Having risen to fame winning American Idol‘s second season way back in 2003, Grammy nominated American R&B and Gospel singer Ruben Studdard is clearly in this for the long-haul – and will shortly be presenting his fifth album, Letters From Birmingham, on March 13.
Studdard’s vibrant, soulful vocals shine throughout swinging new track “Wear Me” as he romanticises with many a clothing-related metaphor, punctuated by the crisp sounds of live instrumentation. Take a listen below, and read on for more information about the new album…
With guest features from Chrisette Michele and K. Michelle, the album is predominantly co-written and produced by Elvis “Blac Elvis” Williams (Beyoncé, Fergie, T.I., Ludacris, Ciara) and Studdard’s longtime collaborator, Harold Lilly (who co-wrote Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name” and has worked with the likes of Luther Vandross, Fantasia and Angie Stone).
“Martin Luther King Jr. had this famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail and being from Birmingham, I’ve read it so many times. We were going through the Atlanta airport one day and they have this display for Martin Luther King Jr. and it just struck me to do the album as letters,” Studdard reveals of the album concept.
“My whole thing about this album was to just put the people together that I thought were the best in the business at writing records,” he says of the musical team behind the release. “Not just the best at writing radio songs but writing great songs – because above anything else I want the album to be around longer than the regular album cycle.”
“I find it easier as an artist allowing other people to construct the story,” he says of his decision to let others lead the songwriting on Letters From Birmingham.
“I write for other people so I understand the importance of having someone on the outside of your situation to write for you… Then you can concentrate on bringing the passion to the singing. When you look at all the greats like Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley, you’d be hard pressed to find 7-8 songs that they wrote.”
With Letters From Birmingham due for release on March 13 through label Shanachie, the singer is clearly pretty proud of his new project; “I hope people will hear it and say gosh these are great songs. I wanted to make an album that you could put in and not take off and it be on from start to finish… I think we did that.”
And we look forward to hearing it. Pre-order available via iTunes.
Letters From Birmingham Tracklisting:
01. Letter #1
02. Turn U Out
03. Love Skies
04. Wear Me
05. Letter #2
06. Pure Imagination
07. Do It Right (feat. Chrisette Michele)
08. Today (Hallelujah!)
09. Letter #3
10. Twisted Love
11. Rock Wit’cha (feat. K Michelle)
12. All About U
13. Letter #4
14. Her 4 U
15. What’s The Reason
16. June 28th (I’m Single)