Brandy recently released her new album B7, her first in eight years. It didn’t come easy since she was struggling with depression during those years, but she credits her 18-year-old daughter Sy’rai Smith with saving her from it.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the award-winning singer opened up about her battles with depression, which stemmed from her feeling trapped to maintain a “perfect” public image, the pain of failed relationships, and because of her involvement in a car accident in 2006, which resulted in the death of a 38-year-old woman (She wasn’t charged and settled out of court with the woman’s family). “I was a little bit lost eight years ago musically, creatively, spiritually,” said Brandy. “I had to pull myself together, I had to pull it all together and make it all make sense.”
Brandy recalled a time where she felt her pain was so unbearable that she even contemplated suicide, but she thought of Sy’rai and chose to live on for her. “I remember laying in bed super depressed,” said Brandy. “I [told] myself, ‘So, you’re just going to go out like this? That’s wack. You have a daughter. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for her because this is not the way to leave a mark in her life.'”
Brandy says it was her daughter who saved her from the dark place she was in, and that if not for Sy’rai, she would not be alive now to tell her story. “If Sy’rai wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be either,” says Brandy. “The place that I was in, it just felt like I wasn’t going to make it through.”
Brandy takes care of her mental health with therapy, meditation, and her faith. There may not be a cure for depression, but for Brandy, Sy’rai is the closest thing to it. Thanks to her, Brandy is proud to be in a much better place than she was eight years ago. “I’m in a place now where I can be proud of moving in the right direction,” says Brandy.