Fantasia is flying freer than ever and looks set to celebrate her liberation on ‘Sketchbook.’
Due October 11th, the hotly anticipated set serves as her seventh studio album and her first as an independent artist helming her own label (RockSoul). Ahead of its arrival, That Grape Juice caught up with the ‘American Idol’ champion, who spoke candidly on a number hot topics.
She waxed honest about steering her own career while also addressing the much talked about collaboration with Brandy and Jazmine Sullivan. The vocal supernova also revealed she’s eyeing a collaboration with ‘Telephone’ singers Beyonce and Lady Gaga and even addressed Kim Burrell‘s public jab.
All this and more after the jump…
That Grape Juice (Rashad): We’re so excited to talk to you about your new album, ‘Sketchbook’ (in stores October 11). Tell us what we should expect from this project that’s different from your previous work.
Fantasia: It’s a soup, a gumbo of all my other albums. The things people loved about [my first album] ‘Free Yourself’ and all the other records put into one. I took it back to my ‘American Idol’ days. So, just like back on that show we did all kinds of genres, people can expect to hear all kinds of genres – Pop, R&B, Soul, etc. – on this project.
TGJ: Having been in the industry for 16 years now, albums don’t only represent eras of your career but also of your life. When it’s all said and done, what do you think the ‘Sketchbook’ period will represent for you?
Fantasia: Growth and wisdom, baby! In every area of my life. I’m a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and now an independent artist. I wear a lot of hats.
TGJ: Speaking of being independent, what would you say have been some of the unexpected challenges of taking that route for getting your music to the masses?
Fantasia: There’s been a lot of negative stuff, but when you step out and do some things on your own you expect that. Without a rainstorm, there’s no rainbow. It’s all necessary. I’m the boss and I work with my team daily on everything from what I wear to where I go and more. But, I know all the hard work always pays off.
TGJ: Part of the “negativity” you’ve mentioned in previous interviews are things like “industry politics” – which is what was cited as the reason we won’t be hearing the Jazmine Sullivan and Brandy collaboration originally slated for your ‘Sketchbook’ album. Can you give us more details about what went wrong?
Fantasia: I’ll just say this: it just wasn’t the time. They are two of my favorite artists and I believe when the timing is right, it will happen.
TGJ: Can you confirm if the song was actually recorded or not?
Fantasia: The song was halfway recorded, how about that?
TGJ: Ok. Switching gears, it’s time for our “Five from Fans” segment where we’ve collected 5 questions specifically for you from some of your biggest fans.
- What song released in the last year did you hear and go “man, I wish I recorded that”?
Fantasia: I love Lizzo‘s ‘Truth Hurts,’ so it would definitely be that one!
- When was the last time you actually watched ‘American Idol’?
Fantasia: (laughs). Y’all wrong for that! I think it was when La’Porsha was on it (2016).
- You never officially responded to Kim Burrell’s shady comments comparing you to Gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson (click here to read more). How do you feel about Kim today?
Fantasia: I love Kim and think she’s amazing. I don’t have any ill feelings toward her and I love her as a sister in Christ, which is what I’m supposed to do.
- Other than Jazmine Sullivan and Brandy, what other female artists your age would you collaborate on a song with?
Fantasia: Beyonce and Lady Gaga! Gaga is bad and I would love to hear her just kill a Soul or R&B record!
- You went on record and said your last album, ‘The Definition Of…,’ was ‘garbage’ (click here to read more). If you feel it’s your worst, what would you say is your best?
Fantasia: I need to clarify. It wasn’t garbage, it just wasn’t the best. But, I think my first album was the best because Clive Davis was behind it. Man, I had Missy Elliott, Sean Garrett, Jermaine Dupri, Jazze Pha, and so many big names on it. So, I’m going to go with ‘Free Yourself.’
TGJ: As always, thanks for participating in that. Before we let you go, we’re curious to know what the future holds. Beyond the forthcoming ‘Sketchbook’ tour (click here for dates), should we expect to see you in movies or maybe on reality TV again?
Fantasia: Reality TV? That depends on what type of show it is. If they want to encourage people and show love and no drama? Yes, I’m down for it.
‘Sketchbook,’ featuring the songs ‘Enough,’ ‘PTSD,’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ hits stores and streaming services on October 11th.
Off the Record: Fantasia dishes with That Grape Juice and reflects on Brandy‘s impact on the 25th anniversary of the ‘I Wanna Be Down’ singer’s debut album. Listen below: