us to do a little more work together soon.
That Grape Juice: You’ve been very vocal about your thoughts on the status of R&B. But, of all that’s out there now, is there anyone who you’re really feeling? Maybe even someone you’d consider collaborating with?
Tweet: To be honest, I don’t listen to a lot. But, if I had to name a few, I’d say people like D’angelo, Solange, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar.