The Empire star couldn't be prouder of Sum of My Music, which he debuted for friends, family and a few famous faces at the Sayer's Club in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Only ET was inside the exclusive listening party, where Smollett told us all about the inspiration behind the record and a song he dedicated to "someone special."
"Sum of My Music really represents love and reflection and freedom," Smollett told ET's Courtney Tezeno, adding that all the songs on the album are inspired by his "real life." "'HaHa (I Love You)' is about someone special to me."
"I'm very happy," he blushed, before describing the rest of the album. "'Freedom,' even though it wasn't written by me, it still touches me in a way that I break down a little every time I hit this one note. And then 'Don't Go,' it's about my jealous side."
Halle Berry, Michelle Williams and Taye Diggs, as well as Smollett's Empire co-stars, Gabourey Sidibe and Sevyn Streeter, couldn't have been more supportive of Smollett's new music at Thursday's party, and he's hoping the rest of the world follows suit.
"I always say that this being released is almost like giving birth. It's sending your toddler off to school, you know what I'm saying?" Smollett described. "Kids will have the chance to bully it now, pick it apart, make their own judgment, but it feels really good. I'm proud of the work that we've done."
"I'm so proud of him," Sidibe gushed. "This is more than just a project. This is his livelihood. This is his art. This is him putting his money where his mouth is and investing in himself."
Smollett has made big strides over the last few years, recently directing his first episode of Empire.
"I ended [shooting] my episode four years to the day that I booked Empire," he shared. "The morning that I went to my audition, I met with Alfre Woodard, who is like one of my godmothers, and she prayed with me before I went on that audition. So four years to the day, I was directing my last scenes on my episode, but it was also with Alfre Woodard, because she joined to play Cookie's mother."
"My life is crazy," he added. "It's so full circle."
Sum of My Music is out now. See more on Smollett in the video below.