Syleena Johnson’s back…on her own terms

After a three-year pause, R&B songstress Syleena Johnson is ready to dominate the music scene with her fourth album under a new label–her own. After being signed with several labels, the south suburban Harvey native said it was time to take things i

After a three-year pause, R&B songstress Syleena Johnson is ready to dominate the music scene with her fourth album under a new label–her own.

After being signed with several labels, the south suburban Harvey native said it was time to take things into her own hands.

“I have total control. There were no mouths in my ear telling me what they think is good and what they think isn’t,” Johnson said about her upcoming album, "Labor Pains."

She wrote all but one song on the album, whose title was born out of a personal experience: the birth of her son, who is now 1 year old.

Johnson, a Thornton High School graduate, spent more than 40 hours in labor with her son. She recalled that time in her life as a difficult one but one that has brought her the greatest reward.

“I went straight from my heart and soul, and just wrote and wrote,” the Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter said.

The album’s first single, Shoo Fly, is one of her favorites and definitely one that her fans will love, she said.

“It’s a song about baby momma drama but from the other woman’s perspective: the woman who is actually with the man who has the baby momma drama,” Johnson said.

Other songs from the album include "Labor Pains" and "Is It True." Johnson made her music debut in 2001 and has collaborated with Busta Rhymes, Kanye West and R. Kelly.

She was also nominated for a Chicago Music Award, Billboard Music Video Award, a BET Viewers Choice Award, Vibe Award, MTV Video Music Award and a Truth Award.

"Labor Pains" is scheduled for release in January under her label, Aneelys Records, a division of Federal/Universal Music Group.

Kathy Chaney can be reached via e-mail at kchaney@chicagodefender.com.

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