June 16, 2024

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Keri Hilson Talks New Music: ‘I’m Free and I’m Ready’

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It’s been nearly 13 years since Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Keri Hilson released an album. 

After an extended wait, new music appears on the horizon for Hilson. In a recent interview on the R&B Money Podcast, co-hosted by Tank and J Valentine, Hilson confirmed that she has fresh tunes that she’s ready to share. 

“Now it’s back to music,” Hilson said when asked what’s next for her. “That’s all there’s left to do. I’m not done. I’m not finished.”

Hilson explained that there were certain burdens she had to let go of to allow her to truly focus on what fans have been waiting for. “It took a second. A lot of things happened that prevented it. I blame it on one thing, but really, it was years of a struggle…I fought through that, but I’m free, and I’m ready,” she explained.

Hilson continued, “Sometimes you can’t create with burdens – with a dark cloud. I feel closest to God when I’m creating…That is supposed to be a burdenless space. That is supposed to be full freedom. I’m a channel in this moment. I’m a vessel. I need to listen. I need to hear. But there was so much stress, depression, division amongst my team…one thing after the next…and then my dad died.”

She also revealed that she previewed the music she has worked on and has received positive feedback. “When you’re not struggling and have to force things out, you can take your time and make sure it’s what you want to present. I played it for someone the other day — someone who really knows, who’s been on top for a very long time — who called my music ‘tall and mighty.’” 

While Hilson didn’t provide additional information about the music, she did note, “We’re starting to take meetings to figure out how we want to do this thing [and] where we want to do this thing.”

In 2016, a “fake” press release was issued online announcing Hilson’s third album, L.I.A.R. (Love Is A Religion)Hilson went to Twitter to shut down the rumors about her album. She confirmed that, while the title was correct, it wasn’t a completed project. 

Hilson wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “THEY issued a fake press release. THEY have good info tho: Again IS jammin/LIAR IS the album but it’s just not ready. Soon! #nevertrustTHEY.”

In January 2017, Hilson appeared on The Real daytime talk show to share more details about the album on her own accord. 

“If you think about it, everyone believes different things. Love is the one thing that requires sacrifice — there are so many similarities between religion and love,” Hilson told the co-hosts about L.I.A.R.

“If we believe this will work, then we will do what it takes and we will be obedient. We’ll do what it takes to make it work. It’s religious. You got to be that committed to making love work.”

A couple of years later, in 2019, Hilson told fans that new music would arrive that summer. Towards the end of the season, she gave another update, letting them know that things were still in the works: “I don’t share much, but I’m working my ass off to get you this project,” wrote Hilson on Instagram. “Turns out I’ll be a tad behind Summer but we’re almost there!”

Interscope Records

As mentioned above, Hilson’s new era of music will follow her 2010 sophomore album, No Boys AllowedThe album debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, with 100,200 copies sold in the first week. 

No Boys Allowed included the platinum-selling hit “Pretty Girl Rock,” produced by Chuck Harmony, who is now one-half of the musical duo Louis York. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. 

In 2009, Hilson released her debut album, In A Perfect World… It included her 2x-platinum single “Knock You Down” featuring Ne-Yo and Kanye West. 

For the album’s 10th anniversary, Hilson spoke with Rated R&B, reflecting on the journey to her first album, as well as shared the story behind some of the tracks. 

Keri Hilson In A Perfect World album cover

While the gold-selling album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, Hilson believed that some of the album’s singles could have performed better if she had more of a say in the selection.

“I feel like for as good as that album was, it could have been 10 times better if I didn’t have to play politics,” Hilson told Rated R&B. “The things that I believed strongly in, worked. The things I had to play politics in, flopped. Singles that I had to kind of be forced to do didn’t work. The things I truly believed in did work.”

Read our full interview with Hilson about In A Perfect World… here

Watch Keri Hilson’s interview with Tank and J Valentine of R&B Money below. (She talks about new music at the 1:29:25 mark.

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