How much is Syleena Johnson worth?
|Net Worth:||$2.5 Million|
|Date of Birth:||September 2, 1976|
|Country:||United States of America|
“I am an old soul especially because I am the youngest of a bunch of girls in my family. It was five girls and a boy, and I’m the youngest so I’ve always had to, you know, rise to the occasion. I just matured faster because everybody was older than me. I think that’s what kind of made me more mature but, also my dad was a blues singer and we used to listen to old school and all kinds of music. I think that got into my system and spirit as well. So, it was like I didn’t have a choice. I guess that’s why, musically, I come across as old school.” — Syleena Johnson
Who Is Syleena Johnson
Syleena is the daughter of blues/soul singer and music producer Sylvester “Syl” Johnson, who recorded with numerous artists in the 1950s and ’60s before starting a solo career in the mid-1960s. Her mother is Brenda Johnson, who was the first black female police commissioner in the United States. She grew up the suburbs outside of Chicago and developed a love for music and singing at an early age and even participating in the Gospel choir at Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois. Her father, did not encourage her singing career, since he’d had his ups and downs in the industry.
Born: Sept. 2, 1976 in Harvey, Illinois. Raised in the greater Chicago area.
Rising Above Setbacks
Syleena’s life before becoming a known artist had several setbacks, including her parents splitting up when she was 15 and also having to have surgery to remove nodules on her vocal chords, which required two years of speech therapy to recover from. But her first break as a professional came in 1994 when she appeared as a singer and songwriter on her father’s 1994 comeback album Back In The Game. (Also featured on the album were Syleena’s uncles, Blues guitarist and singer Jimmy Johnson and bassist Mack Thompson.) Also in 1994, Syleena began taking classes at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, majoring in music.
In 1996, Syleena transferred back home to Illinois State University, still focusing on a music major. In 1997, she cut a demo tape which eventually led to her being signed by Jive Records. After taking time off from school to deal with personal issues, she used her life experiences in the songs on her debut album, Chapter 1 : Love, Pain & Forgiveness, which was released in May, 2001. Thus far, she has released five albums, all of which deal with very personal themes and real-life situations. All of have albums have been critically acclaimed though not huge sellers commercially.
‘Chapter 4: Labor Pains’
There’s plenty of strong, soulful female vocalists in the contemporary music world who never get the full acclaim and accolades they deserve, and Chicago native Syleena Johnson is definitely one of them. Throughout her career she’s flirted with mainstream success, but to date, her biggest claim to fame is singing the hook on Kanye West‘s 2004 hit “All Fall Down.” But despite not being a household name globally, Syleena hasn’t given up; quite the opposite in fact. She keeps on doing her thing on her own terms, as evidenced by her latest album, Chapter 4: Labor Pains, released in U.S. stores on Jan. 13, 2009.
Love, Life & Relationships
Chapter 4, which is as the title suggests, Syleena Johnson’s fourth album, is a continuation of her series of songs exploring her personal feelings on love, life and relationships. The album kicks off with “Intro,” a very powerful opening skit set in a delivery room. After a couple of songs (“Labor Pains,” “Where’s the Love?”) the album really begins to deliver via “Freedom,” a powerful vocal tour de force about wanting and deserving personal liberty, no matter your race, creed, color or sexual orientation: “It makes no difference who you are or what color you happen to be, as long as you’re alive and breathing, this has got to be one of your needs.”
The following song is also powerful, but in a much different way: on the Chicago bluesy “Is It Because I’m Black?,” Syleena sings about wondering if all her failed hopes and dreams can be tied to one thing. “Lookin’ back over my false dreams that I once knew, wonderin’ why my dreams never came true, is it because I’m black? Somebody tell me, what can I do? Somethin’ is holdin’ me back; is it because I’m black?” And with those words, Syleena vocalizes thoughts and feelings millions of people in America have had but had but never had the courage to bring themselves to say to others, or even themselves. But despite the inner fears and doubts she expresses on “Is It Because I’m Black?,” she bounces back emotionally on the next track, “Be Me.”
Plenty of Balance
On “Be Me,” Syleena sings about her life experiences, such as starting her own record label, Aneelys Entertainment, which she did after parting ways with Jive Records after her third album.”Be Me” is about inner strength and being a leader, not a follower. It’s the perfect balance to the self-doubt and inner turmoil of “Is It Because I’m Black?” Other very well-written, excellently sung songs include “Shoo Fly,” in which she tells her a woman trying to get her man to beat it (“you will never be me and he will never be yours”); and “Maury Povich,” a sort-of parody of the daytime television show in which Syleena sings about the drama caused by women who are trying to get pregnant to hold on to a man and men who don’t take the proper precautions (“bet you wear a condom with the next chick,” she sings.)
If there’s a drawback to the album, it’s that there’s actually too many songs. Including the intro and outro that open and close the album, there’s a total of 17 tracks on Labor Pains, and the album clocks in at about 20 seconds short of a full hour. This would be all good if every track was excellent, but there’s a couple of songs near the end of the album that sound half-hearted. The first 45 minutes are great, but things kind of lose steam toward the end. Despite that, Labor Pains as a whole sounds like a definite labor of love for Syleena Johnson and is a strong album worth hearing.