It has been four long years since India.Arie, the multiple Grammy-winning neo-soul songstress, has released an album. Fans of the “Brown Skin” singer can rejoice: this summer, she will release her fifth studio album, titled SongVersation. While the album is not scheduled to drop until June 25th on Soulbird/Motown Records, the first single, “Cocoa Butter,” is currently making its way to radio (stream it here) and will be available on iTunes on April 9th.
The mid-tempo sounds of “Cocoa Butter” are vintage India.Arie, a soulful ode to a lover with live instrumentation and a finger-snapping groove. SongVersation, which follows up 2009’s Testimony Vol. 2: Love and Politics, was recorded in Atlanta and Los Angeles and is produced by Arie and Grammy-winning songwriter Shannon Sanders, while additional production comes courtesy of singer-songwriter David Ryan Harris and songwriter Michael Ruff.
“The making of this album has been one of THE MOST important experiences of my career,” Arie said in a statement. “Every time I make an album, it’s an important and tumultuous and nuanced and complex and dynamic process of going into the Woods and coming out with the Holy Grail … this album was a process of MANY JOURNEYS all happening at once, culminating in not just a fertile ground, but a fertile ground on a different land.”
Indie.Arie instantly won over R&B and neo-soul fans with her Motown Records debut album Acoustic Soul in 2001, and followed up with Voyage to India the following year, and Testimony: Vols. 1 and 2 in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Altogether, she has sold 10 million albums worldwide and has received numerous awards and nominations including 21 Grammy nominations, winning four.
A champion of female empowerment, Arie is the U.S. Ambassador for UNICEF and has performed alongside legendary acts such as Stevie Wonder, Sting, Elton John, Adele, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Bette Midler and Michael McDonald. She has also written with Stevie Wonder on the title track of his 2005 studio album A Time For Love.