We are excited for Brandy’s new album! Two Eleven follows Norwood’s least commercially successful album, Human (2008), which failed to enter the top-ten of the US Billboard 200. Its foundations can be traced back to 2009, a time when Norwood had been working on a second album with Epic Records, involving contribution from Ne-Yo and Stargate as well as The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. However, after singer-songwriter Amanda Ghost was appointed the new president of the label in February 2009, Epic terminated Norwood’s recording contract with the company. As some of the material recorded under Sony Music was left with the label and re-recorded by other artists, her departure from the company temporarily halted production on a sixth studio album. By mid-2009 however, she resumed work on brand new songs in the studio with producers such as Sean & Kadis.
In fall 2009, Norwood introduced her rap alter ego Bran’Nu on Timbaland’s album Shock Value II (2009), the result of artistic experimentation with the musician, who had tapped her for her rhyming ability after seeing a video on YouTube that Norwood had uploaded and showed her rapping freestyle. Norwood, who had initially thought of rapping as a hobby and fun for friends, felt encouraged by Timbaland to write and perform her own verses on at least three tracks for his album, two of which eventually made it to the track listing. In December 2009, the producer revealed his intentions to reteam with her on her next project, producing the bulk of an album that he envisioned to be “half singing, half rapping”. Norwood confirmed his idea in an interview she held at the release party of Shock Value II: “What I’m doing on the [next] album is a little bit different than what everybody knows me for. Timbaland endorsed that… He really gave me a shot to be different and be versatile. I can’t thank him enough for that. This is a wonderful opportunity.” Though Norwood hoped their collaboration would lead to a signing with Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group and she would went on to records several other rap songs the following months, plans for hip hop-oriented album under his imprint were eventually abandoned as the singer felt the sound would not aim at her core audience. Approached on the subject, she later dismissed the idea of recording a rap album, stating that “it was a hobby. I was convinced to do it professionally, which I never should have listened to that advice.”
Throughout 2010, Norwood continued recording independently with a variety of musicians, including producers Danja, Clinton Sparks, The Jam, Corey Gibson and songwriter Stacy Barthe. Some of this was chronicled on her VH1 reality series Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business, which originally aired from April 2010 to February 2011 and spawned a soundtrack of the same name (2011), on which some of the tracks were included. In September 2010, producer Bangladesh confirmed that had been commissioned by Norwood to helm the production of the entire project, though Norwood later expressed her intent to further connect with several producers, including producers Hit-Boy, Tha Bizness, Jim Beanz, WyldCard, newcomers Kevin McCall, Rich Harrison, Rico Love, production collectives The Woodworks and The Runners, singers Sean Garrett, Chris Brown, Drake, Frank Ocean, and Lonny Bereal, and songwriter Ester Dean.
In August 2011, it was confirmed that Norwood signed a joint record deal with RCA Records and producer Breyon Prescott’s Chameleon Records and will release her sixth studio album in May 2012. In November 2011, Sean Garrett announced through Rap-Up that he wrote and co-produced the album’s first single, which he expected to be released before December 25, 2011 and was to be feature a rapper. Plans fell through and the song was eventually pushed back so it wont clash with the release of the Rico Love produced mid-tempo song “It All Belongs to Me”, a duet with singer Monica.”
- Brandy Norwood [See Her Tonight on THE GAME] (coedmagazine.com)
- New Brandy Album to Feature Beyonce & Mary J. Blige (iamdomo.com)
- New Music: Brandy featuring Chris Brown – ‘Put It Down’ (worldaccordingtomonte.com)
- Brandy Opens Up About Eating Disorder, Depression as a Teen [Video] (inquisitr.com)
- Whitney Houston Death Still Fresh, Brandy Honors Her Idol With a Photo on Her Twitter Page. Pushes Forward With Promotions for New Album. (tweeterreporter.com)
- Sprinkle or Fail: Brandy’s New Look (brownsugarlife.com)
- Brandy – “Put It Down” feat. Chris Brown (theuptownlounge.com)
- Brandy’s new album title ‘Two Eleven’ a tribute to Whitney Houston (thegrio.com)
- Missy Elliott & Timbaland: New LPs (thequietus.com)
- New music from BRANDY ft CHRIS BROWN ! (starjoos.wordpress.com)