For her upcoming sixth LP, Two Eleven, Brandy went light on features in order to properly tell her comeback story of sorts. So light, in fact, that Chris Brown will be the only guest on the album, and Brandy is perfectly happy with that arrangement.
The songstress, who released her self-titled debut back in 1994, tells MTV News she's prepping an album that still has roots in R&B but also finds her hitting a grittier edge as she fills fans in on what she's been through since 2008's Human. To accomplish this, she stripped away the guest stars.
"Chris Brown also wrote a song on the album called 'Slower,' so naturally he's heard other songs that I've done and he kinda just hopped on 'Put It Down' — rapping and singing — and it was organic and very authentic," Brandy explained. "When I heard it, I thought, 'This is great,' [because] he brought a whole new flavor to the record. Sean [Garrett] already made it kinda swagged out, but Chris Brown is just the icing on the cake, and I appreciated him for being a part of it and just being so supportive as an artist. He's so great, the girls love him, and I thought it would be great to have him onboard."
Breezy also joined Brandy on the video set for "Put It Down," the full visuals for which premiered last week, and she admits to being pretty nervous about her performance.
"We had a great time shooting the video, [but] I was so shy, because he's such a great entertainer and dancer," she said of Brown. "I worked with Frank Gatson on the choreography for the video, and I was so shy, because I'm coming into my own as a performer, so I really wanted to do good. Standing next to Chris, he's so vibrant, like, 'What am I gonna do standing there next to him?' But I practiced really hard, like two weeks before Chris practiced — wait, I'm pretty sure Chris didn't need to practice. But I practiced, I was ready.
"Chris Brown was not gonna upstage me!" she added, laughing. "I was gonna be right there along with him shinin' too. I feel like I held it down a little bit, and I definitely did a lot better when Chris wasn't around, because I was shy."
Despite her honesty, it's hard to imagine Brandy getting nervous in front of Brown after so many years in the game. It makes more sense that the jitters were mutual. "I think he was a little bit shy with me too," she said. "He has this respect for me that I appreciate, it kind of reminds me of how Ray J looks at me, like a little brother [thinking], ''I've listened to her music for such a long time,' and that feels good [since] he's so great and he's been consistent for such a long time."
Two Eleven is due October 16.