She?s done collaborations with artists such as R. Kelly, Twista, and Fabolous. Her voice is most notorious for singing the hook for Kanye West?s ground breaking single, ?All Falls Down.? She?s been compared to greats like Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans, and the ever evolving Mary J. Blige. Yet, still the Chicago native keeps a level head and maintains a normal life outside of her stardom. Ms. Johnson, better known as Syleena Johnson, is a walking example of the concept that even when life is rough you can always make the best of it!
You are writer and storyteller, what was the story for your newest album, Chapter 3: The Flesh?
Syleena: It?s all about the worldly issues that we face day to day. It?s about operating in the flesh. ?Chapter 1: Love, Pain, and Forgiveness? had a lot to do with the pain that a lot of us find ourselves going through when we?re in love and how we continuously find the strength within ourselves to forgive those that hurt us. ?Chapter 2: The Voice? was about letting go and allowing my voice to be heard. ?Chapter 3: The Flesh? is a combination of the two. The flesh is something we battle with everyday; the album really just sets those battles to music.
Was this a party record since you have moved from a position of being dedicated to someone to now being single?
Syleena: No, not really. It?s about revisiting my youth. I was married at a young age, so I had to mature quickly. Now that I?m able to date again I?m enjoying the single life and being able to ?grow up? all over again.
What is your role in the new play, ?Cheaters??
Syleena: I play the role of an aspiring artist named Tammy who becomes reacquainted with an old friend by the name of Darnell. Unfortunately, since the last time they saw each other Darnell has gotten married. He has picked up an old hobby of writing and she is an aspiring artist so, you know they naturally work together. Falling in love with a married man always leaves someone to make some life altering decisions. But their soul mates?I don?t want to give away the whole story. It?s a great play though.
What made you want to be part of this play?
Syleena: I really liked the producers and the production company that was putting together the play. When I was younger I had a love for the theater, and this was a great way to get back into it.
Your family has always been in the spotlight with your mother and father?s careers. Did you always know that you would eventually be in the spotlight?
Syleena: No. I wanted to play basketball. Imagine, this was before the WNBA ever existed. My father wanted me to sing, and I loved singing too. I didn?t think my singing career would go this far.
Do you ever feel that there is any tension between you and your father over your career since he is an artist also?
Syleena: No, Not at all. My father and I have a great relationship. Since he has a musical background he gives me great advice, and always encourages me. Tension, no there?s none at all.
Do you think music today compares to the music of the past?
Syleena: I don?t know what music today is. It?s supposed to be music but it?s taken on a lot of other things.
How do you feel when you see yourself on television?
Syleena: Sometimes I?m excited. Sometimes I just feel normal. It?s a passion of mine. I love singing. The art of it is amazing, the business you can keep, but the art of singing I?ll take that any day. It?s unexplainable.
A lot of artist will thank God when they receive awards and then the music they make talks about drugs, sex, murder, and things that just aren?t close to God. Do you think that it?s hypocritical?
Syleena: It?s the most real thing that could ever happen. The viewers, fans, and listeners see what the media wants them to see. A gospel artist who thanks God, but is a homosexual behind closed doors, now that?s hypocritical. No one knows what the artists do at home. We don?t know what their personal relationship with God is like. Only God can judge them.
You?re an all around entertainer, with your acting career in motion, and recently signing with Whilemina?s Modeling Agency. Which field of entertainment would you say is your favorite?
Syleena: I love singing. I?ve been doing it all my life. I like doing all three of them but singing?I love to do it.
What is the one thing you want people to know most about you?
Syleena: I?m human just like them. I?m going to make mistakes. Just because I?m an artist doesn?t make me any different from them. All artist, are just like everyday people. We do the same things that everyone else does.
Is there anything else you?d like to say?
Syleena: Visit my fan site. It?s www.syleenafans.com/. Oh and thank you to all my fans, friends, and family. —— By: Interview by: Meka Stephens