Not many get a second chance at a first impression, but allow Grammy-nominated singer Syleena Johnson to reintroduce herself. Scoring a hit reality show with R&B Divas, Johnson furthered her resurgence with the release of her critically acclaimed digital EP, Acoustic Soul Sessions. Syleena is on a roll with her new DVD coming out, and even taking on the role of Executive Producer.
Syleena Johnson’s story could have ended a lot worse. It could have been the tale of a young gifted singer who was promised the world by her record label, only to be shelved or cast out once they saw no value in her. It’s a tale told way too often but for Johnson, this would not be her fate. After three albums and a rocky relationship with her then-company Jive Records, Syleena Johnson took a bold move by releasing her fourth album, Labor Pains, completely independently. The album produced a minor R&B hit with “Maury Povich,” but what it really did, was show Syleena and the rest of the industry that she could compete with the ever-changing music business.
Two years later, Johnson would release her fifth studio album Underrated, with much fanfare. She aligned herself with independent powerhouse label Shanachie Entertainment, and enjoyed success with her single “Boss.” Everything was looking up when it took a drastic turn for the better. In early 2012 it was announced that Syleena Johnson, along with Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Monifah, and Keke Wyatt, would make their network television debut on TV One as cast members of R&B Divas. This was not only a chance for the world to be introduced to Johnson, but to also give the world another look at how black women are portrayed on reality television. Divas became an instant hit among viewers, and even gave TV One its highest rated premiere in network history with almost one million viewers.
Syleena Johnson immediately stood out to viewers and sought to capitalize on the popularity of the show. In late 2012 she released the live EP, Acoustic Soul Sessions. The set is performing very well on the iTunes charts and is serving as an appetizer for Johnson’s sixth studio album.
Syleena is currently planning the release of her fitness DVD entitled Mommy’s Got Soul. This DVD is geared to help women who’ve recently had kids, or who just want to get themselves back in shape. Early reviews of the DVD are extremely positive. Additionally, Syleena has stepped into the role of Executive Producer. Noticing the chemistry of her background singers, she expressed that they should become a group, and From the Lake Shore was born. Consisting of three of the best indie artists from the Chicago area, Lake Shore is carrying on the rich tradition of R&B that Chicago has produced.
Syleena Johnson could have very well been a statistic of the music industry, but she is a survivor. Years of experience and business smarts have placed the daughter of R&B legend Syl Johnson in position to capitalize on every coming opportunity. Syleena has hit the ground running, and we don’t see her stopping anytime soon.
Nick Eden is a singer/songwriter/R&B junkie based out of Atlanta, GA. He is a winner of the Steve Harvey New Star Project and has recently appeared on BET/Centric’s Apollo Live. His new album Soul|Reloaded will be available January 2013. Experience his love of R&B at www.RnBLova.com and follow him on twitter @nickeden.