Cheri Dennis
After being signed to Bad Boy for a few years, Cheri Dennis finally has her chance to shine. Opening up to phenomenal sales based of her new single “Portrait of Love”, Cheri talks about her new album, her relationship with Bad Boy, and her iTunes situation.
interview by Thato Dadson

WHO?MAG: Tell me about the new single “Portrait of Love”.
Cheri Dennis: The single was produced by the Soul Diggers. What appealed to me about the record is I’m a big Prince fan and it gave me a very “Princy” type of vibe. And with the name going with the content, it’s about your ideal picture of love is and I’m speaking to a lover asking him to make the portrait of love.

WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Young Joc and Gorilla Zoe?
Cheri Dennis: It’s always nice to work with your label masons and Joc was on my first record “I Love You”, so it was nice to have him come back. It was good to have them bless this track and then we did the video which was a lot of fun. I just hope in the future that I get work with more of my label masons.

WHO?MAG: Tell me what want people to expect from the album “In and Out of Love”
Cheri Dennis: It’s just a feel good album and it’s called “In and Out of Love” and its about relationships and the emotions in relationships. It’s a very upbeat and feel good album. It’s pretty reflective of my personality and I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent of me musically because I didn’t tap into everything in terms of what I can do. I just want them to walk away and feel good about the album. Even though some of the songs are talking about being out of love, they’re not those jump off the bridge or sit in the corner and cry all afternoon. It’s not that type of album. Its a very mid-tempo record and I just want people take away a feel good feeling and to understand a part of me in this album so they can get a new feeling in my next album.

WHO?MAG: “I Love You” with Jim Jones was a pretty hot song. Why did it take so long for “Portrait of Love ” to drop as a follow up single?
Cheri Dennis: Well if anybody who knows my story knows it’s been a long come up. And when I put out “I Love You”, I was suppose to put the album out last June and I’m pleased it did not come out last June, because I just felt like some of the songs were old and took last year to record new records. I’m happy and more pleased with the record now than would have been last June. And then this year has been about restructuring on my situation since I have new management. I kind of have to do some revamping and refresh the new project, so that’s why it took so long to drop the next track.

WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Bad Boy?
Cheri Dennis: Well, I’m with a production company called Kosen Music owned by Jimmy Kosen and she had a friend that worked at Bad Boy and invited Puffy and Kim Porter to a party. I sat next to them and freestyled and adlibbed my music to them. It was easy getting my deal but the hard part was getting to this point right here.

WHO?MAG: Tell me about your deal with iTunes and why the album is being premiered exclusively online?
Cheri Dennis: With the industry moving into the digital world and record sales not being what they are, people are not going out to buy physical albums as much as before. I just thought it would be cool to give it a try and become the first urban released album exclusively online. And you know, there’s not a lot of urban music sold on Itunes and I thought it was cool to see what other people that listen to other genres of music would think of my music or who might not know who I am to see what they think of the album. I definitely think it broadened my audience. I don’t think that would have been my audience out of the gate. I think it would have taken more time for that to happen. I hope that I can pioneer a movement so that more urban artist will get there music out that way can get more exposure.

WHO?MAG: Tell me your opinion on the image of today’s female singers.
Cheri Dennis: I think we have a lot of great talents out there. Some vocalists are better than others. I mean if we are just talking about technicalities and being a vocalist, then that not everything. It is not just about what how well you sing. There are a lot of people that are phenomenal singers, but were not interested in their music because their boring and singing all over the place. I think there are a lot of great female entertainers out there. I like my peers. I like Rihanna, Keyshia Cole, Beyonce, and a lot of the other female singers. And I like how we all do what we do. I like what Mary does, or what Keyshia does, or what Rihanna does. And for me being a music lover, I feel that’s just more music for me to listen too.

WHO?MAG: Tell me about your song “Back Up”.
Cheri Dennis: That record is a very tongue and cheek record. It is very fun. Sometimes, I get into my alter ego mood and talk sh*t because sometimes I can be a talker. It was basically telling a guy that he can’t handle me and I tend to think that sometimes when I have my swag up to a 1000. Everybody I’ve played it too from 8 to 80 loved it.

WHO?MAG: Tell me about the new single “Show Down”
Cheri Dennis: Ok well, the first two records everybody heard from me were safe. Even though the “Portrait of Love” was more sophisticated, it’s content was still safe and I felt it was time to show people another side of myself. I think its great that people can come to me and tell me they love my music and that they can listen to my music with their kids. I always want to remind them that I am an artist and if you ever see me drop it like it’s hot, it’s just the nature of the business because I’m not just one way all the time and I have a lot of different angles to myself. “Showdown” is a record that talks about the showdown in the bedroom and I just wanted to show a different side of myself.

WHO?MAG: What’s next for Cheri Dennis?
Cheri Dennis: I would say more recording. I’ve been on the radio tour since the end of January and I continue to promote. I would like to do Broadway. I love shoes and I’ve always wanted to design shoes and I probably will own a boutique that sells high end shoes, but definitely more recording and writing, and not just for myself, but for other people too. Right now since it’s been a long time coming with the album I’m really focused on getting people to be familiar with me as an artist and a vocalist. Sometimes I say I’m the most known unknown because there are some people that know of me and others that have never heard of me. And I definitely feel its time for me to solidify myself as an artist.

I would definitely like to thank my fans for sticking with me even though the album was delayed. I thank everybody for your support and I would like to thank you WHO?MAG for helping get my message out to everybody.