Jazmine Sullivan has been tapped for Audible’s Words + Music series, which previously featured Brandy and John Legend. The Audible Original blends “personal storytelling with never-before-heard performance.”
Sullivan’s installment, The Art of Confessing, invites listeners into her journey, where she explores “the art of making confessional R&B and affirming Black women as the ultimate truthtellers in music.”
The episode, described as “an intimate diary entry,” centers around themes of accountability, sisterhood and love. The Grammy winner threads her stories together through songs from her catalog, including her debut single, “Need U Bad,” produced by Missy Elliott.
Audible teamed with Rated R&B to present an exclusive clip from Sullivan’s The Art of Confessing, which can be heard below.
In the clip, Sullivan talks about her journey to releasing her debut single in 2008. She was previously signed to Jive Records where the album she recorded got shelved and was ultimately dropped.
She also recounts how Missy Elliott, who is now a 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee, has always been supportive since the beginning.
“I got a chance to reconnect with Missy Elliot on this project a few years after being dropped. I met Miss when I was around 11 when my mom was hustling to get anybody to hear her baby sing and sign me,” Sullivan recalls. “Miss was one of the reactions I’ll never forget. She flipped out and called Timberland immediately to hear me sing. And one thing I could say is Miss has always believed in me.”
Sullivan adds, “When I got signed a Jive, she signed on the write and produce for me. And when I got re-signed at J Records again, she got on board.” Sullivan goes on to talk about how “Need U Bad” came about.
Jazmine Sullivan need u bad when me and my boy lamb produced this I knew jaz would kill the pen & vocals http://t.co/tMvsM92juI
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) October 19, 2014
“Need U Bad” was released as the lead single for Sullivan’s debut album, Fearless. The song spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
In 2022, “Need U Bad” was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling more than one million equivalent units. Fearless also received a platinum award from the RIAA.
Fearless was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.
Sullivan’s Art of Confessing also includes performances of “Lions, Tigers & Bears,” “Let It Burn,” “Girl Like Me,” and “Roster.” The latter two tracks appear on her Grammy-winning album, Heaux Tales, while “Let It Burn” is pulled from her highly underrated 2015 album, Reality Show.
Speaking of the Grammys, Sullivan is nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance for her rendition of “‘Round Midnight” with musician Adam Blackstone. The 65th Grammy Awards airs live Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Listen to Rated R&B’s exclusive snippet of Jazmine Sullivan speaking on her experience working with Missy Elliott, courtesy of Audible.