Tevin Campbell Is Ready To Release New Music
Photo by Ethan Miller/BET/Getty Images for BET

Tevin Campbell says he’s ready to come back to the world with new music. And if his “Surprise + Delight” Performance at Coca-Cola’s #IfNotForMyGirls activation Friday at Essence Festival in New Orleans is any indication, the fans are ready to receive.

Despite a shaky start to “I’m Ready,” due to some sound issues, Tevin Campbell took no time to show that the Twitterverse was right in shutting down all slander thrown his way last summer.

By the time he transitioned into his 1993 hit single “Can We Talk,” a crowd had gathered well past the boundaries of the Coca-Cola activation area in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, with fans stopping dead in their tracks to document the moment.

I had a point to prove because I know a lot of people don’t think that I can sing anymore.

“I loved the response and the welcome,” Campbell told ESSENCE following the performance. “I did feel like I had a point to prove because I know a lot of people don’t think that I can sing anymore since it’s been years. So when they show up to events like this, it’s really to come and see.”

With his vocal ability reconfirmed, Campbell revealed that he has been working on new music.

“It was a conscious decision [to leave the spotlight],” he explained of his decades-long hiatus. “I started when I was 11 and it was all work until I was 21. It was important for my health for me to step away.”

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“But now, I’m ready to come back,” Campbell added, sharing that he has honed in on the sound that he wants and is working to build the team that will support his come back. “I’m making new music to sustain my soul. I have a lot to say, I need to get it out. I do ultimately wanna go back to Broadway and do live theater; I wanna act. But singing is my love. I feel like I’m sitting on a pot of gold.”

Essence Festival continues through Sunday.