Longevity relies on progression. A lasting catalog evolves with its creator, growing, changing, and expanding in tandem to the artist. Once again, platinum-selling and critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, actress, and activist Vivian Green continues to progress six albums into her illustrious career on the aptly titled, VGVI [Make Noise/Caroline]—pronounced “vee-gee-six.”
Driven by the show-stopping voice that enchanted millions upon her emergence with 2002’s gold-certified debut A Love Story, the record sees the songstress tread new territory yet again. “I wanted to do something brighter and more upbeat,” she reveals. “If a song was sad, it needed to have a certain attitude, energy, and life to it. I’ve done sad songs. I love them, of course. However, I wanted to evolve.”
That evolution began with the release of 2015’s Vivid. Going Top 10, the album earned her highest chart entry in over a decade on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, garnered acclaim from Vibe and YouKnowIGotSoul, and yielded a bona fide hit in the form of “Get Right Back To My Baby.”
Vivian wasted no time getting right back into the studio to record what would become VGVI with producer Kwamé.
“We wanted to continue what we started with Vivid and take it to another level of synergy as far as us working on an entire project for the second consecutive time around,” she goes on.
“We thought about what we did on the last one and how we could do it better. We also didn’t wait around. I usually have long breaks between albums—not this time.”
The collaborators began recording at Kwamé’s studio in January 2017 and pushed to perfect the foundation they built two years prior. Meticulously laboring over each note, the final product benefits from a close, near-obsessive attention to detail on behalf of the producer and the artist.
The first single “I Don’t Know” illuminates Vivian’s progression. Reggae guitar and drums simmer under a scorching verse before she delivers a soulfully sexy confession during the hook. “It’s like R&B reggae,” she smiles. “It’s a different side of me as an artist. Lyrically, it talks about finding ‘The one’ from a new perspective. Usually, it’s excitedly like, ‘I’ve found the one!’ As an experienced woman, I’m saying ‘I don’t know if he’s the one, but it’s fun to get that teenage feeling again.’ That’s something I wouldn’t have ever written 10 years ago.”
“I Don’t Know” gave Vivian another top 10 UAC radio hit and now she is following it up with her feel good Summer jam “Vibes” .
Elsewhere, she revisits Vivid favorite “Just Like Fools,” but with re-recorded vocals and a cameo from none other than Musiq Soulchild. Their two voices entwine in heavenly harmony over the horn-punctuated production.
“We couldn’t get the duet done in time on the last album,” she recalls. “However, I always thought it would be more powerful than me just singing alone. Musiq killed it. It discusses love and the rules everyone tells you to follow. This is all about throwing that rule book out, doing what you feel, and rushing in like fools.”
VGVI concludes with one of her most powerful and passionate performances yet. The finale “Stop Sleeping (See The Light)” sees Vivian embrace her platform like never before. “I’ve done inspirational songs, but I’ve never done a song like ‘Stop Sleeping (See The Light)’ that expresses my social views,” she admits. “At certain times in life, you have to be more vocal.
I wanted to make sure I said something about what’s going on in our country. This was a first for me.” Outside of music, Vivian’s voice echoes throughout culture. As an actress, she appeared in the Golden Globe- and GRAMMY Award-nominated film De-Lovely as well as the TV show American Dreams. She also remains a staunch advocate for the rights of children with special needs spearheading the #IamDifferentIamHuman PSA campaign.
In the end, VGVI expands on Vivian’s legacy as her brightest, boldest, and biggest body of work to date. “I hope people can feel the emotion,” she leaves off. “When they hear it, I want them to be able to live with it. It’s a little different for me. You can work out to it, cook to it, clean to it, and do all of those things we do. I want this to be one of those records that becomes a part of your
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