Jazmine Sullivan explains how she grew to be “proud of who I am, and own who I am”

Myesha Evon Gardener

2021 is definitely a comeback year for Jazmine Sullivan, who in January released her first project in six years, Heaux Tales.

The vulnerable EP features transparently explores the singer’s personal experience with heartbreak and love, which landed Sullivan a spot on Rolling Stone’s 2021 Hot List. 

“In my music, I feel like I can talk about things that I wouldn’t normally have talked about and just be proud of who I am, and own who I am,” Sullivan tells Rolling Stone. “When I’m making music and I’m in a studio, it really feels so personal.”

“I’m just literally telling my story, and it’s for me,” she explains. “I know people are going to hear it, but it’s just me getting out these thoughts and these feelings that are inside of me.”

Heaux Tales features duets with fellow R&B vocalists Ari Lennox, H.E.R. and Anderson .Paak. The EP is also intertwined with interludes from Lennox and other women expressing their needs and wants in regards to love sex and taking control of one’s body. But Sullivan says her favorite ‘heaux tale’ on the EP is “The Other Side.”

“It was refreshing to write that story,” Sullivan says. “It’s very different from who I am, and my perspective. I feel like people were able to look at what they would consider a gold digger through a different lens after that.”

Sullivan promises not to make fans wait another six years before she releases the follow-up to Heaux Tales, the way she made fans wait following her 2015 album, Reality Show. “Life is not promised. So I just want to be able to do as much as I can but in my healthiest state,” she adds.

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