Veteran r&b singer Syleena Johnson is getting ready to release her new album, and she’s just released a lyric video for single “Make Me Yours”. Her upcoming album “Rebirth of Soul” alongside father Syl Johnson will release on November 10th, 2017.
REBIRTH OF SOUL features Syleena Johnson’s searing interpretations of classic R&B songs, mainly from the Fifties and Sixties, recorded in real time with live musicians just the way “real music” used to be made. As Syl Johnson notes,”People don’t use live musicians much anymore; but every musician brings his heart to a recording.” Recording in Chicago, Syl Johnson’s long-time base and Syleena’s hometown, the sessions include musicians who played on hit R&B recordings there over the years and a majority of the album features songs associated with Chicago artists, songwriters or record labels.
Syleena shares, “The inspiration behind REBIRTH OF SOUL is my father. I wanted to honor him and classic soul music in a time when auto tune and electronic beats reign supreme. While I am not against this kind of creative musicianship, there is so much more to the real thing. True Soul music tells stories…stories that can heal a nation.” The songs on REBIRTH OF SOUL, hand-picked by Syl Johnson, run the gamut from lesser-known gems such as Betty Everett’s “There’ll Come A Time,” Johnson’s own “We Did It” and Bettye Swann’s “Make Me Yours” to such landmark hits as “Chain of Fools” and “I’d Rather Go Blind,” done definitively by Aretha Franklin and Etta James respectively. Syleena manifests an uncanny ability to get inside of each song, digging deep to deliver passionate performances that bring a fresh spark to even the best known selections.
“For each song I channeled the emotions of the record,” Syleena confides. “I put myself in the mind of each storyteller and in doing this I was able to merge myself into the story of each record. This is how I was able to put my own personal stamp on each record.” A stand-out track is Syleena’s version of her father’s 1969 Black Power anthem (Is It Because I am Black) originally arranged by Donny Hathaway, which seems all-too-relevant today. “It has been made apparent that we are still dealing with some of the same issues today as we have in the past,” Syleena notes. “The state of our country shows how this song can still resonate even now. This is also a testament to how Soul Music still lives on.”