LeToya Luckett Talks Return to Music, Special Chemistry with Ludacris & More
She may have made her stamp in the acting world, but LeToya Luckett is a singer at heart, and after a lengthy 7 year break, she has returned with her long-awaited third studio album Back 2 Life, which was released on May 12, 2017, through eOne Music Entertainment.
In a recent interview with Billboard, the Grammy Award-winning original member of Destiny’s Child and actress speaks about her upcoming role as Dionne Warwick, making her first three singles a mini movie, and her special chemistry with Ludacris:
ON BEING HANDPICKED BY DIONNE WARWICK FOR HER BIOPIC: “Dionne reached out to my team, saying she wanted to meet with me. So I flew to New York — because who doesn’t meet with Ms. Dionne Warwick when she calls for you? You just come. So I sat down with her and she offered me the role right there on the spot. I’m honored she would even think of me and so excited about portraying such a phenomenal woman and icon. We’ve already been working one-on-one in the studio on her songs. Just being in the studio with her, I was like am I here? Is this real life? But she’s so cool.”
ON HER SPECIAL CHEMISTRY WITH LUDACRIS: “That’s my brother. I played him the record all the way down and asked him to get on whichever song spoke to him. He chose “Grey,” telling me this is the one I can’t stop listening to, I love the vibe. And man, when he sent his verse back I was like what? Yes! He always kills it.”
ON CHALLENGING HERSELF CREATIVELY: “I don’t operate in fear anymore. That’s the one thing I’ve learned about myself over these last seven years. That’s made it easier for me to walk in my truth.”
ON HER INSPIRATION FOR THE NEW ALBUM: “I wanted people to get to know LeToya in a different way. I’ve always been very safe, laid-back and chill. Now I wanted to be more personable and relatable, more honest. Of course, I wanted to keep it R&B, but the production is very open, not a whole lot of clutter with various instruments. That’s different than my first two albums. “Back 2 Life” is probably something I would have never thought to do before. In the lyrics, I sing about having a hard time moving on from a relationship — and come right out of the gate saying this might be my problem, not yours. We’re quick to blame others a lot of times in those situations but this time I wanted to do some self-reflecting. I was willing to try everything. I didn’t want to be stuck to one thing.”
ON PROMOTING THE ALBUM WITH A 3 PART MINI MOVIE: “I felt that people needed a visual. Remember the old-school days when Michael Jackson would come out with a video? He would do like a whole world premiere. And it would be a movie, not just a regular music video. I wanted to get back to that. This was a story that needed to be told; something that I had gone through and knew people could relate to. Nobody had seen that side of LeToya before: angry, upset, vulnerable and emotional. I prayed on it and went for it.”
ON THE FINAL INSTALLMENT: “It will be the song “In the Name.” And that’s what the whole series is about: the good, bad and ugly of love. Both of the people on-screen in this relationship love hard. Are they on the same page about everything all the time? No. That’s the other thing I wanted to showcase in the miniseries: communication and how vital it is to work through tough situations. I don’t want to give anything away about the new episode, which comes out next month. All I’m going to say is that we do the craziest things in the name of love.”
I LOVE LeToya and I’m glad that she took the time out to really craft an album. The R&B genre has been fluctuating for quite some time, and like Ro James, Maxwell and Mary J. Blige‘s latest albums, LeToya is bringing R&B back into the forefront where it once reigned.