Two things that set a select few artists apart from the pack are their compulsion and ability to give their craft all that they’ve got. From the beginning, Brandy has delivered the very best of herself whether on stage or in the studio.

Like, do you remember what you felt when “Have You Ever?” took over the airwaves? Or the pride in knowing that Moesha was allowed to thrive in all her Black-girl-coming-of-age beauty, brass, and sass? What about when Full Moon dropped and you realized there were literally no skips on that album?

Back in 1994, when her first studio album made the world recognize just how unmatched little Black girls were, and even now, with her seventh studio album B7 just hours away, Brandy Norwood has been a living example of what is possible when you do what you love and choose to believe that you are limitless.

She recently stopped by ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! Podcast to reminisce about her trajectory and how it has led to beautiful new music that is brimming with self-exploration.

“I would have to say B7 is a love letter to my higher self,” the songstress told Yes, Girl! co-hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn. “This album is such a vulnerable, personal album for me. I took this time to use my music as a way to heal through some of the experiences that I’ve been through.”

Album listeners will also notice bold and beautiful nods to the singer’s mentor and fairy godmother, the late and legendary Whitney Houston, throughout the album with the striking cover that echoes one of Houston’s iconic costumes from The Bodyguard as well as the first track titled “Saving All My Love.”

Brandy’s New Album Is The Ultimate Love Letter To Her ‘Highest Self’

“In the song I say, ‘I’m kind of like the GOAT.’ And the GOAT to me is Whitney Houston,” Brandy said on the podcast. “We have same priorities, I look up to her, but I’m not saving all my love for you. That’s my paying homage, but I’m also saying, I’m not quite the same, when it comes to that song that she sang.”

There is no shortage of authenticity on the album with Brandy singing triumphantly and reverently about the obstacles she’s overcome—from loss to heartbreak—and how it’s all helped her grow into her fullest, highest self.

“I was able to be honest with myself and some of the things that I’ve gone through, and to come out on the other side and to finish it, and to be proud of it, to just be honest through your art, it’s a blessing.”

You can hear the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And don’t forget to follow @essencepodcasts on Instagram!