The last five years have been tough for Sunshine Anderson.
Anderson's the vocalist behind the newly released CD, Sunshine at Midnight, but you may remember her 2001 hit R&B anthem of women scorned "Heard it All Before" from her gold debut album, Your Woman. Despite the success of Your Woman, her record company (Atlantic) put plans for another CD on pause -- prompting her to take her tunes and leave the label. It wasn't long before she discovered that other labels weren't exactly chomping at the bit to sign her. A singer without a deal, she was forced to move back home with her family in Charlotte.
"With people knowing your success and having to come back home, it was really hard," says Anderson. "Before I knew it, I was depressed."
A few words of motivation from her father, however, helped Anderson muster the courage to jump back in the recording business. She reluctantly left Charlotte for Atlanta to, she says, be around music. "I rep Charlotte to the fullest. I love Charlotte. But I don't feel like there's a music scene here," Anderson says. "Jodeci, Anthony Hamilton, Fantasia Barrino -- why do we have to go other places to be great? My song wasn't playing on the main radio station, and I'm from here. That's why I moved to Atlanta."
With the support of ATL-based heavyweights like producer Jazze Pha and songwriter Brian Michael Cox, Anderson was able to rebuild her musical muscles, and put the finishing touches on Sunshine at Midnight (featuring radio-friendly, beat-heavy, neo-soul-flavored R&B cuts courtesy of producers such as Dr. Dre, Raphael Saadiq and North Carolina's own Mike City, among others). And according to Anderson, her past trials provided her with a wealth of material for her latest CD.
"I was so depressed that I hung black sheets on my window during the day. Hence the name 'Sunshine at Midnight'," she says. "That light is always at the end of the tunnel. You might not see it, but it's there."