Words and Photos By: Brian "Z" Zisook
Chicago, IL -- There are two types of people in this world: leaders and followers. Leaders take on risks; followers do not. With risk comes a reward, but also the chance of disappointment and failure.
On November 13th, Bad Boy recording artist
released her debut album, “In And Out of Love,” and in turn took a major risk. The project’s release was a long time coming for Cheri (and her die-hard fans), who waited several years for her debut to be available on stores shelves.
Although on November 13th the album didn’t land in stores; it became available in the Apple iTunes store as a digital download. “In And Out of Love” will remain available to as a digital album through February, when it will be released in physical form with a few additional bonus tracks and special album inlay.
“There’s going to be lots of footage for my fans from behind the scenes. I hope they don’t hate my face!” joked Dennis.
To help promote both her project and this adventurous leap of faith, Cheri performed several songs off the album during an Apple in-store performance at the Michigan Ave. location in Chicago, Illinois.
“This opportunity will allow me to expand myself to a much broader audience. It’s definitely more exposure!” said Dennis.
Cheri performed a rousing rendition of her original buzz single, “I Love You,” in addition to cuts “Ooh Ooh,” and the Rodney Jerkins-produced, “
.” Before the performance was finished, however, the smart and sexy singer executed an energetic version of her current single, “
,” with which several members of the audience made a connection.
“Portrait of Love can be about anybody, a special someone or family member. If it’s about a man though, my portrait would include someone who makes me laugh, is ambitious, and most of all god fearing.”
So has the 22-year-old native of Cleveland, Ohio, ever been ‘In and out of love’?
“Yes, I have, but at least being out of love means that you once were in love. The same was happened with my music. There are sometimes when you need inspiration that just isn’t there. You can fall out of love with your music just as easily as you can with a man or woman.”
As a pioneer of the digital-only sales tactic, Cheri hopes that her trendsetter ways will lead to more similarly-released urban projects in the future. As album sales at traditional retail outlets continues to decline, it is clear that more artists need to take risks. Luckily for the rest of the industry Cheri has stepped forward and volunteered to be the “guinea pig.” For her, the wheels are always turning.
Watch Cheri Dennis Perform "Portrait of Love"