Brandy is set to have a massive 2012, highlighted by a recurring part on the BET sitcom The Game" beginning in January and a role in Tyler Perry's upcoming film, The Marriage Counselor. But the 32-year-old singer isn't just returning with a vengeance to the camera—she's also readying her sixth studio album. She sat down recently with Billboard.com to talk about the new LP, Frank Ocean and her upcoming role on The Game.
Brandy said she took her time making the new album, and was focused on expanding and updating her sound. "What I'm truly excited about is how the album is all about R&B and figuring out the new sound of R&B, and that was the challenge for me," she said. "I wanted to do something different—I didn't want to just sing about love over regular beats. I think the fans have been very patient with me, but I just wanted to make sure that this album was right—the right type of music, the right core. I feel like we're getting to that point where I felt comfortable with putting something out."
The as-yet-untitled album is set to drop in March 2012 via Brandy's new deal with RCA/Chameleon Records. It features production and songwriting from Sean Garrett, Rico Love, Bangladesh, Timabland and Jim Jonsin.
R&B upstart Frank Ocean also worked with Brandy on the album, after co-writing "1st & Love" from her last LP, Human. "We've always had that great chemistry, and we both understand music in the same ways," Brandy says of Ocean. "To work with him on this album was great as well, and I hope I can get in [the studio] with him some more because his music is just so moving; I'm inspired by him. I think he's a great artist and he hasn't even touched on what he will touch on in the future."
Brandy also discussed her return to TV as a feisty bartender named Chardonnay on BET's The Game. The singer is slated to appear on 10 episodes of the hit series, beginning Jan. 10. "[Chardonnay] has her goals and she's always rolling her neck and snapping her fingers, and I just love that," says Brandy. "I feel like she's an alter ego, because I can be very sassy in my normal life."
But above all, Brandy is looking forward to hitting the stage in 2012 and directly connecting with her fanbase. "I haven't been on tour in God knows how long," she says, "so it's definitely time to revisit the stage and really look at the fans eye-to-eye. Nothing beats that."
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