Lyfe Jennings is gearing up for the highly anticipated 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour and, mentally kneading those creative juices, in preparation for the finalization (yay) of his seventh studio album but took out time from his busy schedule to talk about what he’s been up to lately. Music lovers first laid eyes on the platinum selling artist, in 2004, with the release of his freshman album, Lyfe 268-192. His redolent single, “Must Be Nice”, celebrated healthy relationships where materialism died and substance progressed.
The gritty and soulful vocals took listeners to a place of familiar when lyrics told an exquisite story about affection, understanding, love, and evolution. His second album, The Phoenix, dropped two years later in 2006, with “S.E.X” as the earthy and compelling single. In Jennings’ truth-telling style, he addressed the lurking complications and stigmas of engaging in sexual activity outside of a committed relationship.
Over a decade and six albums later, the didactic innuendos, in his music, are still the same but in a more up-to-date fashion, like his song “#Hashtag” from the 2015-released Tree of Lyfe. Jennings says that his latest project won’t be the last. Another “yay”!
“I’m never going to retire from music as this is how I get stress off my chest.” He continues with how he explores “different stuff” on the next album which is almost done. “I’ve got three country songs, three pop songs, and three R&B classics songs from Lyfe.” Expanding some more, he says “music is so much in a box. If you’re black, you gotta do black music, and if you’re white, you gotta stay over here. I’m just trying to cross over some of those barriers.”
On a roll, he continues to elaborate with “When I say crossover, I don’t mean so much radio. I think further back to the ‘60s and ‘70s when there was not really such a thing as black music. It was just music. You had people playing Chubby Checker just as much as they were playing Aerosmith. I kinda want to get back to that. I respect great music and I don’t care who it comes from. Man, I think people need to be reminded of that.”
Jennings anticipates that he’ll release his next project around May of 2017, with a buzz single dropping in conjunction with the start of the NuSoul Revival Tour which kicks off on February 3rd in Raleigh, NC. He said that all of his albums are comparable however they beat from a more refined and cultural set of heartstrings with each passing year. The cautionary tale spinner believes that the framework of the next project will appeal to more people without sacrificing his identity as an artist.
Speaking of those melodious skills, Jennings performed at last year’s inaugural ATL Soul Life Music Festival which drew over 10,000 soul and R&B music lovers, from all over the U.S. After a second successful festival, the NuSoul Revival Tour was birthed and will, once again, bring together some of the genre’s finest. He says that it was a great experience to take part in the festival, and he’s ecstatic to participate in the 22-city tour. “It probably makes me feel even better being reminded that there is still a market for R&B so we’re winning there.” His next statement couldn’t be more refreshing. “There should always be a place for soul quenching rhythm and blues.”
Jennings spent this past summer making a few appearances on VH1’S hit reality TV series LHHATL, and more recently he was spotted in the BET movie, Hollywood Hearts.
The musician and actor who lives Atlanta, makes it a point to spend as much time as possible with his children. He balances fatherhood, television, and music in the most benevolent way possible. “It’s putting everything in the proper perspective,” he says. “When I have my kids, I don’t do babysitters, meetings or all that stuff. I’m with my kids. And when I do my music and business stuff, I’m doing that. I try to focus on what I’m doing at the time.”
As previously mentioned, Lyfe Jennings will release a single early in 2017 in conjunction with the start of the 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour where he’ll join Musiq Soulchild, Kindred the Family Soul, and Avery*Sunshine on stage. Visit www.NuSoulRevivalTour.com to find out if the tour is going to your city and how to purchase tickets.