2015 was a year of revitalization for Vivian Green; she scored her biggest hit in a decade, released an album that was decidedly different from previous offerings, and ended the year with a Soul Train Award nomination. What does she have planned for an encore? Plenty. Green’s partnership with Kwamé Holland, yes the one with the polka dots, has led to a shift in her sound that was heard immediately from the beginning of her hit “Get Right Back to My Baby.” It was her first up-tempo release, a fact not lost on her, her fans, or her new producer.
“Kwamé told me that I’m this fun-loving girl, but the music doesn’t reflect my personality. He thought I was this sad, brokenhearted woman. No one ever put it that way before,” Green said. From that point, there was a new energy in the studio and the result was her highest-charting single since 2005 and the album, Vivid, which showed a new side of the singer we’d been getting to know since 2001. The Kwamé connection was forged as she put the finishing touches on 2012’s The Green Room. Mutual friends encouraged the two to work together, which led to them heading into the studio a year or so later and building a synergy which resulted in Kwamé overseeing the entire project. During the recording process, Capitol Records offered him a label deal and it was only natural for Vivian to sign on as an artist, instead of shopping the work they’d done to other labels.
Each album, each stage of Vivian Green’s career has marked her growth; from a teenager living and writing the experience of a first major heartbreak that poured into A Love Story, to the music biz veteran and mother years later in an industry that has changed its practice of truly nurturing artists and their sounds. Vivid offers a look at love, and life, from various perspectives, but does not portray the storyteller as broken or sad. Instead, we have Vivian the Conqueror, stronger, wiser, better.
That strength has developed with maturity and with the birth of her son, Jordan, who was born with an unknown syndrome and given a short life expectancy by doctors. Twelve years later, he’s still beating the odds and living the life of a normal preteen. Sure, there are challenges, but he is a blessing to not only his mom, but everyone he comes in contact with. On the horizon, Green has become a spokesperson for special needs children and will soon be seen in a series of PSAs advocating awareness and support for children and families.
In the meantime, Vivian Green continues to tour and her latest single “I’m Not Broken,” a favorite of many, is soon to be in rotation at radio stations around the country. In addition, she’s working hard to improve her social media game by being more engaged and interactive with fans on Twitter and Facebook. Thankfully, she’s not going to make us wait too long for new music.
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer; Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary, rooted in independent thought can be found at www.theworldaccording2teef.com and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.