12 Stories, Brandy’s debut album as an artist, is full of diverse characters. There’s the woman in first single “Stripes” who fantasizes about killing her cheating husband, but doesn’t want to be caught dead in an orange jumpsuit. There’s another who asks Jesus for help, but plays the lottery just in case in “Pray to Jesus.” And there’s the bored housewife in “Get High” who escapes daily drudgery by rolling joints at the kitchen table.
“I get my inspiration from real people who are just surviving their life and getting through their day. That’s who I write songs for,” explains Brandy. “I want to write songs for somebody who is working at a bank—if that person could write a song, what they would write. That’s my goal.”
Prior to 12 Stories, Brandy achieved that goal by penning songs for other artists. Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers have both recorded her songs. Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow and Kacey Musgraves have Brandy compositions on their new albums. And The Band Perry gave Brandy her first No. 1 single with “Better Dig Two,” followed shortly after by another No. 1 in “Mama’s Broken Heart,” cut by Miranda Lambert.