August marked a significant moment in the career of multi-talented artist Persia White. Known for her role as Lynn Searcy on the hit CW sitcom Girlfriends, White is stepping back into the spotlight with the release of her long-awaited album, Love Letters.
White’s return to the music scene comes after a decade-long hiatus. “Music has always been a core part of my creative process and is very important to me,” White told ESSENCE. “I’ve been creating and playing music at home primarily on my piano. My music slowly became more of a soundtrack to our lives and served as inspiration music while my husband Joseph worked on creative projects, or the dogs lounged in the sun. I managed to also score music for a few indie projects, but most of my music lived in my heart, and home.”
In her home, she would perfect her innovative and genre-blending artistry, which has earned her a place among some of the industry’s most respected artists, including collaborations with renowned musicians like Gary Wallis of Pink Floyd, Dominique Miller of Sting, and Tricky. Working with such talent taught Persia how to metaphorically walk the tightrope between the technicality of music while also being open-minded on where her artistry could go. “There’s a magic that only unfolds in the present moment if you allow it to,” she said. “I feel so fortunate to have had the honor of witnessing incredible artists create, and they all tend to evoke the spirit of play when creating.”
The album is arguably White’s magnum opus, a 12-song journey fused with electronic, soul, trip-hop, and rock influences into a sound she describes as “electro-hybrid Black girl magic.” And after working on Girlfriends for eight years, she learned that her character Lynn, was representative of that same Black girl magic she spoke of, that many other Black women resonated with. “Millions of Black women connected to my free-spirited, hybrid taste in music, art, and alternate life perspectives. Women, especially Black and brown women, are the most diverse, beautiful, strong creatures on the planet,” White said. “We are not given the same advantages as men, we sacrifice all too often, but we love, we adapt, and we prevail. Like wildflowers in the wind, we push, reach, pull, evolve, and grow towards the light, we are people of the sun.”
As far as a Girlfriends reunion, White is holding out hope that maybe one day the foursome can come together again. But for now, she said that they keep in contact, and have a “deep connection” that spans over two decades. “I’ve been praying for a reunion, and if I have one wish in life, it would be to get back on the screen with my Girlfriends and tell our stories again.”
Nonetheless, the new album takes listeners on an emotional journey, weaving together tales of love, loss, and resilience in the face of heartbreak. Each song is connected to White’s lived experience, making Love Letters a deeply personal body of work. On songs such as “Across Oceans,” “Naked,” and “Love Letters Because I Miss You,” White bares her soul, recalling crying in studio recordings and admittedly feeling overly exposed.
“Every song has a story behind it, a love letter so to speak, and is connected to my real life. When someone you love dies, it feels like a part of your heart has been ripped out of your chest and you can’t breathe. At first, I couldn’t really confront or look at my loss, because it hurt too much,” the Girlfriends star said.
What sets Love Letters apart is Persia’s full creative control over the project. She not only wrote all the songs but also handled production and arrangement duties. To ensure the album reached its full sonic potential, Persia enlisted the expertise of mixing engineer George Seara, known for his work with industry heavyweights like Taylor Swift, Drake, and Shawn Mendes. Mastering was executed by the legendary Chris Gehringer, who has worked with icons like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Lana Del Rey.
When asked about the difficulties of fully crafting this project herself, she replied, “Oh mama yes, it was very challenging. Being an indie artist is not an easy path. I worked on each element, structure, lyrics, mixing, and arrangements, one at a time for about twelve months,” White explained. “The indie approach is much harder, but it also can be very gratifying. It gave me full creative freedom to make music that is cinematic, and authentic. Music that helps paint visual stories.”
Love Letters will be available to fans independently through White’s label, Hybrid Music. This musical project not only showcases her artistic versatility but also her commitment to sustainable music production. The album will also be released as a limited edition 12” LP pressed on BIO vinyl, making it one of the world’s first plastic-free vinyl records ever produced. White said that she’s “dedicated to help create sustainable solutions for our planet” because the children of today “deserve a fighting chance for an inhabitable future.”
White also just shot the video for “NOLA” in the vibrant city of New Orleans. The music video, set to be released on October 27, will be a visual masterpiece that captures the spirit of the Big Easy. In line with the belief in the significance of youth as future leaders, the proceeds from the “NOLA” single will be donated to The Roots of Music, a music school in New Orleans dedicated to empowering the city’s youth through music education, academic support, and mentorship while preserving and promoting its unique musical and cultural heritage.
Love Letters is available to stream now on popular platforms such as iTunes, Bandcamp, and her official website.