With Kandi Koated (on Kandi Koated Entertainment/Asylum Records/Warner Bros.) Kandi has taken the reins and delivered a cohesive album with everything you would expect from a singer who has helped create numerous songs that have served as the soundtrack to our lives. “The album is about love, relationships. It’s meeting someone. Falling for them. Falling out with them. Breaking up with them. Thinking about them. Getting back together. Moving on. Its all there,” she says of the project, which she almost completely wrote, with the exception of the impossibly catchy “Me and You,” written and produced by Ne-Yo, and sampling the Outkast classic “Elevators.”
“I Want You” (produced by The Justice League) is Euro-smooth and ultra-feminine, while “Leroy Jones” (produced by Blac Elvis) is the surefire single mothers’ anthem (“I am a package deal/You gotta love my child/Like its your own). “My stepfather’s name is Leroy Jones and he’s been there for my mother and me. This song is about where I am right now as a woman. If I can find a man like that to love me and my daughter, then I am good.”
Kandi’s long-time friend Jazze Pha collaborated on the soulful and explosive 808-filled break up hymn “Leave U” (“You gotta keep it up/To keep me around“) and she reinforces the importance of respect with “I’m Happy” with remarkable Deniece Williams-like vocal acrobatics. Up-tempo and aggressive, “How Could You (Feel My Pain)” is an incredulous look at her lover’s actions (“How could you break me down/When I lift you up?“) and “Lucky” is a look at the real-life situation of cheating (“She gets to have it every night/she’s a lucky girl/I know you got a girl/but…“). In true respect to Kandi’s own personality and drive, the Tim Walls-produced “Let’s Get It” is motivation at its height (“This is for my fellas on their grind/and my girls with money on their mind/I’m gon’ get this paper/while you’re dreaming“). Smooth and hype all at once, it’s the female companion to Biggie’s “Juicy.”
“I knew I had to come back strong. I waited way too many years to return with something wack,” says the always busy Kandi, who also hosts the weekly Internet talk show “Kandi Koated Nights” (kandikoatednight.com) every Wednesday, and writes a blog, “Kandi Presents: The Bitter & The Sweet,” for the lifestyle website Hellobeautiful.com. “I love this album. It’s not stuck in a box.”
And with her mogul-in-the-making ambition, neither is she.
Make sure you catch Kandi on tour starting next month with Eric Benet & Fantasia!
The Official “Leave U” Music Video will Premiere TODAY, October 28th on BET’s 106 and Park!
Album In Stores & Online December 14th!