Fantasia’s fourth album, Side Effects of You, offers a breakthrough on several fronts.
Lyrically, she confronts the dramas that have haunted her throughout her 10 years in the business, and, musically, she produces a cohesive body of work that suits her better than past efforts that teamed her with a seemingly random list of hit makers.
“I wanted to do like Michael Jackson did with Quincy Jones,” Tasia says during Part 1 of an exclusive three-part interview with Yahoo! Music. “He got with one producer and they created a monster.”
Fantasia calls Harmony Samuels her baby Quincy Jones. Fantasia and Samuels did keep one of the Season 3 American Idol winner’s favorite past producers in the fold. Missy Elliott contributes the song “Without Me,” an attitude-fueled, brown girl, breakup jam that also features former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland.
“It felt like honestly, I just wanted two strong black women on the record,” she explains. “Women that were different, dark-skinned women with strong features with a story. And I felt like those two women were the best.”
The stories run deep on Side Effects of You. The album’s first song, “Supernatural Love,” opens with Fantasia making a poignant statement about her highly publicized, controversial relationship with the married Antwuan Cook with whom she now has a child.
“The world says that this love is not good for me, but my heart says that it is,” she offers on the album’s intro.
Fantasia was tired of having people spread mistruths about her personal life, so she decided to speak for herself. “It was a good feeling to know that I could honestly say it myself,” she reveals. “I could give the story and nobody else had to ‘cause half of the things they were saying were wrong anyway. So for me, it felt good to be able to say, ‘Let me tell you how it really went. Let me give you the story and the truth and then let me tell you how it felt after it all.’ Instead of this person and that person trying to inform you on information that they really don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Side Effects of You was released Tuesday. Part 2 of my three-part interview with Fantasia will run Wednesday.