Jimmie Allen wants to record an album with Usher
Jimmie Allen doesn’t like being locked up. He also sometimes talks about it on social networks.
“Think bigger than the box they’re trying to put you in,” he tweeted in 2018. The following year, he told other artists, “Dear musicians, make the music you want, DON’T let anyone put you in a box.”
Although he’s adamantly a country artist, Allen takes pride in letting all of his influences influence the music he makes.
Think bigger than the box they are trying to put you in.
Dream & Create
—Jimmie Allen (@JimmieAllen) December 1, 2018
Don’t let people who are afraid to live outside their comfort zone keep you in their little box with them. Spread your wings and have a blast. Be you and don’t be ashamed of who you are.
Live with pride 🤙🏽#jimmieallenquotes
—Jimmie Allen (@JimmieAllen) February 22, 2021
Born and raised in Milton, Delaware, a small town of less than 3,000 people, Allen grew up with a father who loved country music and a mother who always played Christian music. Clearly, country music had the biggest impact on Allen, but it wasn’t the only genre he consumed. Allen also listened to R&B.
“I was a big Ginuwine fan,” Allen R&B told R&B before detailing other R&B singers he grew up with. “Usher, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chipmunk, Toni Braxton, Luther Vandross, Tevin Campbell, 112, Dru Hill, Boyz II Men, Rough Endz…that’s a lot, man.”
It’s no wonder that his 2021 project, Bettie James Gold Edition, features guest appearances from R&B stars such as Babyface (“Forever”) and Monica (“Pray”). “It was awesome,” Allen says of his experience working with R&B heavyweights.
“I wasn’t sure if I could hang with them lyrically, when it came to my writing style. [and] approach to music – and I could. Working with them showed me that music is not that different. One of the main things that’s different is really the production.
Allen’s new album tulip readerwhich happened this summer, is inspired by the street where his grandmother lived in Delaware.
“This is the first album where a lot of the songs are actually written based on a lot of my own personal life experiences – relationships, life struggles, parties and good times,” Allen shared in a post. past statement.
“A lot of these songs are based on things I went through when I was later in high school and college, where I was just learning a lot of life lessons from my grandmother.”
Allen mostly sticks to his country roots on tulip reader but also finds himself venturing into R&B-inspired sounds. “Sonically, it was mostly everything I like. I’m not too engrossed in an album that sounds the same from the ground up,” says Allen. “I feel like when you do that, you kind of limit yourself to a match that happens. In the end, it’s just music. A lot of times as creators we can complicate something that’s meant to be.
“Love in the Living Room” is a sensual song about being intimate with a lover outside the bedroom. “I miss love music when it comes to R&B. I’ve never really heard a sound like that on a country record,” says Allen.
The CeeLo Green and T-Pain-assisted “Pesos” is a carefree anthem for fun and splurging. It was co-produced by Vic “BillboardKiller” Martin (TLC, Ne-Yo) and Vinny Venditto (Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross).
Allen recalls, “I was in Miami working with Vinny and Vic. Vinny was like, ‘Yo, I got this song for Cee-Lo. He has a chorus, but he doesn’t like it. He wants a new one. I said, ‘Oh, I bet. Get me in the cabin real quick. So I jumped into the pit, started freestyling. We had the chorus of ‘Pesos’, then I texted T-Pain like ‘Yo, I got that song I did with Cee-Lo’. I’m trying to put you on it. He was like, ‘Okay, I bet. Send it.’ So he jumped on it. Then I thought, ‘Man, let’s get a rapper.’ But then I was like, ‘No, let me get a verse on this stuff real quick.’ “
Allen wants R&B and country fans to be open-minded when listening to the album. “I hope people will remember that we are not tied to a certain style of music or a certain style of dress because of our skin color or because of what other people might say we should do. Please know that the world is an open space, so let’s live.
In recent years, we’ve seen more and more artists show interest in bridging the worlds of R&B and country.
Monica is working on her first country album titled Open Roads, produced by Brandi Carlile. She confirmed the album’s title on the red carpet at the 2022 CMT Music Awards, where she also performed “Pray” with Allen and Little Big Town.
Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, K. Michelle is also working on her first country album. In fact, she confirmed that her upcoming album, I am the problem, will be her final R&B album, as she is ready to fully focus on transitioning to country. For years, K. Michelle has been vocal about making a country album and even more about how her old label didn’t support her vision.
“I was able to do my albums but when it came to the country album, you always had to push it back. The crossover records had to be taken off the album. There was no room and they didn’t fit not,” K. Michelle told R&B Ranked in a 2020 interview. Now that she’s independent, she’ll release it on her terms. “I’m about to do something different with this country album. promise. It’s time. You’re not ready for what’s to come,” she said.
Even Keke Wyatt had plans to venture into country music. In 2017, she released “Summertime” as the lead single from her country album, Country Fried Soul.
Leon Bridges has also expressed interest in country music. “I would love to,” Bridges told Rated R&B when asked to record a country project. “I have a bunch of specific projects that I want to do. However, country music will always be the common thread in my music because that’s the environment I grew up in. I will forever keep that twang in my music even though I do R&B.
Then there’s Beyoncé, who delivered the country-inspired “Daddy Lessons” on her critically acclaimed album, Lemonade. She even performed the track at the 50th CMA Music Awards, alongside The Chicks (formerly known as Dixie Chicks).
Even Ciara is tapping into country with her appearance on Walker Hayes’ freshly released single “You all life.”
These are just a few examples of R&B artists, with country roots, who want to tap into this territory. Allen totally agrees. He even offers advice for those who might feel discouraged from testing the waters.
“Your fans are your fans and if they move with you, they move with you. If they don’t, they don’t. The cool thing is you can always create new ones. You gotta be yourself. You gotta do what you love. Life’s too short to worry about what other people think of what you do,” Allen says.
He adds, “The country industry is always ready to welcome people who want to come home and do it. I tell people all the time, ‘Do you want to play country? Don’t try to write it yourself in Atlanta, LA, New York or anywhere else. Come to Nashville. Step into the room with country writers. They’ll write you a hit song. At the same time, they will see how good you are. There’s a right way to do it, man. Come with the learning mindset.
Allen looks forward to working with more R&B artists in the future. He’s teasing a collaboration with a legendary R&B group that he can’t reveal yet. However, when asked about his dream collaboration, Allen reveals, “I want to do a full album with Usher, like Jay-Z and Kanye [West] made a record [Watch The Throne]. There’s never been an R&B artist and a country artist [to] make a complete file. I’m talking about 12 songs with half R&B and half country. We both sing on each of them. I’m bugging Usher’s team until that happens. I’m just going to keep bothering them. The best thing they can do is just say ‘yes’ and be done with it (laughs).”
In the meantime, Allen is preparing to support Carrie Underwood on her Visit Denim and Strass. It will begin on October 15 in Greenville, South Carolina and end on March 17, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.
Stream Jimmie Allen tulip reader below.