Syleena Johnson

Syleena Johnson

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

Grammy nominated R & B Artist Syleena Johnson is not one artist to take lightly. With hits with Mainstream artists such as Kanye West, R.Kelly, Busta Rhymes, Tweet and many more, this chart topping artist brings a Soulful, blues presence to her shows. Syleena is open to acoustic sets as well.


Imagine this: you’re a Grammy-nominated singer, considered one of the best vocalists of your generation, who has scored major R&B hits and been invited to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West and R. Kelly, yet some folks consider you “underrated.” This has been the plight of Syleena Johnson, acclaimed as one of the finest R&B voices to have emerged during the past decade. Having fought the major label system to allow her true identity to shine forth, Syleena now steps forward with her most personal statement to date. Her boundary-stretching fifth album, entitled, appropriately enough, Chapter V: Underrated, released September 27, 2011 on Shanachie Entertainment. Easily her best all-around album since her second best-selling album, Underrated shows the full range of Syleena’s talent as it moves from the powerful soul-balladry of songs like “Little Things” to full-on club bangers like the first single, “A Boss.” The result is a rarity in the R&B world these days - a true album that flows through a diverse and satisfying complete listening experience. Every song but one was written or co-written by Syleena.

“I’m calling this album Underrated because it was a name chosen by my fans,” Syleena explains. “Also, if you look in Webster’s, the definition of ‘underrated’ is ‘underestimated.’ I feel some of my counterparts in the industry have underestimated me, thinking I wouldn’t make another album past Chapter 2.”

Indeed, the album opens with the defiant title track that segues immediately into “A Boss,” the assertive and dance-friendly anthem for confident, capable women who want a mate who is a true equal; the video clip for this track features NFL star Chad Ochocinco. But the range of the album quickly becomes apparent with “Angry Girl,” a lyrically-provocative acoustic guitar-driven duet with likewise underrated singer Tweet.

Elsewhere on Underrated Syleena deals with inspirational themes on “Stone Wall,” female sexual prowess on “A Champ” and “Bad Person,” and the ins-and-outs of relationships on “Like Thorns.” Tracks such as “Little Things” and “My Shoes” deliver the powerful “old school” soul balladry that won her early fans, as only can come from a classically-trained singer who happens also to be well-schooled in the deep traditions of soul music and blues, thanks to her father, the legendary Syl Johnson, who as a label-mate of Al Green, scored the definitive original recording of “Take Me To The River.” Syleena Johnson grew up outside Chicago in Illinois.

Though she got involved with music during her high school years, initially she was discouraged from getting into the music business by her father, who had many disappointing experiences in the industry. Meanwhile her mother become the nation’s first black female police commissioner.


Chapter V: Underrated (2011)
Chapter IV: Labor Pains (2009)
Chapter III: The Flesh (2005)
Single “All Falls Down” with Kanye West (2004)
Chapter II: The Voice (2002)
Chapter I: Love, Pain and Forgiveness (2001)