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Sunshine Anderson on New Music, Love and Divorce

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Relationships can burn you, but a heartfelt lyric based in honesty and harmony from Sunshine Anderson has been known to help with the sting. Anderson, best recognized for her smash single "Heard It All Before" from her gold-selling debut album, is back with a new project. After disappointing sales from her sophomore album, an ended marriage and an extended hiatus, the certified cosmetologist is excited about her return to music. Anderson is proof that the sun always shines again. Always. Sunshine sat down with ESSENCE.com to discuss her continued belief in love and what Matthew Knowles taught her about the music business. ESSENCE.com: You've taken long breaks in between dropping albums. Is there a reason for that? SUNSHINE ANDERSON: I'm not exactly sure why my albums don't come out consecutively each year. I guess, I've just been living life. I'm a mom and a hairstylist in one of the hottest salons in Atlanta. ESSENCE.com: "Heard It All Before" and your new single, "Lie to Kick It" both address cheating and other common relationship issues. Was that an intentional formula? ANDERSON: It's become part of who I am. Ladies like the idea that they can come to me to carry the torch and wave that red flag. I ride for my sisters. I also like to talk about more than the trials and tribulations of a relationship. I tell these men, 'Give me something to talk about. Let me know that you're the stand-up gentleman or good father. But you have to deal with what's real first and what might be real in your own life when you get ready to record an album. It's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. ESSENCE.com: You've worked with some heavyweights in your career. You were signed to Matthew Knowles' label and Macy Gray was your manager at one point. What lessons did you learn from both of them? ANDERSON: Both were great situations. Macy Gray taught me a lot, like the importance of a team. Your team has to be on one accord for things to work correctly. I will be forever indebted to her for that lesson alone. From Matthew Knowles, I learned that this is a business, and you must handle it as such. ESSENCE.com: Are there any themes on the new album? ANDERSON: It's definitely a relationship album. I'm an ESSENCE woman so I know ESSENCE women can relate to my songs and music. Whether a single parent or a married woman. ESSENCE.com: You're now in the process of getting a divorce. Are you looking for love? Do you still believe in love? ANDERSON: I definitely still believe in love and marriage. I'm just taking my time. Since this past relationship, I've discovered things about myself like my love for cooking and reading. I think sometimes you sacrifice things in a relationship and end up losing yourself. I know that in time, God will bring that perfect man. "The Sun Shines Again" comes out today.
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