Powerful, jazzy, and damn, that girl can blow are probably a few of the phrases that come to mind when the name Chrisette Michele is mentioned. At least they should be. We first heard Chrisette incredible voice on tracks of two of the biggest names in Hip-Hop, Nas (“Can’t Forget About You”) and Jay-Z (“Lost Ones”). Her unique sound of old school sound mixed with new school sensibility had us chomping at the bit for more. Chrisette’s Grammy award-winning, debut album I Am delivered in spades with classics like “Good Girl”, “Golden,” and “If I Have My Way”. Now she’s back with her sophomore offering and there’s been a few changes. But even with a new hairstyle, a slimmer sexier physique, and a new outlook on love Chrisette is still talking that real talk about love and relationships. We caught up with the soulful chanteuse to discuss the new album, dating, and being vulnerable in public.
For her second album, Chrisette went for the big guns, going into the studio with some of the some of the biggest names in the industry – producers Claude Kelly, Rodney Jerkins, Chuck Harmony and superstar singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. Titled Epiphany, the album is a breakup album, discussing those painful moments everyone deals with at the end of a relationship. In fact, it was Ne-Yo that encouraged Chrisette to share her experiences with love and have a public epiphany. “He was like, ‘you know Chrissette, you’re not the only person who’s ever gone through that. You’re not the only person that’s gone through a breakup. You’re not the only person that’s ever been hurt. So why don’t you let people be a part of your story the way you are a part of theirs?’ It was really awkward at first, but it ended up becoming beautiful because the music is incredible.”
“One thing I pride myself in is not being afraid to experiment, not being afraid to enjoy the music for what it really is… You’ll definitely be able to bop your head, it’s a little bit more urban this time around.”
The title track “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” is more upbeat than some of her previous work and it’s no accident. Chrisette wanted to show fans that there is more to her than what we heard on the previous album. “One thing I pride myself in is not being afraid to experiment, not being afraid to enjoy the music for what it really is… You’ll definitely be able to bop your head, it’s a little bit more urban this time around.” Even though Epiphany is a breakup album, don’t expect to be whipping out a hanky anytime soon. The album is filled with the optimism of a woman not afraid to open her heart and love again.” I didn’t want people to go buy my album and then go jump in the lake that would just suck! I tried to have happy endings for all of the songs, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“You know what? I’m the type of girl that will date someone who was a friend for a really long time because we’re so close. A lot of times the physical doesn’t count because you fall in love with the person that’s inside and you find them to be beautiful from the inside out.”
When it comes to finding love, the bubbly beauty is still on the search for “the one.” A self-described “corny romantic,” she has a pretty good idea of what she’s looking for in a mate. Being stable and religious are two good qualities to have if you want to get to know Ms. Michele, and this is one case where being in the friend zone might not be such a bad thing. “You know what? I’m the type of girl that will date someone who was a friend for a really long time because we’re so close. A lot of times the physical doesn’t count because you fall in love with the person that’s inside and you find them to be beautiful from the inside out.”
As she waits for the release of her album on May 5th, Chrisette has some advice for fans contemplating if they too, might be just about over being someone’s girlfriend. “Don’t be enclosed in a relationship with just you and the guy, unless of course you’re married, then it’s really private. But the space most women are in today – just dating still, having a good time and trying to figure things out, ask your friends and your mom and your dad for advice. Because a lot of time we feel like we’re the only one and we’re not…We’ve got a lot of silly ideas on what it means to love someone, so it’s good to listen to other people.”