Brandy Norwood is no stranger to juggling the music and film scene. She had an early start in 1993 on TV series “Thea” and was 15 years old when her debut album, “Brandy,” was released the following year. Two years later, she became the star of the UPN network sitcom “Moesha.”
Screaming fans and attendees of the sixth annual Global Fusion Festival chanted, “Brandy!” — calling the award-winning R&B singer/actress to return to the stage after her headlining performance last Saturday.
Brandy left her mark at the festival, gracing the stage singing “Put it Down” from her upcoming album, “Two Eleven,” along with songs that took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She performed a few of her ’90s hits, including “I Wanna Be Down” and “Baby” from her 1994 album titled “Brandy.”
Following a slew of artists, including Kenny Lattimore, Luke James, Elle Varner and Kendrick Lamar, Brandy’s finale was complete after the persistent crowd got her to return on stage for one more song. The crowd cheered and sang along as Brandy came back and performed “The Boy is Mine,” a 1998 duet with award-winning singer/actress Monica.
She won a Grammy award for the “Boy is Mine,” from her best-selling album, “Never Say Never,” then later released albums “Full Moon,” “Afrodisiac” and “Human.” With a wide-range of awards under her belt and making “Billboard’s Hot 100 Song of the Year,” Brandy also had various roles on both TV sitcoms and in films including, “Cinderella” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Balancing acting and singing, Brandy explained that after being on a hiatus for some time — “It’s time to get out there and work.”
She plans to continue her role on BET’s show “The Game,” while maintaining her singing career.
“It’s also about finding time to make quality time for the people that you love, plus the fans that I love too, so it works itself out — it’s a lot of fun though,” Brandy explained in a press conference following the show. “I like them [music and acting] both, they both give me a different feeling.”
Brandy’s upcoming album is heavily influenced by her surroundings. She explained that music is “therapeutic” and a way to express whatever is going on in her life — including her love life.
“I feel like the chapter in my life in the last couple of years is what the album represents,” she said. “Music is supposed to come from an honest place, I’m definitely celebrating the fact that love has definitely entered my life in a very positive way.”
In Brandy’s newest album, fans can look forward to experiencing “the core of R&B,” as she describes it. She expressed the joy of working with writers like singer/songwriter/producer Sean Garret and Ester Dean and producers like Grammy-award winning producer Bangladesh. Brandy was also enthused about her work with various artists, including R&B singer Frank Ocean, who she describes as a “genius and a gift to the world.”
With the excitement of her upcoming album and continuing to remain close to her R&B roots, Brandy was pleased with the positive feedback from the Philly audience.
“The crowd was unbelievable, they were chanting through the quiet moments in the show, it just felt like everybody was my friend — that’s how it felt from the moment I got here,” she said. “I just felt really welcomed and at home — I like Philly —
there are some good people from Philly.”
Brandy smiled, referencing her boyfriend, Ryan, who is from Philadelphia.
Brandy’s upcoming album, “Two Eleven,” is scheduled to release Oct. 2.