The album’s track, “Beautiful,” broke into the Top 20 at Urban AC radio, and is currently #15 and rapidly rising. The new video for “Beautiful” (directed by Chris Stanford) has been added to soul network Centric
To celebrate the release of her album, Green will perform at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA on 4/5 and S.O.B.’s in New York City on 4/6.
In contrast to her first two albums, which were recorded in a variety of studios with multiple producers, Vivian approached the recording of “Beautiful” in a more intimate, organic manner. With the exception of “Save Me” and “I Know How,” which she cut with Jason Farmer (Keyshia Cole, Rihanna, Wyclef Jean) in the producer’s seat, Vivian recorded the entire album with Grammy-nominated producer Anthony Bell, a longtime friend and collaborator who made key production contributions to her first two albums, and whose extensive resume also includes work with Jazmine Sullivan, Jewel, Musiq, Raheem DeVaughn and Jill Scott.
Vivian spoke to Aries from UrbanBridgez.com about her new album “Beautiful,” leaving Sony, changing her hair, Guru, her son Jordan and so much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about the new album “Beautiful,” that’s coming out April 6 on my birthday!
Vivian Green: Oh wow, happy birthday!
UrbanBridgez.com: Thank you!
Vivian Green: I want it to be a feel good album, appose to going through so much drama. It’s something that’s a little more uplifting I guess unlike some of my previous records, that may have had more of a sad tone. This one doesn’t have a sad or angry tone. I think the first one had a sad tone and the second had an angry tone. This one doesn’t have either (laughs). I named it “Beautiful” because I’m at a really beautiful place in my life right now. I just learned how to really find the positivity in everything. I think that comes with maturity, I just love the growth I’ve had and where I am in my life right now. I’m very happy and my son is healthy, nothing is really wrong or could be you know. Life is good and I just feel beautiful inside. So that’s where that comes from really.
UrbanBridgez.com: The single “Beautiful” is doing good!
Vivian Green: Yes it is, I’m so surprised!
UrbanBridgez.com: And people love the video, but some on our forum don’t care for it (laughs), how do you feel about the video now that it’s done?
Vivian Green: I like it, there are certain parts about it that I don’t particularly love nothing major, but it is what it is! It’s out! I’m not at like a huge machine record company anymore, you know what I mean. So I think for what it was and what we had to make it, it turned out really nice! I also think it looks better than my first two videos, they cost a whole lot more (laughs). So with what we had, I think we did a great job. The next one, hopefully will be better than that one! I read some of the blogs also and they can be so mean, so I try to stay away from them. What I can say is “Beautiful,” the version for the video and the one on the record are different. So I can understand how it can loose some people, I totally do! It was edited a great deal for the video, the song is almost 5 minutes. Alot of the things I was reading, people were saying where is the hook? In the video it only comes on one time. So when they hear the album version they’ll hear the version, when they hear how it’s suppose to be I think they will get it more. However I think the way it is edited for radio, the people in promotions at E1 are doing a hell of a job promoting a single like that and with a hook that’s been edited, I think they’re killing it! I can’t be mad at that (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of the people you worked with on the new album?
Vivian Green: A very small list I only worked with Jason Farmer, who’s worked with like Estelle, Keyshia Cole and some more. He’s a really cool guy. And I worked with Anthony Bell who worked on my first two records. He did like Complete, Ain’t Nothing But Love and Frustrated. He produced some of my favorite songs actually on my first two records. He also has worked with Jazmine Sullivan and got nominated for a Grammy, just recently and so did Jason for Keyshia’s Sent from Heaven as well. Both talented guys with great resume’s.
UrbanBridgez.com: What was the the hardest part about recording the new album?
Vivian Green: Just narrowing down the final songs that will be on the record is always the hardest part for me. They’re all my babies and I love them all! Some are completely different but I feel they’re still me. The label always wants to make sure it’s a certain direction and things like that. Sometimes as an artist you feel like you don’t want to be in a box so much, so that narrowing down process is really difficult for me.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’re now on E1, why the move from Sony?
Vivian Green: Well Sony fired everybody that was there when I was and then I was dropped along with some other artists. They reorganized that whole company, from the top to the bottom. Nobody is there who was before. Except for like two promotions people I know that live in certain regions. But the ones who actually worked in the building, nobody is there that was. It’s crazy (laughs). I mean I became friends with several people who were there, we still talk and they had to get their lives back in order. It wasn’t easy for everyone and it was a big transition for me as well. But it is what it is, sometimes record companies reorganize. I don’t know if there has ever been a wipe out like total wipe out, with nobody still being there. I mean it’s sad because it’s peoples lives. For me though, it was something that I wanted to happen. With the second album it was just handled so bad. From the way it was thrown out there, I swear I would go on any site and a fan would be like they didn’t even know I had a second album out! It was just thrown out there without any setup or any love and care. And that’s the complete opposite on how they handled the first one. I think it was like that because nobody was there consistent throughout my project. Nobody, so how can something really get off the ground with no consistent people working on it. Oh and one more thing (laughs), there was a digital recall! There was some additional digital content on my CD and some others. It was messing up computers I guess and they had to recall all of my CD’s from the shelf!
UrbanBridgez.com: Oh yeah!
Vivian Green: Remember! And after that you couldn’t buy my album anywhere for like 6 months! Here’s the thing, I was on the road with LYFE we did a tour together. And I was on stage everynight saying yeah go get my album! And they couldn’t because it wasn’t on any shelf anywhere. And lastly, I think alot of fans didn’t like that my hair wasn’t short anymore. I think that played apart of it also (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Yeah fans will notice the smallest things and get turned off by it, that’s why alot are really fickle.
Vivian Green: Exactly! What I find so odd about it is certain artist can do it and they don’t care. Like Mary J. Blige can change her hair style whenever she wants and nobody is ever going to say anything. I got flack for it and I don’t get it. I think people misunderstood my image and I was very young. I had all types of people at Sony telling me what was best and what I should do, etc. Now, I’m a grown woman & I know exactly what I want to do, how I want my hair, what I want to wear. Nobody is going to talk me into doing anything like that now. I do think my stylist was great, but she was taking orders from someone else on how to style me, you know. Also one more thing (laughs), here’s the thing. When I first got to the label, my hair was long. Then I had a horrible breakup, the “Emotional Rollercoaster” guy and the guy that most of that album is about (laughs). So I cut all my hair off because I was so heartbroken. It had nothing to do with anything else but that. My manager went berserk because he thought Sony was going to be upset because that wasn’t the girl they signed. Then I tried to grow it back and my hair stylist suggested I try weave to make it grow faster, so I was like ok. That was the first time I ever had like a weave like that but I enjoyed it and worked it out. I think now people will like this better because it’s not as short as it was and it’s not super long, so it should make some people happy.
UrbanBridgez.com: Well regardless, you always look nice so it doesn’t matter!
Vivian Green: See! Thank you! I wish more people would be like you (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Alot of us remember you appearing on “Jazzmatazz 4,” have you spoken to Guru or someone close to him since he’s been in the hospital?
Vivian Green: I did hear and that’s so sad. I only really talked to him before for like 5 minutes. We were never together in the same room or met or anything when I did the song. I did it and sent it back to him so we never had an intimate moment or anything. But I think it was so awesome that he asked me to be on it, specially after I seen the other artists that were featured on it. I was like that’s nice and I’m in really good company so that was really cool. I’ve said some prayers for him and I’ll continue to do so!
UrbanBridgez.com: I still love “Emotional Rollercoaster” to death like so many others. If you had to pick 3 included on all of your albums that really represent Vivian Green, what would those singles be?
Vivian Green: Final Hour, Frustrated, the third is really hard. I’m still loving every song on this record. I’ll say Jordan’s Song, my son’s song. I really love that one. I know people that did get “Vivian” realizes it was alot different than “Love Story.” It was an angry album and I love that album, it’s my favorite by the way. I think it’s more me musically more so than the first record. Some people may not like that, but I’m being honest (laughs). Subject matter, no that’s not me it’s just how I was feeling at that time. But the music and sound of it is more me. “Beautiful” is dead on! I think with the second I was trying so hard to fix the first time that I went against the first album too much! Instead of embracing some of the things that were good about the first album. With this album half of it is live, so it’s half and half. Like live instrumentation, so I think if I had to describe my music I would call it soul/pop! I think that’s what I am when I’m able to do what I want to do. All the way soul is not me nor is all the way pop, I’m in the middle and I think this time I accomplished that with this album!
UrbanBridgez.com: Do you think becoming a mother has influenced your music in anyway?
Vivian Green: I think it’s influenced me overall, so I guess that would have to triple down to my music as well. Like I was saying, I’m at such a beautiful place in my life and that’s mainly because of my son. He was born with an unknown syndrome, so much of the time I was away I’ve been dealing with Jordan. And giving my full attention to him, he really needed it. He’s been in the hospital alot because he refused to eat for a whole year, having tubes in him and hooked up to a machine all night. He was late to do everything from eat, talk and walk, I mean everything. And one day it was just like he was fine! It was like none of that ever happened, going through that was the hardest thing I ever had to go through in my life ever. I’ve found such a beautiful and positive place from going through that & it allows me to see the positivity in everything around me. Like with “Beautiful” I wrote that about a guy I was with while I was away, obviously not now. And because of where I’m at, I was like let me just help you out with this song, so you don’t loose the next girl you know, instead of me bashing him. “Better Man” some could say is a negative song. The song is basically about a girl saying the things he did and didn’t do and my little brother (Solomon Green) who wrote 4 songs on the album, he rhymes and he does a verse from the guys point of view. So it’s like all sides in the song, instead of just the ladies.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’ve written for so many recording artists, can we expect a songwriting credits from you on any up-coming releases?
Vivian Green: No I don’t, that’s what I need to get my butt working on honestly. Once after the album comes out, I’ll be able to get to the studio. I’m also trying to get my little brother in it. This is his first stab at it, but he is so, so good! Some of the songs he wrote on the album are my favorites.
UrbanBridgez.com: Complete this sentence, Music is…
Vivian Green: Essential!
UrbanBridgez.com: Will you tour and Any last words for your fans?
Vivian Green: Thank you so much! I love reading blogs and thing with them saying that they’ve been waiting for me to come back. It’s just so nice to read that! It really feels good because the industry is a different industry now you know. People can burn music or listen to the whole album on YouTube, it’s just different. So it’s not easy for people to be gone so long and come back. Not easy for artist to have careers anymore. I’m happy to say this is all I’ve done for the last 10 years and that’s because of my fans, so I want to say again, thank you so much!!!
Album In Stores & Online April 6th!