Usher has a new album, Here I Stand, in stores. His singles have made their fair share of noise. Now, Usher‘s making a different kind of noise with a new interview where he speaks candidly about music, family and love. In his interview with Essence, the singer speaks openly about his marriage, criticism of his wife and his dedication to his son. He also speaks on music and what it means for him to make music with substance.


On his wife:


“The mass media has painted a wrong picture. They think it was forced. I’ve heard a lot of comments like, ‘Oh, she trapped him.’ ‘He got a baby by her, and then she’s married and she’s set for life.’ No. She wasn’t pregnant when I asked her to marry me. …I’m here to honor God. Then to honor my wife, then my child and family.”


On his relationship with his father:


“I don’t judge my father, because I forgave him anything he’d ever done to hurt me unintentionally. My father and I had a very short amount of time together throughout my entire life, but the most valuable time was during his final days. He asked me to forgive him for not being there.”


On his relationship with his son:


“No matter what happened, my father always prayed for me. The only difference is, I’m gonna be there to be the father that my dad wished he was to me.”


“Reading with your child, being supportive of your child’s growth. That is making the choice to put your child before your own vanity. Somebody to play with, somebody to talk to about male things. So what is the one thing that I would want my child to know if I could just tap him on his head? That I’m here. That I love him, and he matters more than anything. And I ain’t going nowhere.”


In the interview, he also says he is devoted to making “music with substance” and he notes that there will be no more songs about being a “player” or having “bling.”