Syleena Johnson will release her latest studio album, Rebirth Of Soul, on November 10th via Shanachie Entertainment. To continue to drum up noise around the pending release, the soul veteran unwraps a lyric video to one of the set’s recent offering, “Make Me Yours,” originally recorded by Bettye Swann.
The visual features historic images, including photos of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Apollo Theatre, as well as clips of Syleena performing at various events.
The ‘Rebirth of Soul’ is curated and produced by Syleena’s father, legendary soul/blues singer Syl Johnson. Syl is best known for his original hit version of “Take Me To The River,” which was covered by Al Green and Talking Heads. Everyone from Jay-Z and Kanye West to Wu-Tang and Usher has sampled Syl Johnson’s recordings.
On the project, Syleena delivers her interpretations of classic R&B songs, mainly from the Fifties and Sixties.
“When I was pregnant with my second son, my dad approached me to do a live album with all live instruments and musicians from that era — the 50’s and 60’s,” Syleena told Singersroom about how the project came to life. “I went in, and we recorded all these records, and we aggressively went through and picked out records. I tried to be as close as possible to the original as I could, you know, to pay homage. We just wanted to do something vintage and do it the proper way, not with computerized sounds. We wanted to really play, and really be in that moment. There were actual chartings in the studio; there were actual harpists in the studio…string quartet… It was very beautiful, very fun, and interesting process-wise. It was just a one take live performance and great experience because all of the musicians were there in the studio. That’s how they used to do it back in the day.”
Syleena’s favorites from the album are “‘These Arms of Mine’ by Otis Redding and ‘Lonely Tear Drops’ by Jackie Wilson.”
Watch the lyric video for “Make Me Yours” below: