Known for taking us all on an “Emotional Rollercoaster” when she first entered the music scene with her debut album in 2002, Vivian Green is back with her sixth studio album, VGVI (pronounced Vee-Gee-Six). During an episode of TheGrio LIVE, Green chatted with The Grio’s Gerren Keith Gaynor about the project, latest single and longevity in the music industry.
“It’s my sixth studio album, so I’m really excited about that. To be able to say that I have six albums, and I been around for almost 15 years, that’s hard now-a-days as an R&B singer. I’m just really grateful,” Green says.
“You should be proud, you should be grateful. Not prideful, but just be proud of what you’ve done. Just be grateful and feel that you been blessed to do what you love.”
On how the industry has evolved over the years, the R&B starlet acknowledges the obvious changes.
“It’s such a different industry than the one that I initially got into in 2003,” she explains. “It’s totally different. My first album went gold with no issue, and it’s like now gold is platinum. Everything is just changed; all the record stores are closed and streaming is the thing. It’s a totally different business model now, so again, to still be surviving is really a good thing and it’s something to be grateful for.”
Green’s latest single “I Don’t Know” is a different feel from the slow ballads that we are used to.
“‘I don’t know’ is a fun reggae vibe, Green says. “It’s about a girl she thinks she likes a guy, but she’s been through enough in her life. She’s grown, like I’m grown, she’s been through enough to know let’s not super rush into this like you know for sure because you don’t know. You can like being with him, and spend time with him, but be a little apprehensive about it. Keep saying you don’t know yet, that he’s the one. You want him to be but you still don’t know.”
Happy to do what she loves, Green admits feeling the pressures and frustrations of being in the industry as a Black woman.
“I do but I think that mainstream R&B singers probably feel it a little less,” she says. “Where being an R&B soul singer, which is almost like a little a sub-genre, because we don’t get played on the rhythmic stations or the HOT. We don’t get played on that, we get played on whatever the UAC station is, and there are only but so many slots in that format. It can be a little frustrating fighting for a slot on the chart with people you know and love, with people whose music you love and support, but you want to get to the top of the chart so people can know your record is out.”
“That can be frustrating, to be in one place when most other genres have more than one place where they can be heard,” she adds. “I’m just talking about radio in the car, but I know people listen to radio and many other outlets and forms now. But Radio One and Clear Channel, they still exist. People still listen to radio in their car, and there’s only one place you’re going to find me.
“There are many frustrations in my job for sure, but like I said you’re willing to deal with that 70 percent or you’re not. I don’t like to complain a lot, so I don’t want to say a whole bunch of negative things about the industry. But it is not easy to say I been around for 15 years with six albums. I think if I was a rapper that probably wouldn’t be the case.”
As Green continues to maintain her longevity in the industry, she is stepping into other roles. Make sure to check her out in the stage play “Two Can Play That Game” an adaptation of the original film featuring Vivica Fox, Gary Dourdan, Columbus Short, Porsha Williams and Carl Payne. Green will star as Fox’s best friend and perform some of her classic hits.
She is also working on a holiday album alongside musical icon Patti Labelle which will be released this Winter 2017.
Watch ‘I Don’t Know’ video here.
Check out the full interview below