Brandy on ‘Beggin & Pleadin’: ‘This Particular Song Is Freedom’ (Billboard Exclusive)

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“This particular song is freedom,” Brandy says of her raw and gritty single “Beggin & Pleadin.” “[It’s] liberty to express myself in the most interesting, edgiest way possible.”

The R&B veteran and Zoe Ever After star recently recalled creating the emotional record from the studio. “I like the way it sounds when I hear it back. It feels like I’m listening to somebody else and not me,” she says in a video clip. “It’s like bitch, what? It makes me feel bossy. Even if it’s for two minutes and 45 seconds, I feel empowered by the story, the vocal, the production, it sounds fearless to me.”

Through a creative brainstorm session with producers Warren “Oak” Felder & Andrew “Pop” Wansel,  Brandy co-wrote “Beggin & Pleadin” — which showcases some of her best vocals — with Kirby Lauren, inspired by the singer’s love life. (Brandy and her ex-fiance Ryan split in 2014. She also has a daughter named Sy’rai with ex Robert Smith.)

“I told her my story, just a bit about what I experienced and how I went through a really hard breakup, and I wasn’t able to just let it go and get over it so I was still in that place,” she explains of the song, which dropped via SoundCloud and coincided with the Jan. 5 premiere of her new BET romcom Zoe Ever After. “When I did the song, it felt real. It felt like a true apology. Everything I had in that moment, I gave it right there because of how I was feeling. It felt like the song was writing itself.”

She adds that she looks forward to bringing the record to the stage. “I’m here to touch a lot of people, I’m not here to just touch a few — to touch a lot,” she continues. “If you just listen, you’ll be able to touch and reach and be able to bring everybody together for music, especially if it’s authentic. Unity — that’s what we all need.”

Brandy wraps her positive message with a shout out to herself. “It’s all about what you believe at the end of the day,” she says. “I believe that I’m the shit.”

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