[SOUND] Welcome back to Essence Live. Joining me now, in studio, I have the talented, beautiful songstress Tweet. How are you? I'm great. How are you? I'm fabulous. I'm so excited that you're here and welcome To Essence LIve. Thanks for for having me. I love it. Thanks for being here. There's so much I want to cover with you. So first, I mean this might be an obvious question that's you're starting to get quite a bit, before there was twitter, there was tweet? So I have to ask you where did your name come from? Well, my dad gave me that nickname when I was little. So I've always been Tweet. I don't think I heard my real name. Charlene unless I was in trouble or something like that. Uh-oh. And now once Twitter came about, I'm like, wait, hold on, maybe I should have Trademarked that. [LAUGH] Yeah. I think I almost sometimes want to kick myself in the head, because we had that conversation, Mona Scott and I who was managing me at the time. We were gonna trade market to that extent, but we didn't. We'll get back to it is what the conversation was and we missed out on it. Has Mona reached out to you since then and say, told you so? No, no. [LAUGH] Mm, told you so. No. Right, right. No. And before we start to talk about the new album, I want to take a step back. I've been brushing up on my tweet knowledge. And I read quite a bit that you were in a girl's group prior to Connecting with Missy Elliot, but you had kind of a dark period there, between leaving the group. Right. And before Missy made the phone call. Would you share a little bit with us about that? Well, Missy and I have known each other since around '94, and when I was in girl group, Sugar, she was in Sister, and we all worked together. Okay. Durante Cojolacy had created He wanted to recreate Motown, so he had a whole collection of artists, which was Sister, Missy, Sugar, myself, Magoo, Timberland, Ginuwine, Player, so we all were a group called the Basement Crew, and at that time, we had spent years trying to come out as a group and all that stuff, but it didn't work. Missy left to become who She is now. But and I stay with the group. And we went through a lot of stuff of re-recording our album. From time to time, I had a daughter. And I couldn't really support her. So that was the beginning of my depression. Coming home and not being able to do stuff for her. That you wanted to do. Yeah what I wanted to do. But then when the call came from Missy it was heaven sent, and I'm here. So she played a big role. So and what did you take away from that experience in terms of I guess about perseverance or continuing to move forward? Did it tell you something like you know what maybe the universe intervenes at just the right time. You know, it does because Actually at the moment Missy called was the day I was contemplating doing something crazy. You know what I mean? Sometimes when we go through stuff we think, I wasn't going to go through it, but those thoughts come. Right? Right. Maybe if I do this you know? That's scary enough. Yes, scary. Just having it enter your mind. Yeah, yeah, so For sure, it was heaven sent. And the universe did what it, you know. So it was at the right time. And so how did you make the transition then from working with Missy on her album and contributing vocals and creative support, if you will, To your own first album. Well, at that time, Missy flew me out to L.A. to do the vocals and I was upstairs in a room and playing guitar and I played Motel and I was just by myself and she was hiding on the steps listening.. She didn't know at the time that I could play the guitar. Oh. So she came up. She was like what were you doing? I was like, playing some of my songs. She was like. You have some more songs. Cuz she knows I can write and all that stuff. And I played her, like Smoking Cigarettes and Motel. And she was like, oh, we're gonna take you to Sylvia Ron, Electra. And I got a deal. Right? Like I wasn't expecting to go out to LA to get a deal at all. To me, your sound is like, you could listen to it in the club, but at the same time, you could listen to it sitting at home or in the car, and you really start to think, and you start thinking And then, we have all these hits from you. And then all of a sudden you take a hiatus. What led to that? Well, in 2005 the second album, It's Me Again, at that time Electra merged with Atlantic. And so, Sylvia [UNKNOWN] wasn't there anymore and none of the team that built, helped me Put out Southern Hummingbird wasn't there. So it was kind of a lack of support. Okay, that you needed or maybe that you clicked with, that energy? Nothing like the first album, nothing like Sylvia Rome was given. I mean. So I decided to take time off. You know? And at that time, not only was music not going right. The music business. But my personal life wasn't going good. I wasn't really happy. You know my love life, my boyfriend had had a baby on me. You know it just wasn't right. [NOISE] Yeah, mm-hm. So everything hit the fan as they will say. Right, right. So I've decided, you know, let me just get myself together and God if this is really what I'm supposed to do I know it will come back around. So that's why I had to get myself together. And during that break what are your thoughts on kinda the present state of R&B music. Because it's changed, the sounds changed a little bit. People aren't necessarily putting out full bodies of work anymore. So what are your thoughts on that?>>I think with music we need to get go back to the basics. Musicianship, real instruments, and so much just pushing a button, Yeah. Like let's get back to that and I think that's what's happened. We lost the soul of it. The soul of music, the musicianship is missing. So hence the new album Charlene. Charlene. Yes. And that's going to be out top of 2016? January 22, 2016. Noted. And that's your birthday isn't it? The day after. The day after. I been doing my Google girl. Yeah. [LAUGH] I been doing my Google on you the whole time. That's a really awesome birthday present to give yourself. Yes, it is, right. And I read that a lot of the inspiration for the album came from your journals and from your writing. Mm-hm. So tell me a little bit about what we will hear. Any guest artists? At this point, I just want to give them Charlene because I've been gone so long. Fans just want me, so this album is just gonna be me. And it's again pages out of my diary, so you'll know what I've been going through. Love loss, love, all of that. And do you work with Missy on this album? Yes, Missy has a song on there. It's called Somebody Else Will and it talks about, it you don't love me, somebody else will. Mm-hm, okay. And that's what it is. That's going out to my boyfriend my ex. [LAUGH] Message. I always like to send messages through Essence Live. Right. Message. Right. Behavior. Great. And are working with Stepha Lan at all on this particular album? Not this album. Now I have to ask you, because he's such a large part of Empire. Do you follow Empire at all? Yes. Do you think we might see you there? You had some acting credits on your resume. If they would have me I would love to. Yes, why not? And of course you're going to have to come back to Essence live and perform some of those tracks and songs for us? Yes, I will. Thank you so very much for taking the time to sit and chat with us on Essence Live. You have to come back I will Please do not be a stranger. I will not. And of course keep your eyes open and peeled, Essence.com for that new tweet album Sharling coming out January 22nd, 2016. Don't go anywhere, Essence Live will be right back.
READ MORE LESS