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Arie returns with the most illuminating album of her career.Song Versation (Soulbird/Motown, June 25) reunites the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer with longtime writing partner/co-producer Shannon Sanders. Arie’s fifth studio album features additional production from singer/songwriter David Ryan Harris and songwriter Michael Ruff.Arie went from “singing under a tree in the park” to the Grammy Awards stage in five years, earning seven nominations for her 2001 double-platinum debut Acoustic Soul featuring her first hit single “Video.” That was followed in 2002 by the platinum-selling Voyage to India, 2006’s gold-certified Testimony: Vol. “I realized I had to seize the chance to make the career and life I wanted, not accepting what others wanted me to do. But instead of waiting another three years, she took a day to pray. “That was my first glimpse of a new resilience, of stepping into my power,” she recalls. 1, Life & Relationship and its 2009 sequel Testimony: Vol. But despite 21 Grammy nominations, four Grammys and 10 million albums sold worldwide, something was wrong. So I decided to retire, asking God to show me where I am supposed to be.” Music did eventually come back into her life through a series of vulnerable songs she began writing for a self-funded new project called Open Door. “I was confronted by the same questions,” says India. “It’s about not having anything to prove except to simply express myself because it’s who I am—not as a means to an end. It’s about being more me in both my life and career.” She recently embraced the former by expanding Soulbird, her label imprint, into a multi-faceted company housing her other entrepreneurial endeavors: jewelry, apparel, merchandise, film and TV, music and book publishing.
Coming to that realization—let alone taking that crucial first step—can be a daunting endeavor.Now on the other side of a self-imposed four-year hiatus, India.The result is a compelling snapshot of her hard-won breakthrough to simultaneous personal and artistic growth.“This is where I’ve been for the last four years,” reflects the singer.
It’s a process many of us go through: spiritual maturation, spiritual awakening, clearing out the old and starting anew.” Her inner renewal pulsates throughout Song Versation, starting with lead single “Cocoa Butter.” The mid-tempo groove and image-rich verses mirror the soothing balm that is the song’s namesake. \ I show you my burns \ you show me lessons learned,” sings a re-energized India. The singer exudes quiet power on the non-apologetic “Life I Know” as well as the empowerment-themed “Just Do You.” With its spare instrumentation, honest and engaging lyrics framed by melodic R&B, Song Versation finds India.
Arie coming back full circle to the basics that captivated a global legion of fans on debut album Acoustic Soul.