Oscar-nominated actor Cynthia Erivo, who already has a Tony and Grammy under her belt, is making her original music debut with anthemic single “The Good” from her upcoming album.
“Ch. 1 Vs. 1,” Erivo’s debut album of original music, is set for release on Sept. 17 via Verve Records. The first single from the set, “The Good,” which released today, showcases Erivo’s smooth vocals over soul-infused, feel-good instrumentals. Despite its upbeat tempo, “The Good’s” lyrics tell a more somber story as Erivo details a failed relationship, but decides to remember the good times. “What can I do to make these days go by?/ When darkness surrounds me but I see the light/ Just wanna remember the good,” Erivo sings.
“The Good” is accompanied by a cinematic music video, directed by Mollie Mills and starring Erivo in a story about Black queer love. Erivo felt it was important to represent the nuances and intimacy of a relationship between two Black women, something she feels is often lacking in on-screen portrayals.
“I wanted to normalize seeing Black women in a relationship on screen, because often it’s really fetishistic,” Erivo says of the video, emphasizing its message that relationships can be incredibly meaningful, even if they don’t work out in the end.
For Erivo, who recently portrayed Aretha Franklin in the series “Genius,” music is all about storytelling — which is why she named her debut album “Ch. 1 Vs. 1.”
“In storytelling, chapter one and verse one is the way you always begin, and because I believe I’m a storyteller, that’s what I wanted to do with my music,” Erivo says. “That’s what this is about, just starting [and revealing] the human parts of me that you don’t often get to see.”
“Ch. 1 Vs. 1” will consist of 12 tracks detailing a journey of heartbreak and growth, and will span the genres of soul, pop, R&B and gospel. Erivo co-wrote every song on the album, including “The Good,” truly putting her storytelling skills to work. “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” is executive produced by Will Wells (Imagine Dragons) and features co-writing and production from Jamie Hartman (Lewis Capaldi, Jennifer Hudson), Sean Douglas (Lizzo, Demi Lovato), Kaveh Rasteghar (John Legend, Sia), Shakka Phillip (Dua Lipa, Tove Lo), Harold Lilly (Beyoncé, Brandy) and Jack Splash (Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar).
“It would be a wasted opportunity to not express all that I am,” Erivo says of the album. “This is probably one of the first times I’ll get to just be myself, and be myself fully.”
Watch the music video for “The Good” and view the track list for “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” below.
“Ch. 1 Vs. 1” Track List
- What In The World
- The Good
- Day Off
- A Window
- I Might Be in Love With You
- Sweet Sarah
- You’re Not Here
- Glowing Up