LOS ANGELES (AP) — Malcolm-Jamal Warner poured his real-life experiences — both in and out of love — into his latest album, "Selfless."
"You start to look at life a little differently when you get to your mid-40s," Warner, 45, said in a recent interview. "I'm at a place where I've kind of taken a hiatus from love and relationships and the whole dating thing and some of that is reflected on the record."
Warner's third album with his band, Miles Long, is a mix of jazz, funk, soul and spoken-word poems.
The album also features collaborations with Lalah Hathaway, Stokley Williams, Robert Glasper, Rahsaan Patterson and Ledisi.
The former star of "The Cosby Show" wrote, produced, performs his poetry and plays bass guitar on the album.
"I've been really fortunate to create my own niche," he said. "I figure if it's therapeutic for me and the things I'm going through, there's got to be somebody else in the world who is going through it on some level."
Warner took his time with the new music. His last album, "Love & Other Social Issues," was released in 2007.
"The beautiful thing about being an independent artist is that you don't have record company deadlines looming over you. The bad thing about being an independent artist is that you don't have record company deadlines looming over you," he said.
Winning his first Grammy Award earlier this year for his work on Robert Glasper's "Jesus Children" was the push he needed.
"That really put the fire underneath me and put some finality to it. I have to finish this record while I have the attention of the Grammy committee and the attention of the music world," he said.
Warner found fame at a young age starring as Theo Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom. He credits his mother for never allowing him to rest on the laurels of his early success.
"When the show first hit I was 14 years old and my mother sat me down and said, 'Hey baby, it's great that the show is the phenomenon that it is, but you know how this business is. The show could be over next year. What are you going to do when the show is over?'" he recalled. "Sometimes it's annoying, but it's like my mother is always right!"
Follow Nicole Evatt at twitter.com/NicoleEvatt