Singer, actor, and ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollet released his long-awaited debut album, Sum Of My Music, on March 2nd. Headed by the lead single, “Freedom,” the project features an assorted collection of musical styles including sultry R&B, Hip-Hop, and Pop.
‘Sum Of My Music’ was created in a space separate from Jussie’s beloved acting role as Jamal Lyon, a singer muddled in and by his family’s drama surrounding their music empire. He also says the LP was evident because of his commitment to his first love: music.
“Music has always been my heart. Something I can always and will always create,” Jussie states. “When I was working day jobs in offices, as a waiter, in retail or even as a clown at children’s parties, music was the thing that I could always do at night, on weekends, in the morning time; I could create music around anything I was doing. There’s never an excuse to not create.”
He continued about the new LP: “I’m releasing just a piece of who I am with this project and I just want people to hear it, feel it and vibe with it. All I want them to feel is the love put into this. Anything else is just gravy.”
Prior to the project’s release, fans were able to get a glimpse into Jussie’s sounds after listening to the Empire soundtrack, which reached number one on the Billboard charts and was nominated for a Grammy, Billboard, and American Music Award.
Most recently, Jussie released “Catch Your Eye” featuring Swizz Beatz. The accompanying video sees Jussie covered in paintings from artists all over the world as he makes an impassioned appeal.
“To have one of the true Kings of Hip Hop like Swizz leading this with me is just bananas,” says Jussie. “With the visual, I wanted to take it even further. I was inspired by Hype Williams’ film BELLY and really just Hype in general. But I also wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some stream of consciousness in there.”
In mid-March, the third single and visual, “Hurt People,” will be released. Filmed entirely on location in South Africa, the video pays homage to all that is beautiful and historic about Mama Africa. Inspired by the late Nelson Mandela, the video was filmed with an all-black South African labor force, including cast, crew and fashion designers, to live the reality of Africa Rising.
THE SUM OF MY MUSIC TRACKLISTING:
Catch Your Eye Ft. Swizz Beatz
Haha (I Love You)
What I Would Do
I Know My Name Ft. Swizz Beatz