Los Angeles: Kandi Burruss, former ‘Xscape’ member and co-writer of such hits as TLC`s ‘No Scrubs’ and Destiny`s Child`s ‘Bills, Bills, Bills,’ has returned to the charts with the digital single ‘Leave U.’
Debuting at No. 89 on Billboard`s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the October 5 release is the lead single from the singer-songwriter`s second solo album, ‘Kandi Koated’ (Kandi Koated/Asylum/Warner Bros.), due December 14.
During the past several years, Kandi -- who goes by the single-name moniker -- attempted to release a follow-up to her pop-leaning Columbia solo debut, 2000`s "Hey Kandi ..." But the project was put on hold. Then, just as she decided to record her own independent album, Kandi was asked to join the 2009 second-season cast of Bravo`s ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ That same year, she released the digital EP ‘Fly Above,’ catching the attention of Asylum/Warner Bros.
"The show definitely helped as far as being in a position to do a solo album; it`s a big infomercial," Kandi says with a laugh. "Having not done an album in so long and wondering who`s going to be interested in what you`re doing can be discouraging. But you never know what`s going to fall into your lap."
Comprising midtempos and ballads influenced by the timeless R&B that was Xscape`s hallmark, ‘Kandi Koated’ revolves around the concept of life`s relationships. In addition to Jazze Pha, who produced "Leave U," the album features production by Ne- Yo (‘Me and You,’ which interpolates OutKast`s ‘Elevators’), Bryan-Michael Cox (‘Give It to You’) and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (‘I Want You’). Fellow Xscape alumna Tameka "Tiny" Cottle is featured on ‘Super woman’."
"It`s for every woman who is doing whatever she has to do to take care of her kids," Kandi says of that song. "It`s also a little taste of Xscape from a long time ago."
Notching its first No. 1 R&B (and No. 2 pop) hit in 1993 with ‘Just Kickin` It,’ the group -- also featuring sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott -- scored several more hits, including ‘Understanding’ and ‘Who Can I Run To?’ Before disbanding, Xscape released three top 10, multiplatinum-selling R&B albums, ending with 1998`s ‘Traces of My Lipstick.’ After co-writing ‘No Scrubs’ with Cottle, Kandi has penned songs for Pink, Usher and Mariah Carey.
The Grammy Award-winning artist will be promoting her new single and album during Fantasia`s Back to Me tour. The 30-city trek, whose lineup includes Eric Benet, begins November 4 in Richmond, Va., and ends January 1, 2011, in St. Louis. While on the road, Kandi -- celebrating the one-year anniversary of her Atlanta boutique, TAGS -- will continue hosting her Ustream TV show, ‘Kandi Koated Nights,’ and writing her weekly blog for Interactive One`s Hello Beautiful website.
"The goal with `Kandi Koated` was to make an album that people will play all the way through," Kandi says. "As a songwriter, I don`t want to hear people say there are only one or two hot songs and everything else is just `eh.` I`ve waited so long to come back that I had to give people an album worth my coming back. Otherwise, what would be the point?"