When an artist takes a hiatus, there is always the chance that fans will withdraw and get restless. While fans of Rihanna flood her social media platforms with questions about new music, and Lana del Ray fans joke about how “unserious” she is casually working odd jobs in between album releases, other artists may become things of the past. Roy Woods, like these two artists, has built a loyal fan base that supports him during his hiatus, allowing him to make his return with a flourish. His latest album, Mixed Emotions, has garnered significant praise, marking a triumphant comeback.
Following his hiatus, Woods wanted to express his gratitude to his fans by hosting an intimate live concert at SILO in Brooklyn, sponsored by rolling paper manufacturer Zig Zag.
Coming from Toronto, Woods signed with the prestigious OVO Sound label in 2015. His rise to prominence was swift with an EP that secured the #10 spot on the Billboard Top R&B Albums Chart. Notably, Woods also had two singles that landed on the Billboard Top 200 list, a testament to his growing popularity as an artist, after his breakout track, Jealousy, surpassed 12 million views.
Though Roy Woods handles most of the vocals, his collaboration with rapper Coi Leray on the track Hate Me is a major highlight of this album. The music video for this track juxtaposes his vulnerable lyrics with a bright set. On a green set, Woods sings to puppies while the audience catches glimpses of Leray on a pink set with kittens. This highlights their differences and the insecurities Woods sings about. The video moves from set to set as we see these two together in some and alone in others, with shots of magazines covered in Woods’ insecurities, such as covers with his face crossed out and the word “loser” scribbled on.
In Mixed Emotions, Roy Woods masterfully captures the complexities of conflicting feelings, a feat that few can achieve so seamlessly. As an enigmatic figure, he skillfully takes listeners on a profound journey through his vulnerabilities, red flags, and struggles with disloyalty. This raw and honest exploration of familiar themes can be felt throughout the 17-track album, particularly in Don’t Love Me and Made Mistakes.
Mixed Emotions is available on all streaming platforms now. It is a testament to Roy Woods’ artistry and growth, leaving listeners with an emotionally resonant listening experience.