In 2008 Jazmine Sullivan won our hearts with songs like “Need You Bad” and “Bust Your Windows” off of her debut album, Fearless.
Her mix of powerhouse vocals and compelling songwriting created a unique space for her in the music sphere leaving many to wonder why she disappeared from the limelight after her 2010 sophomore album, Love Me Back. “People thought that I stopped because my second album didn’t sell as well. That wasn’t true,” Sullivan tells ESSENCE.com. “I was going through a tough time in life. I was in a relationship, it was not good and it kinda took all my focus from everything.”
The 27-year-old says the relationship—her first “real one—became unhealthy and “got difficult and horrible.” She responded by isolating herself from everything she loved, including her music. “When things are bad, they just take up all of your energy,” she says. “You can’t really see straight. Once I got out of it, I realized that I had stopped doing something that I’d wanted to do all my life. Something that I had been working to do all my life. I realized that I had lost myself. That should have been the last thing I stopped—my music—because I love it.”
Sullivan says her faith and family ultimately helped her get back on track. “God and my family got my mind right,” she says.
She’s now back on the road with a new single, and an album called Reality Show in the works. The Philadelphia native says she’s pleasantly surprised by the public’s anticipation for her comeback. “Other artists can come in and take your place when you’re not there to fill it,” she said. “I’m glad to see that I still have a spot.”
Reporting by Yolanda Sangweni