Love This Track had the pleasure to be in attendance at a private listening session for Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Chrisette Michele, who is releasing her new album Milestone on June 10th.
Breaking out on her own, Milestone is Michele’s fifth upcoming album that will be released as CEO under her own label, Rich Hipster. Deciding to take control of her music and putting it into her own hands, was a risky career move for Michele. It was a step that she felt she was ready to tackle in a big way. After reconnecting with her longtime manager and just recently fiancé, Doug “Biggs” Ellison, Chrisette Michele was able to write and record Milestone in a mere seven days. She has never been happier.
Michele states how this last recording experience was different from her past ones. She never felt as if she was being honest or true to herself. Everything that she has written about in this new album is raw, intimate, and speaks to her fans, giving us a glimpse of the real Chrisette Michelle behind the rough side of the industry. Speaking about the album, she quotes:
“Nobody just wants to sing R&B, nobody who writes music anyway. I hate that they tried to box me in. I hate that people think I’m just one thing, so I wrote whatever the hell I wanted.”
Walking into the session, the environment is vibrant, intimate, and lively. Her recorded music fills the room with life, featuring her colorful vocals, soothing the atmosphere of the room. When Chrisette Michele walks in, her presence lights up and energizes the air. She thanked everyone for coming to listen and welcomes us with open arms. This album marks ten years she has been in the music industry, and she feels so blessed to be in this position.
There have been ups and downs in Michele’s career, including with her college sweetheart and manager Biggs. The industry was tough for both and eventually, it tore them apart. Lawsuits were called on both ends and it ended badly. Michele’s mother took over and became her new manager. Years later, Chrisette Michele writes a letter to Biggs, saying how she missed him and didn’t want to live without him in her life. Fortunately, he had felt the same way.
Milestone is about this period of her life coming back to her love, finding herself in a new and happier light. She didn’t play all of the songs, but it was a handful that she and Biggs played through the speakers. She gives background about what the tracks are about and what it was right writing them. After, they played samples for us to listen too.
The first song she introduces to us was Diamond Letter. This song is about her breaking up spontaneously with Biggs. Her lyrics describe what was in that letter. “Let me go, boy you can breathe,” “You gotta move on.” It’s a heartfelt R&B track that dives into the emotional standpoint of making the decision to leave the man you love.
Indy Girl was the next song she played. It’s about being in the music industry, taking Uber’s back and forth, but not having anyone there to hold her hand. “I’ve been out here by myself for a long time.” Chrisette Michele tells us that this song always puts her to tears. Her fiancé Biggs had to leave the studio so she could sing this song because she couldn’t stop crying.
Michele mentions that she doesn’t usually write sensual songs. Her first sensual song was written years ago and it was called “If I Had My Way.” It was about abstinence and not many knew that. From her upcoming album, Michele tackles writing a sexy song called Powerful. This song is about her having her way this time around. It is a luscious song that really displays Chrisette Michele feminine side.
Black Girl Magic was a favorite amongst the group. Its upbeat vibes really make you want to dance and let loose. Michele states this song is a little freaky for her girls, expressing female empowerment. As we listen to it, she tells us “Just engage man!”
Unbreakable is the first released single and as of now, its number fifteen on the charts. Equal featuring Rick Ross is going to be the next single off her album (side note: Michele will be releasing two singles at the same time. Equal will be hitting the R&B charts, while To The Moon, another song on the album, will be the single released on the Adult Contemporary charts. Fans who enjoyed Blame It On Me will like To The Moon because it brings a similar feel for this.)
These Stones is a song about bullying. With Chrisette Michele being in the public eye, people tend to downgrade the severity of bullying towards celebrities. This song, as quoted by Michele, is “a little rude and arrogant” but she felt as if she had to get this off her chest. Just because they are high profile celebrities doesn’t mean bullying affects them to a lesser degree. This track has a nice R&B sassy beat to it that matches the lyrics well to her emotions.
Make Me Fall is what Chrisette Michele calls her “twist out song.” It is about being a girl, being able to enjoy yourself by having some fun. Its girly, dance like tones makes you want to party while doing laundry at home, something Michele likes to do.
One of the more exotic songs had to be Ebony. It was the one track Michele played for us that sounded different from the others. With its epic, contemporary beats, the playing around with sounds took Michele’s vocals and shined them into a fresh new style.
Chrisette Michele’s soul shines throughout each song. She pushes forward her vulnerability, exposing such truth within this album. Celebrating the sensuality of women who still believe in love and eventually, returning to the power of femininity is something Michele wants to portray; She found her true self again. Worrying about what others want her to write/sing is not her priority anymore; Milestone is all on her own terms.