Check out my exclusive interview with Ledisi via CentricTV.com:
If you’ve seen Ledisi as of late, you probably took a double take. The powerhouse soul singer not only sounds better than ever, but she looks it too. Ever since debuting her slimmer frame and sexier image at Black Girls Rock! late last year, the music world and fans alike have been buzzing.
Now with the release of her new album My Truth, Ledisi is unapologetically herself and unafraid to go after what she wants. In an exclusive interview with CentricTV.com, the singer talks about where her new sense of freedom comes from, embracing self-love and even hints at where she is in her own dating life…sort of. Ledisi also shares some golden advice for readers on finding mister or miss right, how to achieve your best self and love the skin you’re in.
CENTRIC: Describe the sound and lyrical content of My Truth for listeners?
LEDISI: The Truth is different from the Ledisi you used to hear. It’s more uptempo and upbeat. There are two ballads, but it’s very confident and driven with the beat. It’s me talking about love as usual, but it’s more of losing love, letting go of love, gaining love, asking for the love you deserve and accepting the truth as things are instead of just walking in it. I’m really excited about it, it’s all about me and I’m uncovering somethings. It’s also explanatory when you listen to the songs.
Though you’ve been in the music industry for over a decade now, you continue to grow and evolve as an artist…do you feel like you’re just scratching the surface of your artistry?
Yes, I think so. I think I’m slowly just coming into my own bloom. I’m like any other person that’s just growing and allowed to grow. I was focused so heavily on what others think before, but now I just don’t care. My whole thing is just being who I am and being OK with that.
So everyone’s still gushing over your new look, and you look amazing. How would you compare the way you feel in your new body versus the old?
I think a lot of me is the same because I always felt that my self-love was more quiet. [I was] not afraid to shine bright, afraid to say no or yes or afraid to be sensual. It’s always been there, just not as bright. Now I’m just a fireball and I’m having fun. I’m smiling, I feel like I’m getting the love I deserve, I feel like I love who I am in the lane I’m in. It took me being more unafraid and letting go of people who wanted me to be a certain way…conforming to boxes and staying within the lines and that’s what I was doing, playing it safe. And now I’m not.
I’m going outside of the lines. I’m reaching a different audience now musically, but I’m also reaching a different audience with women and asking them to be open and accept the truth about their lives. I love being a mirror. I’m not perfect. There are still things I’m working on, but I’m very much happy. It took journaling, exercising, watching what I eat and not emotional eating, and holding other people accountable for what they do and not holding it in. What’s so great about the truth is you can say, ‘hey, no I don’t like that or I deserve to be treated this way and if I’m not I can move on.’ All the songs on [My Truth] reflect that and the way I’m moving now reflects that and you see it.
What are some fitness or nutrition tips you can share for our readers that helped you?
Regimen is good, but if you can’t keep that up drink plenty of water for your skin. Also, make sure that you make moments for yourself to eat healthy. Make sure you add some greens to [your diet]. You can’t really tell people to work out, but I certainly love to move. I love high heels and dancing, so that’s why I did it. Make a bucket list of things you never thought you never would do and challenge yourself to do it. Then it would be more fun working out, as opposed to it being hard. Having somebody to workout with helps a lot too.
And don’t internalize things. That’s the main thing. When we internalize we consume beverages and things like that to make ourselves feel better, and that’s still an ongoing process for me. It’s not always perfect but it is there, but at least I identify the problem. You have to identify what are the things you have to do better on, and then find things that are fun, so your workouts don’t seem so weird, like it’s a job. I always switch it up.
What advice would you give girls or women who may not feel comfortable in their skin, and who look to celebrities as ideals they feel they can’t achieve?
Make a list of things that you really want to do and walk through the door fearless and go for it. Challenge yourself. You can do it. You have to speak it. No one else can speak or do it for you. You can get a coach and all these different people, but it comes it down to you wanting it and how bad you want something. It starts with you writing out where does the problem lie. It starts from the inside, because when you start on the inside then it will help on the outside. Only you can make that happen. Be around people who are uplifting you, not bringing you down. Find it in a person and go to a place that gives you peace, because sometimes people are afraid to talk to people. I was a loner, but journaling helped me and watching a person that inspired me helped as well.
So we all know you sing about love, but how is your personal love life? Are you dating?
Oh, I’m not going to talk about that [laughs]. I’m just going to say I’m much happier than I’ve ever been in a long time. But it started with me being happy, then I attracted all the things that I ever wanted. You gotta love on you first.
Is there any advice you can give single people who feel like they’ll never find Mr. or Ms. Right?
Stop looking. Don’t start looking just love on you and all of that will radiate out. Everything that you are will attract. So if you’re exuding negativity that’s what you’re going to get. But if you’re exuding a confidence and vibrancy, everybody wants to be around [you]. It’s like bees to honey. All of that will come and then you’ll be like, ‘man, I gotta choose what I want’ [laughs]. If it doesn’t, it will happen in its time. Don’t look, because I’m telling you it’s going to come out of the blue and it’s going to blow you away. Let everything happen naturally…forced isn’t going to work. But don’t be closed. Don’t let old things get in the way of the new things.
Centric has a new original dating series called “According to Him & Her” premiering March 21, and on the show they’ll address certain relationship topics like whether or not the 90-day rule still exists. What do you think?
I like the 90-day rule. I don’t know if they still exist, though. Good luck [laughs]. But they do serve a purpose. You have time to get to know him and see if the crazy is going to come out or not.
AHH will also address the topic of sleeping with other people while on break. What are your personal thoughts? Are there guidelines?
It’s a dialogue. You have to talk about that before you break like, ‘we break, that means I’m not committed to you, you’re not committed to me.’ You have to say it out loud and say the truth. If something comes along, I want to be able to have the luxury of this. You have to talk about it before you take that break. That’s fair. But don’t just assume. Assuming things will get you in trouble.
Other than the new album, is there anything else we can expect from you this year?
We’re touring. I’m hoping to release some books…we’ll see. But right now I’m just focusing on the [My Truth] tour. It’s a big deal for me. The response to the music has been so great, so I want to make sure I execute properly on stage. Whatever else comes I don’t know…I’m trying to enjoy right now.